blink-182's classic lineup of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker is reunited, and the trio are putting out a new album and doing a world tour next year (including a US/Canada trek with Turnstile). The exciting news has had me going back down the blink-182 rabbithole and thinking about one of the more underrated aspects of their career: their cover songs. They haven't done too many, but most of the ones they've done are well-chosen and well-executed, and I've picked 10 that really stand out for this list. Here it is, in no particular order...

Descendents - "Hope"

No band paved the way for blink-182 more directly than the Descendents, so it was well-deserved when -- after becoming one of the biggest bands in the world -- blink returned the favor by covering "Hope" at a number of their shows. Tom sings this one, and his snotty delivery is perfect for "Hope," a song that basically sounds like the blueprint for just about everything blink-182 did in the '90s.

The Cure - "Boys Don't Cry," "A Letter To Elise," and "Just Like Heaven"

Descendents may be the clearest influence on blink-182's juvenile pop punk days, but as they started to get moodier and more atmospheric later on in their career, their #1 influence shifted to The Cure, whose Robert Smith did guest vocals on their untitled (and/or self-titled) 2003 album. blink-182 have covered The Cure not one but three times -- the classic Mark, Tom, and Travis lineup did "Boys Don't Cry" for a BBC Radio 1 session in 2004 and that same year they did "A Letter To Elise" at MTV Icon: The Cure (which also featured Cure covers performed by AFI, Deftones, and Razorlight). Their punky version of "Boys Don't Cry" could've even fit in with their earlier records, while the airy rendition of "A Letter To Elise" fit right in with the untitled album. During the Matt Skiba era, they also did "Just Like Heaven" at a couple shows, with lead vocals by Mark (who also sang the two Cure covers in '04). Every time they cover this band, they nail a balance between remaining faithful to the originals and making it their own.

Misfits - "Hybrid Moments" & "Skulls"

Just about every punk band has covered the Misfits, and blink-182 are no exception. During the classic lineup's early 2010s reunion, they did "Hybrid Moments" at a number of shows with Tom singing, and it's awesome. Tom's unmistakable voice is nothing at all like Glenn Danzig's, but he just sings it the way he sings his own songs, and it totally works. During the Matt Skiba era, they did "Skulls" a couple times with lead vocals by Skiba, who'd already done multiple Misfits covers with Alkaline Trio, and as always, Skiba's brooding delivery is perfect for this stuff.

The Only Ones - "Another Girl, Another Planet"

When blink-182 put out their Greatest Hits album in 2005, they tacked on two tracks that weren't actually hits for them yet: the great untitled-era outtake "Not Now" and a cover of "Another Girl, Another Planet" by UK power pop vets The Only Ones (that was also used in Travis Barker's MTV reality show Meet the Barkers). It's everything you want out of a huge band like blink-182 releasing a proper studio-recorded cover; it's of an underrated song that I would wager most blink-182 fans were not previously familiar with, and it fit right in with blink's own material without straying too far from the original. The perfect way to help turn your fans on to something new.

Generation X - "Dancing With Myself"

Years before blink-182 started covering The Cure and The Only Ones, they showed their love for the new wave era by tackling Generation X's "Dancing With Myself" for Vagrant Records' 1997 comp Before You Were Punk, which featured 12 skate punk bands covering new wave/power pop/post-punk/etc type stuff. Billy Idol/Generation X have had a huge impact on American pop punk, so it was a very natural thing for blink to do this one. They pretty much play it straight, but once Tom opens his mouth to sing, there's no doubt about who's performing this cover.

Dinosaur Jr - "Freak Scene"

Way back before there was any clue blink-182 would become stars, they put out a horribly-recorded debut EP called Flyswatter in 1993. The original songs barely suggested this band would one day be capable of greatness ("Alone" is pretty good though), and there were also two covers: one of NOFX's "The Longest Line" and one of Dinosaur Jr's "Freak Scene." The NOFX cover isn't much to write home about, but all things considered, the "Freak Scene" cover is pretty sweet! Mark's voice is great for it, and when Tom does a simplified version of the guitar solo, you can hear how much Tom was pulling from J Mascis on some of those early blink riffs, alongside his more obvious skate punk influences.

Screeching Weasel - "The Girl Next Door"

Ben Weasel is a disgraced figure these days, but there's no denying that Screeching Weasel were a huge influence on early blink. That's no clearer than on blink's cover of "The Girl Next Door," which they recorded for their 1994 "demo album" Buddha. They stay very faithful to the original, and if you didn't know any better, you'd think it was something they'd written themselves.


Will blink have any covers in store for us on their upcoming world tour? Stay tuned to find out!

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