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Not to be confused with Tribute act.

A cover band (or covers band), is a band that plays mostly or exclusively cover songs. New or unknown bands often find the format marketable for smaller venues, such as pubs, clubs or parks. The bands also perform at private events, for example, weddings and birthday parties and may be known as a wedding band, party band or function band. A band whose covers consist mainly of songs that were chart hits is often called a top 40 band. Some bands, however, start as cover bands and then grow to perform original material. For example, The Rolling Stones released three albums consisting primarily of covers before recording one with their own original material.

Cover bands play several types of venues. When a band is starting out, they might play private parties and fund raisers, often for little or no money, or in return for food and bar privileges, although many professional musicians refuse to do this. With enough experience a band will begin to "play out" professionally at bars and night clubs. Some cover bands are made up of full-time professional musicians. These bands are usually represented by an 'entertainment agency'.

Unlike some famous bands, when the cover bands consist of professional musicians they often do not have a 'fixed line up' of musicians, rather they are often made up of a flexible line up[1] with session musicians, utilizing "dep" (deputy, that is, stand-in) musicians where necessary. The music industry is considered by many musicians as a relatively difficult industry to make an income in, and cover bands can be a good source of income for professional musicians alongside other work.


Cover bands play songs written and recorded by other artists, usually well-known songs (as compared to "original" bands which play music they themselves have written). There are a wide variety of cover bands - some cover bands play material from particular decades, for example a 1980s cover band. Others focus exclusively on the music of a particular group, usually iconic groups, and are called tribute bands. It is not uncommon to find tribute bands performing the songs of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Oasis, Duran Duran, Aerosmith, or U2. Some cover bands will play a variety of song styles, from different artists, genres and decades. Another type of cover band is one that plays songs in a different genre or style than that of the original composition (e.g., jazz versions of what were originally hard rock songs).

Some cover bands perform covers that are of a different musical genre from the originals. For instance:

Examples of cover acts[edit]

Fictional cover acts[edit]

  • Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg who had a small group that performs cover songs from a fictional band called Steel Dragon. He eventually became the lead singer of the said band when a recorded performance was seen by the band members.
  • The Wedding Singer features Adam Sandler as a cover singer who performs for wedding parties.
  • Detroit Rock City is the story of four teenagers in the '70s who are in a Kiss cover band called "Mystery."
  • Saving Silverman features three friends who are diehard Neil Diamond fans, and they form a cover band called "Diamonds in the Rough."
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Otto Mann hires a cover band called "Cyanide," which he says is a tribute to Poison.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Finances with Wolves," Klaus the goldfish swaps brains with the lead singer of an Earth, Wind and Fire cover band.

See also[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_band — Please support Wikipedia.
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Washington Post
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 02:32:10 -0700

Because '90s nostalgia currently rules pop culture, it's not entirely surprising that one of D.C.'s most successful local acts is a cover band that performs only songs from that decade. White Ford Bronco, which played its first gig in 2008, routinely ...

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Noisey (blog)
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:15:00 -0700

Normally the world wouldn't mourn the loss of a cover band. Most of them are embarrassingly maladroit and give unoriginality a bad name. But in the history of playing other people's songs, very few cover bands have been adored and respected as much ...

Ultimate Classic Rock

Ultimate Classic Rock
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 05:50:30 -0700

The Doobie Brothers have filed a trademark lawsuit against a '70s cover band called the Doobie Decimal System, claiming the other group's name is “confusingly similar.” Courthouse News Service reports that the Doobie Brothers trademarked their band ...

Fort Myers Beach Observer

Fort Myers Beach Observer
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 22:37:30 -0700

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:56:15 -0700

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Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:29:45 -0700

NEWPORT BEACH When live music regularly graced the stages of bars and clubs throughout Orange County in the 1980s, local cover band The Code drew a crowd of hundreds to local clubs. The band, made up of drummer Matt Magiera, guitarist Richard ...


Thu, 09 Jul 2015 23:56:15 -0700

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:30:00 -0700

But for the sub-section of fans that also embrace the frenzied, teenage energy of pop punk, there is some reprieve: On Friday, for one night only, Toronto's Junior Battles will transform into Thirst Behaviour, a pop-punk cover band that renders Drake ...

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