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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 of their original material.

Cover bands play several types of venues. When a band is starting out, 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, utilising "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, of widely different artists, genres and decades. Another type of cover band is one that covers 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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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:00:00 -0800

As portrayed in the below video, the locals of Cesena, Italy, are assembling a 1,000 person Foo Fighters cover band to record a version of their hit, “Learn to Fly.” Apparently the move is to impress the band, who are on the verge of launching a ...

The Star Democrat

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Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:03:45 -0800

Hot Tub Limo, a group of 20- and 30-somethings based in Grasonville, has taken a unique approach to the concept of a cover band by taking songs from rock, pop and rap artists, and putting their own unique, funky twist on them. Perhaps unconventional ...

Sioux Falls Argus Leader

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Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:37:45 -0800

Eclipse leader Tony Valnes is a man without pretension. Eclipse is a full-fledged cover band, and Valnes is unapologetic for being a part of that much-maligned subsection of South Dakota's music scene. "I believe music helps keep people away from their ...

Tahoe Daily Tribune

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Thu, 11 Dec 2014 12:05:52 -0800

Relive the 80s, 90s — and enjoy some of the biggest modern hits — when cover band Adrenaline hits Tahoe City Friday night. Adrenaline is a billed as a “high octane dance band” with an impressive set list that includes many of the greatest hits from ...

Belleville News Democrat

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Tue, 09 Dec 2014 22:05:22 -0800

When: Dec. 27. Doors open at 6 p.m. Opening act, one-man band Steven D. Hunt performs from 6:30 to 8. Dixie Express will do two 1 1/2-hour sets between 8:30 and midnight. Where: Belle-Clair Exposition Hall, Belleville. Tickets: $13 in advance, from ...


Tue, 09 Dec 2014 06:53:55 -0800

The Pizza Underground, a pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band featuring former child star Macaulay Culkin, is a joke in the sense that they sing Velvet Underground songs with lyrics about pizza and have the kid from Home Alone on tambourine and ...

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Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:54:50 -0800

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Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:48:45 -0800

Like any great cover band, the Gin Doctors do not have complicated motives. Nostalgia is fun. Playing '90s songs for thirty-somethings who want to relive a bit of their past is fun. And constructing an alter ego, complete with costume, is, well, fun.Co ...

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