10 Glee Songs Better Than The Originals (To Celebrate Glee’s 10 Year Anniversary)

I was obsessed with Glee when it was on, and though it’s been over for many years now, it’ll always have a special place in my heart. It changed my life in many ways, even if it was a flawed show. As the seasons went on, it got more and more flawed, but the one thing that remained solid throughout was the music. Glee made its mark by being able to take old music and new music and present it in new ways to new audiences on a scripted TV show through very talented people. I respect that. On my phone I have several hundred Glee songs, and though I don’t listen to them all that often and there are some I could probably delete, there are a lot that I still don’t skip over and ones that I think I’ll have on my phone forever.

Today is May 19th, and ten years ago today, Glee aired for the first time. For some reason, Fox decided to air the pilot after American Idol in May and then wait until normal Fall TV to air the second episode. Though I didn’t start the show until halfway through the first season, I thought it’d be fun to use this day as a chance to gleek out about some of the amazing music Glee served to us over the six years it ran. So here are 10 songs (in no particular order) that I think were better than the originals.

  1. ‘Blackbird’ sung by Kurt and the Warblers (Season 2)
    Kurt’s sweet voice with that glorious Warbler harmony that is light but adds an extra element to the song? Iconic. Not to mention that this song was a pretty important moment for Kurt and Blaine.
  2. ‘Tongue Tied’ sung by the New Directions (Season 3)
    This song has so much energy and such spunk, and I think the Glee cast was able to bring new life into it. The original is still fun, but the voices are kind of drier and raspier, which I don’t like as much.
    Related image
  3. ‘Wide Awake’ sung by Jake, Kitty, Tina, and Unique (Season 5)
    The original version of this song is upbeat but forgettable. Glee’s version is memorable. I adore this slowed down version. It’s deep and sweet and they harmonize so well.
  4. ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ sung by New Directions (Season 1)
    This is one of the Rolling Stones’ more laid back songs, and Glee took its funky beat and elevated it. It’s got a more rock base and it shows off the talent of many in the group. Of course they won sectionals with this.
  5. ‘We’ve Got Tonight’ sung by various members of New Directions (Season 4)
    Bob Seger’s original song is nice, but having the mix of voices here brings a lot to the song. It’s more powerful and romantic, I think.
  6. ‘I Can’t Go For That/You Make My Dreams’ sung by New Directions (Season 3)
    Both of these are great songs on their own, but in true Glee fashion, putting them together in a mashup created something so fresh and fun. They work together so perfectly.
  7. ‘What Kind Of Fool’ sung by the Warblers (cut from season 2)
    Darren Criss and those perfect Warbler harmonies never went wrong. They were able to put so much passion into this song. It was never in the show but made it onto the Warbler album. The original is sung by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibbs, and while she has a nice voice, his is kind of nasally, and the song is really too slow and breathy at the start, while the Warblers’ is just so nice throughout.
  8. ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ sung by Rachel (season 3)
    I may be a bit biased here because I can’t handle the Bee Gees for more than a song at a time, so I like that Rachel didn’t need to do any forced high parts and this song could thrive. Plus, this one has more emotion behind it, I think.
    Image result for glee how deep is your love
  9. ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ sung by Mercedes (season 2)
    The original song is rather slow until the end, but Mercedes managed to spice it up and bring so much soul to it. She always stood out in Glee songs because her voice was so powerful and this was one solo where I think she really shone.
  10. ‘I Gotta Be Me’ sung by Finn (season 2)
    I think this was one of Finn’s best. It was fun, didn’t force him out of his vocal range, and worked well for his character who really developed over the seasons.

Glee had over 600 songs, and coming up with this list was hard. Glee often had songs that were great, different, or on par with the original (as expected), but I really wanted songs that specifically stood out to me as especially better, and I think these 10 do a great job highlighting just how amazing this aspect of the show was.

I’ve been thinking about rewatching the show for a while now (I haven’t really seen it since it finished), and writing this post definitely made me want to even more. But I’m also worried that I’ll not like it or see its flaws more and end up souring the image of it that I have in my heart…

Anyway, if you were a Gleek like me, I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. Were there other songs you enjoyed more than the originals? Do you miss Glee too?

Glee logo.
And that’s what I miss on Glee

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10 thoughts on “10 Glee Songs Better Than The Originals (To Celebrate Glee’s 10 Year Anniversary)

  1. I just want to add that I think ‘Dream On’ (from the episode with NPH in S1) and Puck’s rendition of ‘Beth’ were the best songs that ever happened on Glee in my opinion

    • ‘Dream On’ was rather good. But for me I guess it was too much like the original for it to really stand out. But damn can NPH and Matt Morrison sing!
      And yes, I adored Beth. It was so sweet to see Puck come to terms with having a baby thought that song.

    • Big time. It’s too bad, because the show had so much potential. I don’t know if I should blame the network, the writers, or the showrunners for letting it go where it did, but it was a shame to see what was at one point a number one show go so far down that even the cast didn’t love where it went.

  2. I did watch Glee for most of its life on the air. Honestly, I can’t say I was a fan of the show overall. The writing and storylines got pretty cringey for me to stay interested. I kept watching for a long time after I lost interest, though, purely for the music. I didn’t always think that the songs they covered on the show were better than the original artists’ renditions, but a lot of them really were. And even the ones that, in my opinion, weren’t as good, they were always incredible arrangements. I loved the inventive mash-ups that they did. I have to echo delaneyr10’s comment with “Dream On” being my absolute favorite. I may not have liked the show itself all the way through, but I, too, still have tons of Glee songs in my iTunes library.

    • The mashups were always so good! I was always so impressed at how well some of them worked to feel like one song that was never made of two.
      I think by the time the writing got too cringy, I was so invested in the characters (and the music, obviously) that I sat through it all and would have done so forever, probably. It’s unfortunate it got to such weird points, but the show will still live on in infamy!

  3. I loved glee! It’s in my top three. I watched a little when it aired and then continued and watched it twice on Netflix. I loved the first four seasons. My favorite song from them is their first original song “loser like me”, and my favorite cover is “criminal” by Mercedes and Chord.

    • ‘Loser Like Me’ was fantastic! It was fun, embodied the show’s message, and was juuuust silly enough to be believed to be written by high school kids. It was great for Regionals! That episode was one of my favourites, actually.

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