Bill Withers's song "Ain't No Sunshine" has been called a perfect song, and I'm guessing there are few musicians who would disagree. It's been covered a lot, by everyone from Michael Jackson to Kenny Rogers. Here are two of those covers. I like to think of them as "the wrong way" and "the right way."
First, here's Sting, with an oooo-aren't-we-jazzmasters version that couldn't be more earnest if it went to camp. The 'stache ain't helping matters, either.
From the first seconds of Freddie King's clip, you know that this is something different, and not just because of how he wears his guitar strap. This goes right for the gut, and it nails it. I don't even miss the "I know, I know, I know" part. This, my friends, is how to cover a song.