The cover song: its something that appeals to musicians at any level and at any point in their career. For so many musicians, playing another band's material is where it starts, finding the inspiration to pick up an instrument in the first place. Throughout the decades, it's also helped launch careers, especially in the pre-Internet days where a cover song was the entry point for new bands to gain radio exposure.

Whether there's explicit intent behind covering a song or it's just for the absolute fun of it, it serves a lot of purposes. Our purpose in this list is to highlight the very best covers of classic rock hits by heavy metal bands. Some versions are straight-up, nearly note-for-note duplicates of the originals, while others take wild turns and are almost unrecognizable as the same song.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the 55 best metal covers of classic rock hits and don't forget to check out the corresponding playlist (note: not all songs listed are available on Spotify).

55 Awesome Metal Covers of Classic Rock Hits