From a reader who’s submitted multiple cover songs to our series:
I’m going to be contrary with this pick. Laura Nyro was a brilliant songwriter, as evidenced by the many, many people who had huge chart successes with her songs. Sadly, the one person who didn’t have that success was Laura herself. That is one of the music industry's great mysteries.
“Eli’s Comin’” was a top ten hit for Three Dog Night, but it can’t hold a candle to the original. In addition to lead vocals, Laura plays all the keyboards and does all the backing vocals—an early example of overdubbing. The note she hits at 2:15 never fails to give me chills.