Knights of Cydonia by Muse, along with their version of Feeling Good, are two of the songs that I love the most, and I listen to them whenever and wherever I can. However, in the case of Feeling Good, I think the Nina Simone version is better, but maybe that's because I heard her version first.
Now, from a rock and roll view point, The Rolling Stones' I Just Wanna Make Love to You is heads and tails better then the Etta James, even though the Etta James version (and James in general) is legenedary in its' own right. I mean, God, listen to her version of At Last. Blows the Beyonce version out of the water. And that's what annoyed me about the decision to choose Beyonce over James to perform at Barack Obama's inaugration. This is, obviously, a landmark moment in history, especially in black history, and so they should have used James, a legendary black singer, to really reinforce the moment, rather then using a singer that's in and now and cool.
Sorry about the tangent, but you start with one thing, and you end with another.