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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Worst cover songs ever

Stereogum has a post today pointing the way to the Cracked.com list of worst covers ever recorded butchered. They suggest the following abominations:

20. "You Shook Me All Night Long" — Celine Dion and Anastasia
19. "Downtown Train" — Rod Stewart
18. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" — Guns N Roses
17. "Demolition Man" — Manfred Mann
16. "American Pie" — Madonna
15. "My Generation" — Hilary Duff
14. "It's My Life" — No Doubt
13. "Video Killed The Radio Star" — The Presidents of the United States of America
12. "Walk this Way" — Macy Gray
11. "Another Brick in the Wall" — Korn
10. "I'm A Believer" — Smash Mouth
09. "Satisfaction" — Britney Spears
08. "Sweet Child O Mine" — Sheryl Crow
07. "Big Yellow Taxi" — Counting Crows
06. "911 Is a Joke" — Duran Duran
05. "Anarchy in the UK" — Motley Crue
04. "Behind Blue Eyes" — Limp Bizkit
03. "Feel Like Making Love" — Kid Rock
02. "Dock of the Bay" — Michael Bolton
01. "And It Stoned Me" — Bob Dylan

I would like to respectfully submit the following addendum, which is really, really, insultingly bad. You may think it's awful when it starts. Just wait. It gets worse as it goes along, peaking with the gospelly backup vocals on the chorus and the peppy brass instruments.
Cigarettes and Alcohol (Oasis cover) - Rod Stewart

It dovetails nicely with the crystal-vivid dream I had last night that I was at the 1995 Oasis show at The Fillmore in SF (it showed up in this picture I took; maybe it came from there to color my dreams). I was hanging out backstage with (no lie) Screech and A.C. Slater. Seriously, I'm not making this stuff up, kids. It's too good.

So what other musical desecrations are out there that I'm forgetting to mention?



At March 14, 2007 2:19 PM, Anonymous wolfdog said...

"If I Can't Change Your Mind" - Train
"When The Stars Go Blue" - Tim McGraw
"Working Class Hero" - Ozzy Osbourne
"Bastards Of Young" - Jesse Malin

Four of my favorite songs interpreted in horrible ways.

At March 14, 2007 2:27 PM, Blogger Philco Brothers said...

I kind of like the Oasis cover. If you want to hear something really bad check out Rod's version of All Right Now or anything off his new album. Yeah how 'bout a list of the best and worst cover albums ever.

At March 14, 2007 3:49 PM, Anonymous Brad said...

Manfred Mann's Earth Band doing Springsteen's "Blinded By The Light." Ugh. "Wrapped up like a douche"?

Makes Mariah Carey's "Bringing On The Heartbreak" sound like a masterpiece.

At March 14, 2007 3:50 PM, Blogger B said...

I agree with them on Rod Stewart's rape and perversion of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train". Very few people can do a good cover of his music, and Rod isn't one of them (but neither is Scarlett Johansen".

At March 14, 2007 4:16 PM, Blogger Sarah N said...

Atomic Kitten - The Tide Is High

At March 14, 2007 4:52 PM, Anonymous Ian said...

panic! at the disco eleanor rigby

fall out boy roxanne

At March 14, 2007 5:23 PM, Anonymous Si said...

Love the post and the blog btw.
I guess in addition to those on the list i would add the following :
1)All Saints- Under the Bridge
2)Orgy-Blue Monday
3)Alanis Morissette-Crazy
4)G'n'R- Sympathy for the Devil
5)Fun Boy Three-Our Lips are Sealed (trainspotting sntrk 2)
And just for fun- Tori Amos- A total eclipse of the heart (she just lacks the passion)
Although I enjoy Talk Talk, I thought No Doubt did a good job with "It's My Life".

At March 14, 2007 6:04 PM, Blogger Frank said...

Not that this one is necessarily bad, but definitely one of the most head scratching, but have you heard the new bluegrass cover of Rick James' "Superfreak" by Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs? I'm a big Bruce Hornsby fan, but this sounds like something out of a very strange dream...I could see doing it live and improvising but I believe it's on the new cd...any thoughts?
But for plain horrible, I'd have to add Duran Duran's "White Lines" to the list...

At March 14, 2007 7:11 PM, Blogger Bryce said...

Bob Dylan should punch Sammy Hagar in the face for butchering Rainy Day Women. It's on Hagar's new album, which is a complete disaster as a whole. Jimmy Buffett is bad, but someone trying to rip Mr. Parrothead off is even worse!

Oh, and Mony Mony from Billy Idol sucks too.

At March 14, 2007 7:33 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

I seem to recall Rod Stewart's butchering of his music bringing some world class comments from Tom Waits though. I'm not certain but I think he described Downtown Train thus:
'So bad as to be almost unrecognisable.' and said of his shit karaoke attempt at Tom Traubert's Blues:
If I'd know he was going to sing it I never would have written it.

So it was worth suffering the butchering, just for those put-downs. The man's a legend!

At March 14, 2007 9:34 PM, Anonymous c said...

my least favorite cover. ever.

At March 14, 2007 9:46 PM, Anonymous amy said...

Hank Williams III's cover of Springsteen's Atlantic City is definitely one of the most offensive things i've ever heard.

At March 14, 2007 10:08 PM, Blogger Yon said...

I always thought William Shatner singing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was pretty bad. Then again "If I Had A Hammer" by Leonard Nimoy was no gem. I guess any Trekkie who sings could make the list. Or any singer on the 'Golden Throat' compilation.

At March 14, 2007 10:17 PM, Blogger Yon said...

Speaking of William Shatner... (did I bring him up?)... he has a new CD out since January 4th... and according to Amazon, over 200 folks think it's almost five star worthy..

Heather why haven't you been blogging Shatner? Is it age discrimination?

Beam me up.

At March 15, 2007 1:46 AM, Blogger el walto said...

Awww... I really liked Gwen Stephanie's version of "It's My Life" as well as the original Talk Talk version :(

However, and I know a lotta people might hunt me down for saying so, but I really disliked Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails "Hurt". He may be the Man in Black, but his dark side is good fun, not Nihilistic!

At March 15, 2007 6:46 AM, Blogger -tom said...

I'd say Jesse Malin's butchering of Bastards Of Young on his new disc more than qualifies

At March 15, 2007 8:08 AM, Blogger Matthias Treml said...

Heather, great post! A few years ago, I really got into Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole adn the jazz classics which are often dubbed "The American Songbook." I'd like to add all of Rod Stewart's cover versions. Not only did he bludgeon these great songs but he did it over and over and over again on 3 or is it 4 volumes now. Please STOP, someone STOP him. His voice is horrible on these tracks.

At March 15, 2007 8:26 AM, Blogger heather said...

Matthias, I agree completely. The other thing about Rod Stewart that MUST MUST be stopped is the gratuitous crotch-shot album covers. Dear good lord. Put that thing away.

At March 15, 2007 9:28 AM, Blogger Stephen K. said...

I have to say that this is a category that is at no loss for contenders. I think Dolly Parton's cover of 'Stairway to Heaven' although funny on many levels, is not on even more. the Ramones cover of 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain' also too much juxtaposition to work. And almost every cover by actors that really shouldn't be singing.

At March 15, 2007 12:52 PM, Blogger jojoware said...

I wasn't aware that Clay Aiken was pretending he could pull off Where the Streets Have No Name. Thanks for that, though it'll haunt me now. It's not that his singing is bad, he just doesn't have the passion.

As for me, i'd add Bono's version of Hallelujah because it just kills the song for me.

At March 15, 2007 1:44 PM, Blogger heather said...

jojoware, I actually like that Hallelujah by Bono because it's so different and sexy.

At March 15, 2007 1:47 PM, Blogger Lamestain HQ said...

I can't really criticize Madonna's cover of "American Pie," simply because the original is truly one of the most awful songs ever written. At least Madonna's version is shorter!

At March 15, 2007 5:51 PM, Blogger Sarah N said...

I love the Carpenter's tribute album, 'If I Were A Carpenter' but (and I can't even remember who does the song off the top of my head) but the version 'Rainy Days of Mondays' just sounds like his batteries are going flat.

At March 15, 2007 9:17 PM, Blogger SINEDDIE said...

Fun Boy Three-Our Lips are Sealed (trainspotting

i believe that's the original.....
the go-go's did the cover...me thinks....

At March 15, 2007 9:19 PM, Blogger SINEDDIE said...

it's got to be Back in the USSR by Lemmy from the butchering the beatles cd.

At March 17, 2007 11:41 AM, Anonymous ortholomeux said...

heather, that rod/oasis cover makes me bleed from my eyes. talk about sucking the life and joy out of something good...jeez.

At March 17, 2007 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rod Stewart's cover of Primal Scream's "Rocks" was pretty atrocious too. That man asbolutely cannot cover songs.

At March 18, 2007 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OCBoddity says:

Ever heard and survived Barbra Streisand's attempt at Bowie "Life On Mars?". That really makes you sick....

At March 20, 2007 4:24 AM, Anonymous Ash said...

Bob Dylan's version of Creep. That was lightyears worse than awful.


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