Cover Songs: The Good, The Bad and the Downright Ugly

Duchess ProzacDuchess Prozac Registered User regular
edited August 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
For a long while now, I have had a fascination with cover songs. I will go to great lengths to hear someone else's interpretation of a favourite song, or a cover by a favourite band, a job that's become so much easier since the advent of Youtube and Spotify

Over the years I've accrued quite a collection of favourites along with a good many that make me shake my head in embarrasment for the artist.

This thread is for you all to share with the rest of us some of your favourite cover songs, along with those you consider to be an abomination upon your ears

Some of my favourites:

Ministry: Under my Thumb (Rolling Stones)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM7boGB38gs

This cover is a recent addition for me but has gone straight into the top 5. It's not the best cover in the world, but it just sounds so good I can't help but get feel good when I hear it.

Therapy?: Dianne (Husker Du)

Spoilered just to be on the safe side
This cover strips the song right down to it's barest form with a cello being the sole instrument throughout and it makes the song about the kidnap, rape and murder of a young woman even more haunting.


Johnny Cash: Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o22eIJDtKho

Trent Reznor's version of this song is about drug use and depression and is a fantastic song in its own right, but when the elderly and dying legend Cash sings it, it takes on a whole new meaning. It's a retrospective of life from the point of view of man who has come to terms with owAn mortality and is just biding his time until his time comes. A true classic cover.


And now for the worst

Limp Bizkit: Faith (George Michael)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLaYpJavKvA

I don't rate the George Michael version as a good song anyway so to hear the gurning chimp with his balls in a vice try and sing/rap it it has the effect of fingernails down a chalkboard to me. Utterly terrible.

Duran Duran: White Lines (Grandmaster Flash)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmIN9ulmy-E

Duran Duran's career had peaked some 10 years earlier and so at the time they decided to release a cover's album no one really gave a shit. Which is a good job as the quality on the album would have been enough to sink their careers. Probably the worst example was this terrible cover of Grandmaster Flash's White Lines.

Megadeth: Anarchy In the UK (The Sex Pistols)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzFoFYPMG38&feature=avmsc2

I'm just going to let this one speak for its self. A shockingly bad cover by a band that really should have known better. At least their cover of No More Mr Nice Guy was pretty decent.

Now it's your turn. Try and refrain from just posting video's though, I'd like to see some discussion going on.

Duchess Prozac on
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Posts

  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    One interesting thing I have found is that people will like a song which is a cover when they really disliked the song original. A guy I knew really liked some rock version of the Rihanna song "Umbrella", but really disliked the original because "that kind of music sucks". Lyrics were identical.

    It makes me wonder how much we prejudice ourselves against musical styles. Is it because that is simply the style we have always listened to? Is there some kind of underlying racism? White guys can't listen to hip-hop/ pop, but if it is rock it is safe?

    It also made me wonder how many songs I liked that I would dislike if it were a different style. Lyrical content is important to me, so I needed to evaluate if what I liked actually had content, or if I was giving it a pass simply because it was of a style to which I was accustomed.

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  • plufimplufim Dr Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The good: Regina Spektor: Real Love (originally by John Lennon)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl8WJ5w8XUEI can only find this live, pretty sure she only breaks it out at her concerts and hasn't recorded it. I personally think her voice is even better suited to the song than Lennon's, but I'm sure a lot of people will see that as heresy.

    The baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad: All Saints: Under the Bridge (originally by Red Hot Chilli Peppers)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ux0EA-YDGkLike many girl bands of the late 90s "inspired" by the popularity of the Spice Girls, All Saints appeared and disappeared mercifully quickly. However, they managed to damage a true classic. RHCP's song is a heartbreaking and haunting song about drug addiction. All Saints version is awful auto-tuned meaningless tripe.
    One interesting thing I have found is that people will like a song which is a cover when they really disliked the song original. A guy I knew really liked some rock version of the Rihanna song "Umbrella", but really disliked the original because "that kind of music sucks". Lyrics were identical.

    It makes me wonder how much we prejudice ourselves against musical styles. Is it because that is simply the style we have always listened to? Is there some kind of underlying racism? White guys can't listen to hip-hop/ pop, but if it is rock it is safe?
    I don't think there's any underlying racism, but more resistance to change. You grow up listening to rock, then the music you're likely to enjoy would be rock or rock-inspired music. That's not to say people can't change their tastes, but they have to get over their initial prejudices.

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  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDBQCBK7gwg

    I love this so hard.

    EDIT: Holy Cats, Plu, that Regina Spektor cover of Real Love is fantastic!

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  • NartwakNartwak Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Here's a game: Find all the covers of Pure Imagination, then give them to me.

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  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I wonder how much we feel that bands have ownership of a song? If another band makes a cover that we don't like we say that it "has damaged a classic". Is a song a sacrosanct entity?

    Should one respect the original spirit of the song or should they be able to reinterpret it in whatever way they choose, death of the author style?

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  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I've taken a shine to this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQax-v67uuw

    And I almost like this more than the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh7r_f_rw0c

    Worst? Has to go to this piece of shit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQnDyphR1y0

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I find covers of hip-hop songs utterly fascinating.

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  • mynameisguidomynameisguido Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I was somewhat disappointed in Mates of State new album, which was an album of all covers. Some of them were fairly decent, but a lot of them didn't really fit their style and just didn't sound right ultimately.

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  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acULghgYUg0

    Actually makes it kind of a great song.

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  • deowolfdeowolf Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I have always hated the Metallica cover of Bob Seger's Turn the Page, but loved their rendition of Whiskey in the Jar.

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  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acULghgYUg0

    Actually makes it kind of a great song.

    That was surprisingly good. It's hard for me to tell which covers I'll like ahead of time, regardless of how I felt about the original. I honestly don't mind Britney Spears. Maybe I'll regret admitting that later.

    And I'm convinced Johnny Cash could have covered any song at all and it would sound fantastic.

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  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited July 2010
    One of few covers that is better than the original. All Along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AuxJH2Mj30&feature=related

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  • NocturneNocturne Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm at work right now so I won't be posting videos, but a couple of my favorite covers would have to be Cake's cover of I Will Survive and the Smashing Pumpkin's cover of Landslide.

    More will probably come to me.

    Edit: Oh fuck yes All Along the Watchtower is definitely one of the best covers of all time.

    Nocturne on
  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Absolutely Hendrix blew away Dylan on that song. That might be the most improved song I can think of in the transition to a cover.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I like the Africa cover, but I can't hear that song without thinking of Jeffster!

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  • Duchess ProzacDuchess Prozac Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    One of few covers that is better than the original. All Along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AuxJH2Mj30&feature=related

    I think I must be one of the only people in the world who prefers the Bob Dylan original.

    I just really don't like Hendrix's sound, in general, though.

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  • Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punk hedge witchRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    One of few covers that is better than the original. All Along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AuxJH2Mj30&feature=related

    I think I must be one of the only people in the world who prefers the Bob Dylan original.

    I just really don't like Hendrix's sound, in general, though.

    I like both versions. Actually, my favorite to listen to is the Battlestar Galactica cover, but that's just cos I'm a nerd.

    Mortal Sky on
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I find covers of hip-hop songs utterly fascinating.

    I like this one

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6D5xpCgETk

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  • Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User
    edited July 2010
    I like Blackmore's Night's covers. They have a bunch of good covers. I like most of them as much as the originals.

    The Times They Are a-Changin'
    Blackmore's Night

    Dylan's
    Don't they have a version that isn't from Watchmen on youtube?

    Diamonds and Rust
    Moonspell too. Mr. Crowley.
    Noddy's theme.
    It's all good.

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  • WazzaWazza Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I find covers of hip-hop songs utterly fascinating.

    I like this one

    Kinda like
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c745E7T_Wvg

    I've always found these types of covers kinda meh.

    Wazza on
  • NocturneNocturne Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The best cover of a hip hop song is Ben Fold's version of Bitches Ain't Shit

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Mortal Sky wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    One of few covers that is better than the original. All Along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AuxJH2Mj30&feature=related

    I think I must be one of the only people in the world who prefers the Bob Dylan original.

    I just really don't like Hendrix's sound, in general, though.

    I like both versions. Actually, my favorite to listen to is the Battlestar Galactica cover, but that's just cos I'm a nerd.

    Or because it's the best version.

    HamHamJ on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Nocturne wrote: »
    The best cover of a hip hop song is Ben Fold's version of Bitches Ain't Shit

    His cover of Such Great Heights is awesome.

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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Really though a lot of pop music has a pretty good core to it and it lends itself exceptionally well to covers.

    Like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8XK0AZZlug

    and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw4su3LK6ZU

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  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    It's Ben Folds. It pretty much has to be good.

    chasm on
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  • Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Good Riddance - Time of Your Life.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Speaking of Ben Folds related covers that are secretly awesome:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ainyK6fXku0

    Yeah, it's Shatner doing "Common People." What of it? (Folds produced that album, which is so bizarre)

    For reference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_N3CK-6CHk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjJDWdiFI24&feature=related

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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I have the somwhat controversial view that the Cleopatra "Industrial-Gothic Tribute to X" albums were awesome.

    They are much reviled by the populace at large. I am to scared to post anything that I like.

    However, I can say that the worst cover is Avril Lavinge covering Chop Suey by System of a Down. A terrible artist covering an even more terrible song = cover of terrible brilliance.

    Apothe0sis on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    That is an awesome song. Shatner wins.

    JebusUD on
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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Has Been is just an amazing album. I love pretty much the whole thing.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Shatner is the bestest ever.

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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Mortal Sky wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    One of few covers that is better than the original. All Along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AuxJH2Mj30&feature=related

    I think I must be one of the only people in the world who prefers the Bob Dylan original.

    I just really don't like Hendrix's sound, in general, though.

    I like both versions. Actually, my favorite to listen to is the Battlestar Galactica cover, but that's just cos I'm a nerd.

    Or because it's the best version.

    I suggested this within the Chat thread, back in the day and was howled down :(

    Apothe0sis on
  • TexiKenTexiKen pumped up Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Best cover ever. Fact.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW2J_UZ8lQU

    If you aren't nodding your head when DuBrow starts with "I don't know why" you ain't got no soul. There's a reason it got the album to #1.

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  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Absolutely ________ blew away Dylan on that song. That might be the most improved song I can think of in the transition to a cover.

    Seriously, I like Dylan, but in my experiance a fair few of his songs are just outclassed by the covers.

    Leitner on
  • HearthjawHearthjaw Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    plufim wrote: »
    The good: Regina Spektor: Real Love (originally by John Lennon)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl8WJ5w8XUEI can only find this live, pretty sure she only breaks it out at her concerts and hasn't recorded it. I personally think her voice is even better suited to the song than Lennon's, but I'm sure a lot of people will see that as heresy.

    I'm pretty sure theres a copy of that on youtube, you should also check out her cover of No Suprises (Radiohead)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXKDL6WD9CQ

    Theres a radioshow in Australia called Like a Version on triplj where they invite artists to do a cover. My favourite is the above one and Ben Folds doing "Such Great Heights"

    http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s2353493.htm

    Hearthjaw on
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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    How could I forget

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xk2g2_twisted-sisters-leader-of-the-pack_music

    ?

    It is awesome. Go Dee Snider Go!

    Apothe0sis on
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I like covers that completely change the genre

    like

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e01C3AqzjlE

    or

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltjbnyvq_SI

    I also like big butts and I cannot lie

    Scooter on
  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    And I'm convinced Johnny Cash could have covered any song at all and it would sound fantastic.

    I think that's what his last couple of albums were pretty much all about.

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  • GarrisGarris Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Im enjoying 5 Finger death Punch - Bad Company

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNHlVo0cPa8

    Garris on
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