Cracked.com has just put together a fine list of The 20 Worst Cover Songs In Pop Music History. They’ve posted either YouTube videos or snippets of the songs with each entry, so if you get a chance, check them all out to remind yourself just how horrendous most of them actually are.
While all 20 are almost guaranteed to make your mouth water with the onset of nausea, you’ve got to give most artists credit for trying. Covering a song is ballsy for any band. Recording said cover, even ballsier. As the chosen cover is, more often than not, a popular past or present hit song which is known and beloved by the masses, it’s got about an 87% chance of complete failure. And within that 13% chance of success, the band is, for the most part, damned-if-they-do and damned-if-they-don’t in their execution of the song. Choosing to essentially remake the song, chord-for-chord, lyrical-note-for-note, will bring the band critism from some corners of the music scene. Taking the route of re-imagining the song, the band puts themselves at a much greater risk of squeezing out a steamer, but is generally hailed for their original arrangement. Falling into the “Not So Hailed” category is Celine Dion doing her best(?) Angus Young impression during her debaucherous rendition of “You Shook Me All Night Long”. As Kevin Hill and the Cracked gang put it in the truest sentence I’ve read on the internet thus far this year…”you will be haunted by the image of Celine Dion playing air guitar for the rest of your days.”
As an example of a great re-arrangement, it’d be remiss of me not to share with you this gem of an OutKast cover. “Hey Ya!”, and pasty white, bearded fat men for that matter, have never been sexier. Matt Weddle manages to turn me on enough with his rendition to make me want to check out his band Obadiah Parker. Maybe later. Or never.