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Friday Five: Bad Covers of Great Songs

January 25, 2008
  1. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Britney Spears.  Okay, changing “how white my shirt should be” to “how tight my skirt should be” was a brilliant lyrical twist, but the only good cover of this Stones classic was done by Otis Redding.
  2. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Eric Clapton.  I’m a huge Clapton fan and a staunch defender of most of his music, but this one is just anemic and annoying.  To be fair, I don’t think there’s ever been a truly great version of this song but there’s no question that the song itself is awesome.
  3. Your Momma Don’t Dance and Your Daddy Don’t Rock And Roll – Poison / Smokin’ In The Boy’s Room – Motley Crue (Tie). I’m still not convinced they aren’t the same band.  Both versions sound like they just learned the riff that morning.  Also Radar Love by White Lion.
  4. Heart by Nick Lowe.  Yes, I will slam Nick (who can ordinarily do no wrong) for covering his own song.  The version from Rockpile’s Seconds of Pleasure was great; Lowe’s attempt at a reggae-inflected cover just drags on and on and on.  Oddly, the band on Nick the Knife was essentially Rockpile minus Dave Edmunds, but still….
  5. I Am The Walrus – Oasis.  Just wrong on so many levels, but I swear those raging egomaniacs sound like an exaggerated self-parody on this live cut.

Honorable mention goes to any surf music covered by Gary Hoey in that exaggerated Steve Vai – Joe Satriani type tone.  The guy is good, no question about that, but the sound just doesn’t match the song.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. The ArachNerd permalink
    January 25, 2008 9:34 am

    How do we always end up with only one the same? Interesting!

    I brought this topic up in the office this morning & it’s like a virus – people are bringing up all kinds of stuff that I forgot. Like RUSH’s entire cover album & Willie & Merle covering the Townes Van Zandt classic ‘Poncho & Lefty’ with strings & a choir… just wrong.

    Against All Odds by the Postal Service was also brought up, but even thought it is truly horrible, there are serious doubts as to whether or not the original can be called “great” either.

  2. January 25, 2008 10:44 am

    I think Clapton ruined his own song with his MTV Unplugged cover of “Layla.” Stripped all the passion out of it and turned it into a boring shuffle through the lyrics.

    You may disagree, of course, but I’m just sayin’.

  3. January 25, 2008 12:09 pm

    Your #2 selection reminds me of Clapton’s I Shot the Sheriff. If I had thought of that, it would have been on my list!

  4. Layman Erik permalink
    January 25, 2008 5:59 pm

    This category is too easy (or maybe too hard.) There are so many of them.

    I noticed this one recently.

  5. January 25, 2008 6:21 pm

    Consider yourself tagged! I am going to hold you to it! Go to my site to get the details. I am glad that our fellow bloggers (or blogger fellows!) are willing to participate. This is a pretty simple tag. Please let me know when you post – Jennifer

  6. Layman Erik permalink
    January 25, 2008 10:54 pm

    Follow up on the AC/DC cover.

    Shania’s might bother me also, but since her husband was turning the knobs for the original AC/DC album, I think she should get a pass. Agree?

  7. Layman Erik permalink
    January 25, 2008 10:54 pm

    Oops, I meant to put on the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHtuGMHWAf0

  8. January 26, 2008 12:54 am

    It’s me again Margaret, commenting on the post. I am a HUGE Beatles fan and I have to confess something; I bought Across the Universe. Confession #2; I also love love love Led Zepplin and I bought the Econium Cd. Does this mean I am not a purist in my music appreciation? I didn’t like Billy Idol’s remake of Monie Monie (sp.?)…..ok?
    Jennifer

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