In popular music, a cover version, or simply cover, is a new rendition (performance or recording) of a previously recorded, commercially released song...Cover songs, in my opinion, should only be done if the artist is creative enough to maintain the integrity of the original but improve upon it. Most attempts are copy cat or diabolically atrocious. Case in point is the reason I am writing about this today. I stumbled upon a Jonas Brothers' attempt at Aha's 'Take on Me." Really Joe, Kevin and Nick? I'm sure your fan base adore the invitation. Don't you love how the instrument playing brothers really rock out. Wooooo! Thrash that perfectly coiffed hair, boys.
Some covers outshine the original. The artists own it like they wrote it. The following examples are such endeavors. Naturally, this is just my opinion, but if you disagree I would appreciate you just shut yer pie hole. Oh, I will fight you ...
Katie Melua covers "Just Like Heaven" original by The Cure (yes, Rupe. You get a gold star for sharing this one.)
Johnny Cash covers "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails
The Holmes Brothers cover "I Want You To Want Me" original by Cheaptrick (thank you, Doug, for bringing this one to my attention recently.)
Jeff Buckley covers "Hallelujah" original by Leonard Cohen
Jimi Hendrix covers "Hard Days Night" original by the Beatles
Cyndi Lauper covers "Drove All Night" original by Roy Orbison
Adam Lambert's take on Gary Jules cover of "Mad World" originally by Tears For Fears
Willis covers "Word Up!" original by Cameo
While there are many remakes out there that are great, there is a vast number that are just horrid or plain freaktacularly weird renditions.
This one, for example, is not amongst the greats. It's ... strange.
Northern Kings have a truly scandalous version of "Don't Stop Believing" -- I don't recommend any hard core Journey or Steve Perry fans listen. Oh, bloody hell! Even if you've only heard the song once in your lifetime this version will have you reaching for a sharp instrument to jam into your earholes and follow with a dousing of isopropanol alcohol. It's as if Trans Siberian Orchestra and Queensryche had a late in life baby.
There are dozens of lists out there compiling the best and the worst, but I want your opinions. So, now it's your turn. What's your favorite cover tune? Which ones made your skin crawl from the very first chord? (I'm looking at you, Madonna -- "American Pie" needn't ever be covered, bitch!) I ask that you comment and leave links to your selections when possible.
UPDATE! My quest never ends to find the most shitarific covers known to man. You must click the upcoming link and give a listen. I promise if you're looking for a means of choking up that hedonistic platter of food you had for lunch, this'll do the trick.