Respectful Insolence

Bad covers

In keeping my (temporary), retreat from medical blogging for the weekend, I thought you might enjoy as much as I did this list of the 100 Worst Cover Songs.

I do have a few objections, though. For one thing, I kind of like Marilyn Manson’s cover of Personal Jesus, which clocks in at #90. I don’t know why; I just do. It’s also just a travesty that the Lemonheads’ cover of Mrs. Robinson and Ugly Kid Joe’s cover of Cat’s in the Cradle are on the list. And how on earth could they put William Shatner’s cover or Rocket Man on the list? It was sheer genius! Just look:

I know I’ve posted this before, but the Shat rules!

But the stupidest part of this list is the #1, for two reasons: (1) if you redo a song that you’ve done before, it’s a remake, not a cover and (2) it’s a perfectly fine (albeit different) version of the song.

Besides, they left out the disco version of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven that briefly befouled the airwaves in the late 1970′s at the height of the disco era. Unfortunately (well, maybe not), I don’t remember the name of the band.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    June 30, 2007

    Orac spake:

    Besides, they left out the disco version of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven that briefly befouled the airwaves in the late 1970′s at the height of the disco era. Unfortunately (well, maybe not), I don’t remember the name of the band.

    I think you refer here to the mighty Wonder Band, who recorded Stairway to Love in 1979, including a disco version of Stairway.

  2. #2 Brett
    June 30, 2007

    Good call on #1 and #2, especially. Bad call on Pseudo Echo. That cover rocks. (I must agree with Orac re: Lemonheads and Ugly Kid Joe, also.)

  3. #3 Man Called True
    June 30, 2007

    Looking through that list, I realized I like half the songs it insults. By the end it became clear the guy was just trying to look “cultured”.

    Besides, the worst cover ever made was Powerman 5000′s “We have no idea what made this song work” cover of “Let the Good Times Roll” by the Cars.

    Still, all things considered this isn’t nearly as bad as that list I once saw of “100 Albums You Must Throw Out of Your Collection”. Any such list that includes Bitch’s Brew by Miles Davis and dismisses Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as unimportant (while calling the Beatles “limies”) automatically shoots itself in the head.

  4. #4 coz
    June 30, 2007

    I haven’t heard half those covers. May have to wait for a rainy day to go through them.
    They mocked Spock… Shame.I had that album, wish I knew where it was now.
    In the early 90′s 25 Aussie bands covered ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and they put it on CD. Rolf Harris’s version with Didgeridoo and wobble board is a hoot.

  5. #5 Interrobang
    June 30, 2007

    Whoever wrote that likely has not actually heard some of the worst covers of anything out there. Kick Pseudo Echo off that list and replace it with “Yesterday” done by Nana Mouskouri, please… Kick Marilyn Manson off that list and replace it with “Cinderella Rockafella” by Esther and Abi Ofarim (oh my gawwwwd!).

    It would probably be more interesting, I wager, to talk about covers that were better than the originals, in which case I nominate anything by Bob Dylan performed by anybody _other than_ Bob Dylan, Moog Cookbook’s version of Air’s “Kelly Watch the Stars,” and Rammstein’s version of Depeche Mode’s “Stripped.”

  6. #6 Tyler DiPietro
    June 30, 2007

    I also liked Manson’s cover of “Personal Jesus”, but then again I generally like his covers a lot better than his original work (IMO his lyrics are usually a bit clumsy, which is often nails on a chalkboard for me). I didn’t read through the whole list, but I certainly hope that Fear Factory’s cover of Gary Numan’s Cars isn’t on it. Judging by their hatred of Manson’s cover it’s not too much of stress that they also hate the former.

  7. #7 Anne
    June 30, 2007

    Dave S., it must be Wonder Band. I’m sure it wasn’t Little Roger & the Goosebumps’ “Stairway to Heaven/Gilligan’s Island.” That wasn’t disco at all.

  8. #8 Brian X
    July 1, 2007

    I’m surprised Michael Bolton’s unforgiveable butchering of “Dock of the Bay” was as low as it was. And also, where was Kenny G’s much-derided overdub of “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, the track that made Pat Metheney get all stabby and caused Richard Thompson to record “I Agree With Pat Metheney”, one of the funniest musical hatchet jobs I’ve ever heard?

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