Worst covers you've heard?

What are some of the worst cover versions of songs you’ve ever heard? I heard Debbie Gibson murder “Piano Man.” Motley Crue’s version of “Jailhouse Rock” sucks, too. So, other than sampling (and here I’m thinking of Puffy) or using the same music with different words (and here I’m thinking of Jessica Simpson or whoever stole Jack and Diane). Madonna’s "American Pie sucked balls, too. Any others?

Elvis’ “Yesterday” comes to mind but the two that stick in my mind most (worst) was William Shatner’s album and “Pat Boone Sings Heavy Metal”.

I’m positive we’ve done this thread before, but I’ll throw one in that I just heard.

Rammstein’s cover of Pet Semetary as a tribute to the Ramones…sounded exactly like Tanto, Frankenstein and Chris Farley singing Feliz Navidad.

i’m a big enough fan that I can admit, sometimes…good germans make bad choices.


Do I win any brownie points for informing you that I’m German? On my dad’s side, at least.

I’m still amused (haunted?) my the memory of Dolly Parton’s cover of REO Speedwagon’s Time for Me to Fly. She sped tempo up several undeserved notches and sings the song in a very high squeak…with banjos playing the melody line…

How about Sheryl Crow doing “Sweet Child O’ Mine”


I heard on the radio someone recently covered Kids In America . . . sounds mostly the same, just with a few unexpected touches thrown in to completely distort my sense of reality.

I think it’s a toss-up (and I choose the word advisedly) between Mae West’s Rock’n’Roll album, and Ethel Merman’s Disco album.

Note that I love the Misses West and Merman . . . But SOMEone should’ve told them!

Bananarama’s version of Venus
Bananarama’s version of Nathan Jones
Bananarama’s version of Na Na Na Na kiss him goodbye.
Bananarama’s version of Last thing on my mind.
Bananarama’s version of Once in a lifetime

hmm, casdave, do I detect a pattern there? :wink:

I will vote for any cover that simply copies the song without making any attempt to bring anything new to it. Any cover that you don’t even realise is a cover until the vocals kick in.

Sadly, that seems to account for about three-quarters of the charts these days.

Oh, and I’ll also put in a vote for the Power Station’s “Bang A Gong”. An absolutely repulsive rendition.

I like Pearl Jam just fine, but I hated hated hated the cover of “Last Kiss”.

Then again, I hate the original too.

Oh, come on… The mentions above are pretty horrific (especially Sheryl Crow… I shudder every time I hear that song), but the worst ever has to be that vocal atrocity that Madonna committed on a perfectly good Don McLean song – “American Pie”. One of my favorite songs (and a bar favorite at the college bars I spent my undergrad days in). When I first heard Madonna mangling one of the most-loved songs of my early adulthood, I just about burst a blood vessel in my brain. Couldn’t she just stick to “Respect Yourself”?

I’ll give you an assignment.

Walk into Old Navy. Listen carefully.

It always gives me the hives. The last one I paused to identify what was annoying me was “Under the Boardwalk” done by a bubble gum girlie group. Fast and bouncy with pop noise for instrumentals.

(Note: I enter Old Navy for one reason. They use the worlds most wonderful fabric for T-shirts. Be forwarned though, they also have this idea that 90% of humanity wears a size 2.)

Old Navy has a constantly running soundtrack of covers of good songs by horrible bands. It add to the surreal atmosphere of consumption.

Back in the early 90s, a band called Overwhelming Colorfast included on their debut a cover of The Beatles’ “She Said, She Said.” Apparently, though, they missed the day that time-signature changes were covered in Little Alternative Musicians class, because they completely blew the 3/4 sections. They played a straight 4/4 all the way through.

Vitamin C should be given a Cask of Amontillado-style punishment for her recent abominable version of the Waitresses’ classic, “I Know What Boys Like.”

I was unable to get through the whole song, but the first minute or so of Britney Spears’ rendition of “Satisfaction” horrified me. Not a guitar in the mix, as far as I could tell!

I’m fighting through a massive mental block to mention this, but the all-time low of cover songs is Poison’s cover of…damn…must punch through…resistance…a Kiss song, I think. I’d like to be specific, but the memories are hurting me too much. Something about partying all night. :eek: OH GOD. IT’S ROCK’N’ROLL ALL NIGHT.
i’m sorry i had to mention that
please forgive me
Sadly enough, I wasn’t faking that for comedic effect.

Oh my good lord in sweet heaven above–do you mean the one that appears on the Less Than Zero soundtrack? Oh god. Oh god. The pain! THE PAIN! It’s bad enough that I hate Kiss’ version of the song… This Poison version is beyond what any human should have to endure. Where’s the screaming skull smilie when you need it?

It is beyond the awfulest levels of awfuldom (and offaldom) in the history of awfulness.

And I hate you for the rest of the day for reminding me of it.

Rita Coolidge bastardizing Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher”

Heart positively perforated the Zep classic Battle of Evermore. I think I am going to have nightmares about it tonight. Again.

Marilyn Manson, Sweet Things are Made of These.