Top 10 Weird Cover Songs

Posted on December 22, 2009
Views: 52,874

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisements

Sometimes, when you hear a cover version of an iconic song, you have to shout, What on Earth were they thinking? It’s all a matter of taste of course, but few covers improve on the original. Probably the best approach is to do a very different version and wow people with a leftfield sound. The following is a mix of the quirky, the charming, the funny, the outrageous, and the plain insane. After you read this, you may want to lie down in a darkened room. You have been warned.

1.

Paul Anka - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Original: Nirvana

Grunge meets Lounge Lizard. In 2005, Anka released Rock Swings, an album of swing jazz covers of pop and rock songs that includes The Cure, REM, and Soundgarden. In finger snapping, cabaret style, the aging and balding veteran turns Kurt Cobain’s beautiful piece of angst into kitsch. What has he got to be angsty about? Still in his suit, he is perfectly groomed and doesn’t go as far as roughing up his hair, (what’s left of it), or sporting a cardigan. Who knew there was a disaffected teenager trying to get out? He looks tremendously self-conscious, as he should be.

2.

Sid Vicious - My Way

Original: Frank Sinatra (English Language Version)

Originally a French song, Paul Anka wrote English lyrics and presented it to Frank Sinatra. It became Sinatra’s signature song and a staple at funerals. It has been covered numerous times and you either love or hate the punk version by the Sex Pistols’ bassist. The lyrics have a kind of screw you, I’ll do what I want, British Punk sensibility. Worthwhile just to watch Sinatra fans squirm.

3.

Rolf Harris - Stairway to Heaven

Original: Led Zeppelin

Known for his quick fire drawing and recordings of Waltzing Matilda and Two Little Boys, the Australian performer embraced a new audience with his surprise inclusion at the Glastonbury Festival. His tongue in cheek rendition of the rock classic has a certain charm and his didgeridoo solo and wobble board accompaniment take Stairway to Heaven to places that Led Zep never dreamed of.

4.

Pat Boone - Enter Sandman

Original: Metallica

Rock ‘n’ Roll blew Boone and others like him out of the charts in the ‘60s but the clean cut singer and actor has maintained a career over the decades. Known for his Christian activism and right wing politics, nothing could prepare the world for his album of heavy metal covers. Pat Boone goes over to the dark side. Be afraid, be very afraid. The album cover shows the crooner with an earring in his ear, displaying a bare chest, and looking like he’s just got off his Harley. The song’s arrangement has some nice jazzy instrumentation. If only he’d shut up. There’s a speaking part that is just plain creepy. Sleep with one eye open, indeed. This song could actually give you nightmares. His album of Marilyn Manson songs is scheduled for release in 2010. Sorry, I made that bit up.

5.

Scissor Sisters - Comfortably Numb

Original: Pink Floyd

There is no sense of the alienation present in Pink Floyd’s masterpiece from The Wall. The falsetto vocal and disco backing render it harmless. It’s all rather dreamy and pleasant and is almost unrecognizable, but for the lyrics. Inexplicably, the song’s video shows a lot of cavorting in the water with jellyfish and a shark.

6.

Peter Sellers - A Hard Day’s Night

Original: The Beatles

Peter Sellers became an international star as a comic actor and he also released several comedy records. The Beatles were fans of Sellers and their record producer, George Martin had worked with him in the 1950s. Martin produced him again on the Beatles’ covers, closing a neat circle in his career. Sellers performed versions of She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love, and Help! but A Hard Day’s Night was the most popular release, the lyrics spoken in the style of Lawrence Olivier’s portrayal of Shakespeare’s Richard III.

7.

Children of Bodom Oops!… - I Did It Again

Original: Britney Spears

Britney and a Finnish heavy metal band. What a combination. Lead singer, Alexi Laiho, turns in a fine vocal or he sounds like he’s trying to cough up phlegm, depending on your point of view. The song goes into a conventional pop chorus for a while, which is quite jarring. Startling but entertaining.

8.

Max Raabe & Palast Orchestra - Kiss

Original: Prince

Bandleader Max Raabe hails from Berlin and performs his own brand of 1920s and 1930s style, German dance music. The orchestra’s most well known recordings are their covers of famous pop songs. They also do a version of Oops!…I Did It Again and they cover the Tom Jones song, Sex Bomb. Raabe has a cult following and performed at the Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese wedding. This version of Kiss is sophisticated but strangely sinister.

9.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Anarchy in the UK

Original: The Sex Pistols

The UK orchestra has toured the world and appeared at Glastonbury Festival, charming audiences with their ukulele versions of pop classics, such as Bowie’s Life on Mars and The Who’s Pinball Wizard. You can’t help smiling at their gentle version of the Sex Pistols’ punk anthem with its sing along chorus. I guess anything sounds harmless on a ukulele.

10.

William Shatner - Mr. Tambourine Man

Original: Bob Dylan

Is he an icon? Yes. Is he a fine Captain of the Enterprise? Certainly. Is he a singer? No. The Shat recorded an entire album of eccentric interpretations that include Dylan’s dreamy classic and the Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

He’s obviously ingested too much space dust, causing him to stress all the wrong words and perform like a lunatic. Why is he shouting at the end? The poor Tambourine Man is trying to get away. He’s running for the hills! Run, Tambourine Man, run!

Written by Anne Iredale – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com

Advertisements
Random
Loading...

Latest Articles

15 Myths About History You Probably Believe

15 Myths About History You Probably Believe

It turns out that a lot of what you were reading in history textbooks was wrong, and some of the things you believe are either skewed by false information passed down through the...

8 Prettiest Nations in Europe

8 Prettiest Nations in Europe

It might be hard to tell the difference between women in Europe, but every man with a keen eye will tell you exactly why these nations have the prettiest women.

13 Things You Didn’t Know About the Lord of the Rings Movies

13 Things You Didn’t Know About the Lord of the Rings Movies

The Lord of the Rings will go down as one of the greatest movie trilogies in history, and this year Peter Jackson’s follow-up trilogy The Hobbit will be coming to a close as...

13 Crazy World Records You Won’t Believe People Bothered to Set

13 Crazy World Records You Won’t Believe People Bothered to Set

These are the people who work on breaking and re-breaking world records that no one in their right mind would ever even consider as a legitimate thing. You know, the records that...

13 Famous Fictional Characters You Didn’t Know Were Based on Real People

13 Famous Fictional Characters You Didn’t Know Were Based on Real...

Through all mediums of entertainment - music, movies, books, and so forth - we get attached to the truly great, fleshed out characters who just jump off the page or screen and...

14 Painfully Awkward Family Photos You Have to See to Believe

14 Painfully Awkward Family Photos You Have to See to Believe

No one likes sitting down and taking family photos. After all, it’s always such a weird feeling to have a photographer posing you just a little too close to your siblings and...

13 Incredible Pictures You Won’t Believe Were Done in Pencil

13 Incredible Pictures You Won’t Believe Were Done in Pencil

Throughout time, people have produced incredible art. It’s amazing what people can do with various mediums, from oils, to charcoal, and even, amazingly, the simple pencil. While...

12 Homes for People Who Never Want Visitors

12 Homes for People Who Never Want Visitors

Sometimes, solitude is an absolute delight. It’s okay to be social and friendly most of the time, but now and then you just want to have some time to yourself. And let’s not...

17 Rarely Seen Pictures of Celebrities - History in Pictures

17 Rarely Seen Pictures of Celebrities - History in Pictures

It’s really difficult not to fall into a trap of using cliché phrases like ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and similar while watching these old photographs below. Just...