That’s right. Television isn’t the only medium that can produce spin-offs for their own financial gain. So can writers! You all may remember the recent post about cover songs being more popular than the original. This time we’re covering thirteen cover songs so bad that if given the choice between listening to it or spending an evening with Ann Coulter, you would really be between a rock and a hard place. So if you think Soulja Boi is insufferable (I for one do), then check out these tunes.
13. “Papa Don’t Preach”
Terminator: Kelly Osbourne
I think if the show “Glee” timed its story line a bit better, they could have belted this one out for their recent All-Madonna episode. Because let’s face it: Glee can really do no wrong. But Kelly Osbourne? In the words of Dave Chappelle when playing his hilarious player hater character Silky Johnson, “I got a song for you to sing. It’s called ‘Daughter Don’t Sing’.”
12. “Why Do You Build Me Up/”
Author: The Foundation’s
Assailant: Ol’ Dirty Bastard
This song was perfect for the ending montage of comedy classic “There’s Something About Mary.” Mary was a heartbreaker who left many a smitten dude in her path. And this song is pure 1960’s smooth that, if there wasn’t such a thing as Wikipedia, you’d just assume was put out by the fine folks at Motown Records. And forgive me for second guessing a late hip hop legend, but I have to ask? Why ODB?
11. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Poet: Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
Pest: Paul Anka
This is the calling card of the grunge generation. I think it’s a classic as well but it didn’t change my life like “The College Dropout” or the Alphabet Song did. Anyway, Paul Anka came in and just…CRUSHED IT. And not in a good way. Have some respect for the dearly departed and leave well enough alone, Paul Anka.
10. “Cat’s in the Cradle”
Balladeer: Harry Chapin
Butcher: Ugly Kid Joe
The original version, at its core, is about a growing up and taking a look at the relationship between father and son and how it can change over time. It’s about progression. Ugly Kid Joe’s version uses aggression to display regression thus making me want to suppress my face between two pillows. Once I suppress the air enough, I’ll go into duress and — I’ve digressed. This cover is horrible. Check it out. Or don’t.
9. “Shook Me All Night”
Arsonist: Celine Dion
The common theme of these songs is that they just aren’t pulled off respectably. Not just musically, but with other intangible’s (word left over from watching the NFL Draft). This one is intangible’s all the way. This song was written by a bunch of beer swilling rockers who you could easily see playing a set and then going back to their flat to run through a bunch of girls. So what happens when a power lunged French Canadian pop singer gets her hands on it? A veiny neck and lots of awkwardness. Thanks for that, Celine.
8. “Boots Were Made for Walkin'”
Crooner: Nancy Sinatra
Crap Weasel: Jessica Simpson
This will the first of a Simpson two-fer. The original of this song was only barely tolerable in “Austin Powers,” when it was used for the introduction of the Fem-Bots shooting “smoke out of their jumblies.” So if something is marginal, why bring it back? Well you can ask the same genius’ who thought adapting the “Dukes of Hazard” into a major motion picture starring Stifler, Simpson and a someone who is rich because he decided to staple his schnuts to his inner thigh. Jessica Simpson looks pretty tasty in the video, but this one gets the mute treatment otherwise.
7. “Take My Breath Away”
Treason-er: Jessica Simpson
Man, you have to be terrible to be a repeat offender on this list. “Top Gun” made this song a hit in the year of my birth (1986) and an unlikely appearance in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” re-confirmed the fact that this song is a capitol “c” CLASSIC. So naturally, Jessica Simpson ruined this like she ruined tuna for me so many years ago.
6. “When Doves Cry”
Singer: Prince and the Revolution
As a man who made a classic joint in his own right, Ginuwine should know when something is too perfect to be touched. “When Doves Cry”, a song that if you listen too close enough you’ll realize is sans bass line, is one of Prince’s signature singles. The only signature Ginuwine left on it was that of a second grader drunk on cough syrup who’s just learned cursive.
5. “Sweet Dreams
Balladeer: Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics
Bulldozer: Marilyn Manson
To be far, anything that Manson does is a big steaming pile of number two if you ask this guy. But in this case he took something that was just Drakaar Noire’d in 80’s goodness (drum machines, synthesizers, trippy video, brightly color hair for the singer) and turned it into 90’s industrial rock. And while that kind of music has its success stories (I’m talking to you, Smashing Pumpkins), Manson wasn’t it for me. Thumbs down, Manson. Put that in between your prosthetic boobies and shove it.
4. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
Pioneers: The Rolling Stones
Pariah: Britney Spears
This was so edgy. Brit is going out of her comfort zone of dance pop to record tackle straight-laced rock and roll classic. Next time, ignore Robert Frost and take the road most traveled. I’m not sure what parallel’s Spears saw between her own life and what the Stone’s were writing about but it failed. Badly. Did not pass go. Did not collect two million sales.
3. “American Pie”
Crooner: Don McLean
I guess the only way to get back at someone for butchering your song is to go out and butcher someone else’s. False. Two wrongs don’t make a right, Madonna. Kelly Osbourne just messed up a nice little pro-life number. You put your fangs into an American classic (I call it that despite not being able to STAND the original song). McLean wrote this about the plane crash of three rock and roll pioneers. Appropriate that this song crashed and burned as well.
2. “911 is a Joke”
Rapper’s: Public Enemy
Ear Rapist: Duran Duran
I’m sure when Chuck D wrote this, he imagined that it would one day inspire some disenfranchised youth sing about a similar message concerning law enforcement ineptitude. I don’t think five millionaire’s from the UK with feathered hair was quite the idea he had though. Just awful. Who knew that the genius’ behind Hungry Like the Wolf, Rio and The Reflex would take a turn like this. I’m sure Chuck D at least enjoys the royalty check.
1. “I’ll Be Missing You”
Scribe: The Police
Screw-up: Sean Combs
I refuse to use his latest nickname because he just fouled this one up real good, didn’t he? I know that he wanted to pay tribute to Biggie on this one. I get it. But I want to vomit every time I hear this song on the radio. So does Biggie. I PChatted him a little earlier (Paranormal Chat for all the uninformed) and he called this song “soft” with a bunch of emoticon frown’s accompanying it. So kudos to you, Sean. You built an empire by ruining a classic. You can’t stop. ‘Cause you won’t stop. But maybe you should stop.