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Another Top 10 Worst Cover Songs

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
A good cover song is hard to find. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for another top ten worst cover songs.   For this list, we’ll be looking at more of the worst cover songs in existence and ranking them based on not just their own merits, but the quality gap between it and the original. If you don’t see a cover song you think should have been on this list, be sure to check out the original Top 10 Worst Cover Songs.
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Another Top 10 Worst Cover Songs

 
A good cover song is hard to find. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for another top ten worst cover songs.
 
For this list, we’ll be looking at more of the worst cover songs in existence and ranking them based on not just their own merits, but the quality gap between it and the original. If you don’t see a cover song you think should have been on this list, be sure to check out the original Top 10 Worst Cover Songs.
 
  

#10: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (2004)
Fall Out Boy – Originally by Joy Division (1980)


 Yeah, Fall Out Boy, if you could just go ahead and NOT touch the classics, that would be great. Joy Division’s original is an iconic 80s track thanks to the instantly recognizable keyboard and bass melodies, and Ian Curtis’ bass-baritone vocals. The single was released one month after his suicide, and his pain is clearly conveyed through his performance. And then there’s this. Patrick Stump’s cliché teen rock angst is far inferior to Curtis’ genuine pain, and the angry sound found in the chorus, complete with a crescendo of drums and Stump’s forceful vocals, takes away from the personal and emotional sound of the original. Sorry FOB, but this song is not in your wheelhouse.
 
  

#9: “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (1999)
Sheryl Crow – Originally by Guns N’ Roses (1987)

 
 “Sweet Child o’ Mine” is a classic rock staple. Slash’s melodic and heartwarming guitar riff is one of rock’s most iconic, and Axl Rose’s vocals, while screechy as ever, are infused with layers of emotion, and the song truly stands out in the sea of classic rock. On the other hand, Sheryl Crow’s version is just…bland. It sounds like countless other acoustic rock songs, complete with rather indistinguishable chords in place of the iconic guitar riff. Crow’s vocals are stellar, we’ll give her that much, but we lose the edge and aggressive sound of the original.  It doesn’t help that it was first featured on the soundtrack for the lackluster 1999 Adam Sandler film “Big Daddy”.
 
 

#8: “Under the Bridge” (1997)
All Saints – Originally by Red Hot Chili Peppers (1992)

 
 “Under the Bridge” is one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ most distinguishable songs.  It features Anthony Kiedis’ signature blend of emotive and funky vocals, and it keeps things fresh by beginning rather understated before launching into Flea’s groovy bass line and choir vocals . It’s an instantly recognizable song, which is more than we can say for the All Saints’ version, which sounds just like every other pop R&B tune of the late 90s. It’s instantly … forgettable. Just water under the bridge. 
 
 

#7: “Seven Nation Army” (2012)
Marcus Collins – Originally by The White Stripes (2003)

 
 “Seven Nation Army” is a rock classic thanks to its stadium-rousing guitar riffs, thumping bass line, and Jack White’s hostile vocal performance. There’s a reason why it’s become a staple at sporting events – it has the ability to rile a crowd and get them pumped for battle.  And then “The X-Factor’s” Marcus Collins destroys all its power by turning it into a slinky pop tune.  Marcus’ soul-pop vocals don’t suit the song’s aggressive lyrical content, and the instrumentation results in party fun rather than antagonism. The lively production is great, but “Seven Nation Army” was not a great pick to showcase Marcus’ soul-pop sound .


 

#6: “One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)” (2013)
One Direction – Originally by Blondie (1979) and The Undertones (1978)

 
Dear God, One Direction, if you happen to get back together, please never cover a rock song again. They took on the 70s with Blondie’s  “One Way or Another” and The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” for this medley. As it was created for charity purposes, we can’t be too harsh on it, but still…bleh. The band’s poppy vocals are significantly tamer than Deborah Harry’s raspy, creepy performance, and “Teenage Kicks” seems shoehorned in for no reason whatsoever. On top of that, the music video for this disturbing song about a stalker shows the band in the shower, at various monuments, and performing for third-world children. Nothing about it makes any sense.
 
 

#5: “Back in Black” (2004)
Shakira – Originally by AC/DC (1980)

 
Shakira performed a cover of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” for her “Live & Off the Record” album, and it has absolutely no reason for existing.  It begins with a swing, coffeehouse sound, which is actually pretty interesting and original. But then the guitars blast, and what follows is a carbon copy of the original, only with Shakira’s borderline unintelligible vocals in place of Brian Johnson’s iconic screech. If you’re going to cover a song, at least put an original spin on it and make it your own. Shakira didn’t, and it just comes across as lazy, boring and bizarre. But hey, at least the band rocked.
 
 
 

#4: “Fuel” (2003)
Avril Lavigne – Originally by Metallica (1997)

 
  “Fuel” certainly isn’t Metallica at the height of their talent, but it’s still a powerful, hard-hitting song, complete with thunderous guitars, a kickass solo, and James Hetfield’s signature husky and energetic voice. And while Avril Lavigne certainly tries, she simply can’t match the original’s frenetic energy. She’s introduced as a “small woman who rocks big”, but it seems only one part of that is right. Throughout the song, Lavigne simply stands on stage and performs with the energy of a brick wall, like she was thinking about a gas bill she forgot to pay.  Despite the band’s lively attempt, it’s a boring performance of a high-energy song.
 
  

#3: “You Shook Me All Night Long” (2002)
Celine Dion & Anastacia – Originally by AC/DC (1980)




OK, you know what, new ground rule: no more covers of ANY track from the “Back in Black” album, especially if you’re just going to copy the songs verbatim. Like Shakira’s cover, this live performance from Celine Dion and Anastacia is a complete replica of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” only with the women’s country vocals. It does absolutely nothing original, the vocals aren’t interesting enough to distinguish it from the original, and the ladies perform with little energy or emotion. There is no reason for this to exist, so let’s pretend that it doesn’t.

 

#2: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1995)
Take That – Originally by Nirvana (1991)


 Covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is never a good idea,  even if you put an original twist on it like Daniel Johns.  Take That mistakenly performed Nirvana’s genre-changing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” live at Earl’s Court, and viewing it is just as cringe-worthy as anything Michael Scott has ever done. What were they honestly thinking? Covering this classic so soon after Cobain’s death was dumb enough, but they proceeded to crap all over his name with awful, amateurish guitar playing, painfully flat vocals, and a complete lack of energy. This is so bad it verges on surreal. 


 
 
 
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.


 “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (2008)
Miley Cyrus – Originally by Robert Hazard (1979), popularized by Cyndi Lauper (1983)
 
“Take on Me” (2000)
A1 – Originally by A-ha (1984)



  “911 Is a Joke” (1995)
Duran Duran – Originally by Public Enemy (1990)
 
 
 

#1: “Faith” (1997)
Limp Bizkit – Originally by George Michael (1987)

 
 Just like with “Behind Blue Eyes,” Limp Bizkit has made it abundantly clear that covering the classics wasn’t their forte. And yet ... Limp Bizkit and George Michael are about as incompatible as oil and water, and what results is a terribly lame rendition of Michael’s classic. Limp Bizkit have turned this timeless dance rock tune into a screaming mess of dated nu metal, complete with Durst’s whiny vocals, embarrassing screaming, and idiotic record scratching. We suppose it would be cool if you were 13-years-old, but for the rest of us, this is nothing but a shameful take on a classic song.
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