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Top10 Awful Covers of Great British Songs

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Marc Turner
Some songs just shouldn’t be messed with. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 awful covers of great British songs. For this list, we’re focusing on the worst and most offensive covers of British songs we know and love. We’re looking for covers of original songs that have been officially released by the cover artist, not just performed as a “one-off” at a concert or unplugged session. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top10 Awful Covers of Great British Songs


Some songs just shouldn’t be messed with. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 awful covers of great British songs.

For this list, we’re focusing on the worst and most offensive covers of British songs we know and love. We’re looking for covers of original songs that have been officially released by the cover artist, not just performed as a “one-off” at a concert or unplugged session.

#10: “Another Brick in the Wall” by Korn (2004)
Original Artist: Pink Floyd (1979)


This Grammy-nominated song about over-strict schooling provided Pink Floyd with their only #1 on the US and UK singles charts. Part II of a three part series tackles the theme of rebellion, and that makes it an obvious choice for a metal band to cover.. Unfortunately, when Korn took it on they turned it into something screechy and repetitive. The nuances of the original are drowned beneath distorted guitars and crashing drums, and the guitar solo in the middle is a pale shadow of David Gilmour’s original. Never mind the kids, Korn should have left this song alone.

#9: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Ashley Tisdale (2008)
Original Artist: Rick Astley (1987)


OK, so this 1980s chart-topper might not be to everyone’s taste, but there is no denying its enduring popularity, and it's new millennium resurgence thanks in part to “Rickrolling”. But if you thought music didn’t get any cheesier than Rick Astley’s original, think again. Tisdale’s voice in the cover has been heavily auto-tuned, and she’s accompanied by an assortment of beeps and other electronic effects that are sure to make your ears bleed. Who knows, instead of being “Rickrolled” in future, you may get “Ashleyrolled”.

#8: “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Paris Hilton (2006)
Original Artist: Rod Stewart (1978)


TV personality, socialite, model: there are many ways to describe Paris Hilton – even in mixed company – but “singer” is surely not one of them. In 2006 she released her first – and thankfully only – studio album, and it included this terrible cover of Rod Stewart’s disco hit. Hilton once claimed that singing is what she is best at, but reviewers didn’t hold back in their criticism of her output, with one magazine calling her singing “shit”. Hilton strains every vocal cord to try to sound seductive, but she can’t compete with Stewart’s performance.

#7: “My Generation” by Hilary Duff (2004)
Original Artist: The Who (1965)


Immortal rock anthem covered by Disney starlet – what could possibly go wrong? Lots, as it turns out. This B-side to Duff’s single “Someone’s Watching Over Me” isn’t worthy even of being a Z-side due to its tinny drums and chaotic backing vocals. Worse, Duff changes the song’s iconic line “I hope I die before I get old” to “I hope I DON’T die”, thereby completely undercutting the track’s rebellious edge. Duff once admitted the song’s failings, saying she had made it sound too pop-y. No arguments here.

#6: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Flaming Lips feat. Miley Cyrus and Moby (2014)
Original Artist: The Beatles (1967)


Despite repeated denials by John Lennon, many people – including Paul McCartney, seemingly, on occasion – still believe this song is about drugs because of the initials “LSD” in the title. The Flaming Lips take those rumours and run with them, producing a cover that can only be appreciated by someone under the influence of powerful narcotics. The Flaming Lips’ version formed part of a tribute to the Sgt. Pepper album, but the song sounds more like a spoof than a tribute thanks to its slowed-down vocals and its bizarre electronic effects. Please, make it stop.

#5: “Faith” by Limp Bizkit (1998)
Original Artist: George Michael (1987)


Limp Bizkit have produced many lame covers in their time, and we almost gave the nod to their whining version of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes”. But even that can’t compare with the nu metal group’s destruction of George Michael’s hit “Faith”. The chorus isn’t sung, it’s screamed, and even then can barely hear the words over the racket in the background.Plus did we mention the record scratching? Limp Bizkit’s guitarist Wes Borland once admitted that George Michael hated the cover. He and everyone else.

#4: “True Faith” by George Michael (2011)
Original Artist: New Order (1987)


Synth pop group New Order was one of the most influential British bands of the 1980s, and “True Faith” was a hit for them on both sides of the Atlantic. George Michael covered the song in support of Comic Relief, and it’s fair to say this is not his finest hour. The track is so slow you’d think it was recorded at the wrong speed. And for some reason George Michael chose to distort his excellent vocals with a voice encoder that leaves him sounding more robotic than C-3PO.

#3: “How Soon Is Now?” by t.A.T.u (2003)
Original Artist: “The Smiths” (1985)


This song about social isolation is widely regarded as The Smiths’ most popular track. It’s been copied many times, even becoming the theme song for TV series “Charmed”, but the cover most people remember is by Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr once dismissed their version as “silly”, and it’s easy to see why. The emotion of the original has been stripped away, and when the duo hit the high notes, they sound like they’ve been sucking on helium. Alvin and the Chipmunks could tackle this with more dignity.

#2: “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” by Britney Spears (2000)
Original Artist: The Rolling Stones (1965)


This rock-and-roll hit by The Rolling Stones is considered one of the greatest tracks in history. Britney Spears’ cover of it ... not so much. The guitars in the original have been replaced with cheap synthesisers and a tinny beat, and Britney sounds as bored singing it as we feel listening to it. Spears notoriously performed the track at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, where she tarnished the song still further by doing this. Can’t get no satisfaction, Britney? Yep, know how you feel mate.

#1: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by William Shatner (2011)
Original Artist: Queen (1975)


If you are unfamiliar with the Shat's musical career, consider yourself lucky. His various albums stretch the definition of “music” to its absolute limits thanks to some truly bizarre covers of classics like “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, “Rocket Man”, and “Mr Tamborine Man”. For this list, though, we’ve gone with Shatner’s 2011 interpretation of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. With its combination of woeful singing and overdramatic spoken sections, it’s something you’d be embarrassed to hear in a karaoke club. It’s music, Jim, but not as we know it.
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