Are these the worst cover versions ever?

28 March 2021, 20:00

David Bowie and Mick Jagger in the much-mocked Dancing In The Street video
David Bowie and Mick Jagger in the much-mocked Dancing In The Street video. Picture: YouTube

What happens when your favourite artists take on a classic... and fail?

  1. Happy Mondays - The Boys Are Back In Town

    In 1999, long after the Mondays' heyday, they released a Greatest Hits album and recorded this Thin Lizzy cover as a "bonus" track. You've heard better watching your dad do karaoke. With a broken microphone.

  2. The Farm - Don't You Want Me

    In 1992, the NME released a compilation album of covers to mark the paper's 40th anniversary. It's the home of some great tracks, but also the source of much comedy, particularly the Liverpool band's version of The Human League's 1981 Number 1 hit. It tries hard to be ironic, but fails spectacularly.

  3. Fall Out Boy - Love Will Tear Us Apart

    Joy Division recorded one of the most emotionally heart-wrenching songs of all time, but the US band's cover sounds like someone having a minor tantrum.

  4. Aerosmith - Come Together

    Recorded for the incredibly silly Bee Gees movie vehicle Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1978, this cover has a tenth of the swagger of the Beatles original and Steven Tyler makes a rough approximation of the lyrics.

  5. Travis - Baby One More Time

    Fran Healy claimed that this Britney Spears cover was first done as "a laugh", but it was when Travis began to take the tune seriously that everyone started to have doubts.

  6. Train - Light My Fire

    Hey, look - Drops Of Jupiter is a fine song… if you hear it at the right place and the right time. Preferably drunk somewhere, very late. But why have a go at The Doors?

  7. The Boo Radleys - The Queen Is Dead

    Forget Wake Up Boo!, the Scouse band were also well known for their impenetrable shoe-gazing soundscapes. So why not apply the My Bloody Valentine filter to the title track of The Smith's masterwork? You should hear THEM play piano! Ha ha.

  8. Guns N'Roses - Sympathy For The Devil

    Lifeless Stones cover from Axl Rose, which turned up on the soundtrack to Interview With The Vampire, of all things. Slash later called it "the sound of the band breaking up" - and he was right. It would be G N'R's last release for 14 years.

  9. The Cure - Purple Haze

    Robert Smith is a huge Jimi Hendrix fan), which makes this attempt at the rock legend's 1967 hit all the more perplexing. Recorded for a tribute album, The Cure's Purple Haze sees all the guitar buried underneath a cloud of sequenced percussion, samples and vocal effects. It's certainly different.

  10. Megadeth - Anarchy In The UK

    British punks winced when they heard Dave Mustaine's LA thrash metal outfit rip the heart and soul out of the legendary Sex Pistols call to arms. The story goes that Mustaine couldn't understand what John Lydon was singing, so he made up the bits he didn't quite catch.

  11. David Bowie and Mick Jagger - Dancing In The Street

    Yes it was recorded in a hurry and yes it was all for charity, but this Live Aid special is a prime example of how megastars can produce embarrassing music if they're not kept in check. Both Jagger and Bowie have produced incredible covers in the past, so you'd expect better of them.

  12. Korn - Another Brick In The Wall

    For their 2004 Greatest Hits album, Jonathan Davis' nu-metal heroes took on the Pink Floyd classic, kids choir and all. Not only did Korn cover Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (which was a No 1 hit at Christmas 1979), but they threw in Part 1 and Part 3, plus the following track from the Wall album, Goodbye Cruel World. Consider that well and truly covered, Roger Waters!