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Author Topic: Worst covers thread  (Read 9970 times)

A_S00

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Worst covers thread
« on: 29 Apr 2014, 23:32 »

Looks like we're bored of the thread about good covers.  Let's talk about shitty* covers!

*The category of "shitty covers" may include, but is not limited to:
  • Covers that are actually shitty.
  • Covers that are so similar to the original that there is no reason for them to exist.
  • Covers that are okay, but are so much worse than the original that it's insulting.
  • Covers that don't suck, but misinterpret the original in an offensive or stupid way so they feel like a betrayal.
  • Covers that would be good except for some boneheaded lyric change that was made for no reason.
  • Covers that can't help but suck because the original sucked so hard.
  • Whatever else you want to whine about, so long as it's a cover.
-----

My submissions:
  • Titus Andronicus covers They Might Be Giants' Birdhouse in your Soul - Seriously, what the fuck happened here?  All the other AV Undercover covers are pretty professional.  This sounds like the guy who's so bad at singing that you always "forget" to invite him out for karaoke night.  And then fucking terrible mixing on top of that.
  • Pomplamoose covers Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson - I actually really like Pomplamoose, but their attempt to cut back on the cool production gimmicks that usually round out their style just doesn't work for this song...it ends up sounding like some guy and his girlfriend busted out the guitar one night and made a mediocre youtube cover, not like an actual band.  Fortunately, they got it right on Single Ladies.
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover The Rentals' The Love I'm Searching For - Maybe what's going on here is just that I like The Rentals' style a lot better than that of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but I don't see what the point of this cover is.  They've taken a pretty good song, removed the stuff that made it interesting (vocal harmonies, cool synths, rock violin), and (SURPRISE) it ends up being kind of boring.
  • Walk Off The Earth covers Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know - Okay, so the five-person guitar thing is a cool gimmick.  And it's a really technically impressive cover.  What bugs me is that it's practically indistinguishable from the original if you're not watching the video.  I mean, you can tell the difference if you listen to them back to back, but when one comes on the radio, I don't know which one it is for tens of seconds into the song.  Given that most of their other covers are vast improvements over the originals, I expect better from WOTE.
  • Los Colorados cover Katy Perry's Hot and Cold - Although, I'll admit, I often find myself singing this and I don't understand why.
-----

Now you!
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #1 on: 30 Apr 2014, 00:52 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song? But more annoying in examples where the lyrics have to get clunkily changed. Someone covered 'Big Yellow Taxi' and changed 'old man' to 'girlfriend' which doesn't even approach rhyming with the original fucking lyric.

Bob Dylan covers are a subgenre of their own, but for examples of both good and bad I reviewed a four disc collection for Amnesty International here.

Also, the Lemonheads' cover of Mrs. Robinson is enough to get them locked up.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #2 on: 11 May 2014, 12:59 »

brittany spears' song Oops, I Did It Again is actually a cover of a little known Louis Armstrong song.

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #3 on: 11 May 2014, 13:07 »

What the absolute fuck!
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #4 on: 11 May 2014, 13:08 »

No way in hell is that true.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #5 on: 11 May 2014, 14:25 »

It's not, I had to look it up. http://www.supermasterpiece.com/music/oops.html Warning: Link makes noise.
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In 2005, the comedy website Super Master Piece released parody version of "Oops!... I Did It Again" titled "Oops I Did It Again!: The Original", which they jokingly labeled as the original recording by Louis Armstrong on April 1932 in Chicago, Illinois; their version was actually recorded by Shek Baker.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #6 on: 11 May 2014, 15:37 »

huh, well i guess they fooled me.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #7 on: 11 May 2014, 15:38 »

the fake louis armstrong version is still better though
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #8 on: 12 May 2014, 16:41 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song?
What about Joplin's version of "Me and Bobby McGee"?  She gender-swapped it, but hers is practically the definitive version.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #9 on: 12 May 2014, 17:27 »

Shitty cover: Rod Stewart's cover of... well, pretty much anything he's ever covered. There is no song that Rod Stewart can't make worse by covering.

However, the absolute worst of the worst may be his cover of "Pinball Wizard". It's so bad it's hilarious. I laughed so hard I could barely breathe.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #10 on: 13 May 2014, 01:20 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song?
What about Joplin's version of "Me and Bobby McGee"?  She gender-swapped it, but hers is practically the definitive version.

Well obviously my main issue is from a gender enlightenment perspective, and I can't be too sniffy about someone 45-odd years ago swapping the genders when even I was far from enlightened as recently as two years ago, admittedly.

It's more that you end up just destroying the lyrical integrity of the song a lot of the time, as in my example with 'Big Yellow Taxi.' I'd love to cover 'Video Games' by Lana Del Rey, and I absolutely wouldn't change the genders in that song, apart from anything else it references sun dresses and shit, not that it matters if cis-men want to wear dresses or anything, but the song is the song. It shouldn't need to matter in this day and age, particularly when changing it due to your own prejudices can ruin the lyrics.

As for Rod, I like some of his songs, but he really is appalling and covering things. I can't think of a single thing he's covered where I prefer his version.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #11 on: 13 May 2014, 07:48 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song? But more annoying in examples where the lyrics have to get clunkily changed. Someone covered 'Big Yellow Taxi' and changed 'old man' to 'girlfriend' which doesn't even approach rhyming with the original fucking lyric.


I fucking HATE when they do that. If it doesn't rhyme/fit/work, leave it out. I'm not even a musician and I can figure that shit out.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #12 on: 13 May 2014, 07:52 »

I once heard a female group singing a cover of Cee Lo Green's Fuck Forget You and they did some gender switching but not for every part of the song which was really distracting.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #13 on: 13 May 2014, 22:25 »

Another category:  covers that mess up the rhyme scheme for no fucking reason.

Worst offender:  Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover of Somewhere over the Rainbow.  Listen to the first fucking couplet, then rage-close the tab.

*edit* Correct link, courtesy of J.

There's also a cover of Peggy-O by an Irish folk band I like called Siucra, where they've changed one verse to:

In a carriage you will ride go pretty Peggy-O
In a carriage you will ride go pretty Peggy-O
In a carriage you will ride go with your true love by your side
As fair as any maiden in the are-o


It's a really nice cover other than that, but WHAT WAS WRONG WITH FUCKING "RIDE?"  DID YOU HAVE A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE INVOLVING RHYMING AT A YOUNG AGE OR SOMETHING?  C'MON!
« Last Edit: 24 Jun 2014, 23:09 by A_S00 »
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #14 on: 14 May 2014, 12:25 »

So ironic.  An hour after reading this thread I come across Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs cover of Maggie Mae.  I figured Sweet would sing.  I was wrong.

No pronouns or names changed as far as I could tell.

And yes, it was better than RS's version.
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BeoPuppy

Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #15 on: 20 May 2014, 07:04 »

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #16 on: 20 May 2014, 19:03 »

That's just weeeird.
That's...definitely weird, alright.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  The vocals were...well, honestly more similar to the Leonard Cohen version than I was expecting, given the instrumentals.  Which isn't necessarily a good thing; he could never sing, and this song is from his awkward 80's "oh shit synthesizers are a thing" phase, which was probably the low point of his career.  But I think the song actually lends itself pretty well to the scary metal vibe (especially with the "what happened to your sister" > "what happened to my sister" lyric change, which makes it even more sinister).

Mixed feelings.  Definitely like R.E.M.'s version better.
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BeoPuppy

Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #17 on: 20 May 2014, 22:22 »

I think this band, which I like, should never have gone near any of this man's work.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #18 on: 24 Jun 2014, 18:28 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song?
What about Joplin's version of "Me and Bobby McGee"?  She gender-swapped it, but hers is practically the definitive version.

Well obviously my main issue is from a gender enlightenment perspective, and I can't be too sniffy about someone 45-odd years ago swapping the genders when even I was far from enlightened as recently as two years ago, admittedly.

It's more that you end up just destroying the lyrical integrity of the song a lot of the time, as in my example with 'Big Yellow Taxi.' I'd love to cover 'Video Games' by Lana Del Rey, and I absolutely wouldn't change the genders in that song, apart from anything else it references sun dresses and shit, not that it matters if cis-men want to wear dresses or anything, but the song is the song. It shouldn't need to matter in this day and age, particularly when changing it due to your own prejudices can ruin the lyrics.

while i totally get where you're coming from one the social politics angel, i have to disagree on the artistic angel. when adapting an existing work, i think that an artist should never be afraid to adapt it; keeping what they want to keep & changing what they need to change in order to make it their own. if i wanted a version that was 'true' or 'authentic' to the original song, i would listen to the original song.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #19 on: 24 Jun 2014, 18:28 »

Another category:  covers that mess up the rhyme scheme for no fucking reason.

Worst offender:  Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover of Somewhere over the Rainbow.  Listen to the first fucking couplet, then rage-close the tab.

a few things:

1) the version of the song you linked to is not actually Bruddah Iz. it is ironically enough a cover being sung by the owner of the youtube channel, who really should have more clearly labeled it as such. Iz's (far superior) version is here

2) the song in question (by Iz) is really not a cover, it's a medley; a creative blending of several different songs into one.

3) please refer to above post regarding my opinions on artists adapting things in their adaptations

4) it's a fucking beautiful song.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #20 on: 24 Jun 2014, 19:00 »

Limp Bizkit's version of Behind Blue Eyes
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #21 on: 24 Jun 2014, 22:08 »

Sheryl Crowe's cover of D'yer Mak'er is pretty god awful atrocious. 

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #22 on: 24 Jun 2014, 23:07 »

Another category:  covers that mess up the rhyme scheme for no fucking reason.

Worst offender:  Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover of Somewhere over the Rainbow.  Listen to the first fucking couplet, then rage-close the tab.

a few things:

1) the version of the song you linked to is not actually Bruddah Iz. it is ironically enough a cover being sung by the owner of the youtube channel, who really should have more clearly labeled it as such. Iz's (far superior) version is here

2) the song in question (by Iz) is really not a cover, it's a medley; a creative blending of several different songs into one.

3) please refer to above post regarding my opinions on artists adapting things in their adaptations

4) it's a fucking beautiful song.

1.  Well, that's embarrassing.  The version I linked isn't where I originally heard it; I was remembering it when making the post, then did a quick google to find an appropriate link, listened for a few seconds, went "yep, that's got messed up lyrics like I remember," and linked it.

2.  I just re-listened to the correct version.  I don't hear portions of any song other than Somewhere Over the Rainbow...?

3.  My problem is not that it's been adapted (that is, that it's different from the original), but that it has been changed in such a way that it no longer works as a song.  The sentences are no longer sentences, the rhymes no longer rhyme.  While there are plenty of non-rhyming, non-sentence lyrics that do work, these ones just sound painfully awkward and messed up, like an essay whose paragraphs have been haphazardly cut and pasted into a random order.

4.  As (3), I disagree.  I mean, dude can sing and play, no argument there.  He's a great musician.  But I think this cover totally fails as a song.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #23 on: 25 Jun 2014, 00:55 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song?
What about Joplin's version of "Me and Bobby McGee"?  She gender-swapped it, but hers is practically the definitive version.

Well obviously my main issue is from a gender enlightenment perspective, and I can't be too sniffy about someone 45-odd years ago swapping the genders when even I was far from enlightened as recently as two years ago, admittedly.

It's more that you end up just destroying the lyrical integrity of the song a lot of the time, as in my example with 'Big Yellow Taxi.' I'd love to cover 'Video Games' by Lana Del Rey, and I absolutely wouldn't change the genders in that song, apart from anything else it references sun dresses and shit, not that it matters if cis-men want to wear dresses or anything, but the song is the song. It shouldn't need to matter in this day and age, particularly when changing it due to your own prejudices can ruin the lyrics.

while i totally get where you're coming from one the social politics angel, i have to disagree on the artistic angel. when adapting an existing work, i think that an artist should never be afraid to adapt it; keeping what they want to keep & changing what they need to change in order to make it their own. if i wanted a version that was 'true' or 'authentic' to the original song, i would listen to the original song.

I don't agree with that entirely. You can adapt a song to have a different meaning to make a point - say, The Cribs' cover of 'Back To Black' which seemingly turns it into a murder ballad just by tone - but arbitrary lyrical changes because 'oh shit! I'm not a girl' are completely different. That's not adapting it. That's laziness, that's stupidity, that's ignorance - and perhaps most damningly of an artist, it's not very artistically daring either.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #24 on: 15 Jul 2014, 15:02 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song?

This gives me an excuse to post the video where I took the ridiculous footage from one of the band's music videos and re-edited it (badly) to go with their ridiculous cover of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl". Credit where credit is due, however, they didn't change the gender in any of the lyrics. Sadly, this will probably be the most popular video I ever upload, currently at 2.6 million views.

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BeoPuppy

Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #25 on: 14 Jan 2015, 02:04 »


I'm on a Cohen cover trip.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #26 on: 14 Jan 2015, 03:25 »

Limp Bizkit's version of Behind Blue Eyes
Hate limp bizkit or not, that cover is actually pretty good imo!
« Last Edit: 14 Jan 2015, 18:46 by Edguy »
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #27 on: 14 Jan 2015, 04:57 »

I agree. Better than the original.

But then, I don't like ... that band.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #28 on: 14 Jan 2015, 06:03 »

Limp Bizkit were actually quite good at covers, at least when it came to making songs distinctive and making them sound like themselves instead of being a by-the-numbers cover that may as well not have happened.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #29 on: 15 Jan 2015, 12:41 »

I am still battling myself over this one, but considering that the original was trash AND the cover is purposefully made trash and similar to the original, I'll put it here. It's what Astrud would've liked.

Now, there are some really really subtle lyric changes on Astrud's cover of Paradisio's "Bailando". The ones that change the lyrics from "party craze" to "hard drug withdrawal". Two words change btw.

It's absolutely trash, but I love it. Plus, it's fun when you know both versions and know what both say.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #30 on: 16 Jan 2015, 10:32 »

Two shitty (in my opinion) covers that became more popular than the originals.


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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #31 on: 18 Jan 2015, 00:06 »


I like most things about this cover, but there are two lyric changes that really bug me:

"...in the 1970's" > "...in the twentieth century" feels pretty forced.

"...and I felt like getting high" > "...and I felt like I could cry" is just trying way too hard to keep it PG.  Is wanting to get high when feeling despair really so risque you can't say it, ladies?
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BeoPuppy

Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #32 on: 18 Jan 2015, 06:55 »

I kinda like turn the page ...
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #33 on: 19 Jan 2015, 22:30 »

I feel like if we're talking about covers by Metallica, then I'd rather pick Whiskey in the Jar. Then again, the original is pretty bad as well, so..
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #34 on: 20 Jan 2015, 03:28 »

I dunno, I'm pretty sure that The Dubliners did a good version.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #35 on: 20 Jan 2015, 05:28 »

The myth, the legend, the Horror from Beyond Time and Space that is William Shatner's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

An actually only above-average song originally, compared to The Beatles at their best, Shatner's inability to carry a tune turns it into a strange, spoken word poem to a random music track like something out of 1950s beat poetry. Unfortunately, Shatner isn't able to stop hamming it up, making even the reading of the lyrics sometimes unintentionally funny and often physically painful to experience.

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #36 on: 27 Jan 2015, 13:01 »

I feel like if we're talking about covers by Metallica, then I'd rather pick Whiskey in the Jar. Then again, the original is pretty bad as well, so..

I'm with Hedgie on this one; the Dubliners' version is good, and the Thin Lizzy version would've been good if it'd been by anybody but Thin Lizzy. I love Thin Lizzy, but their version of that song just seems... forced, maybe? Not as effortless, funky, or funny as, say, "Jailbreak" or "Dancing in the Moonlight." At least Phil Lynott doesn't sound as constipated as James Hetfield, though.

Regarding Rod Stewart: you have to differentiate between old-school (Faces, Jeff Beck and early solo) RS and the later, frankly awful, stuff he did. Some of the old covers may not have been better than the originals, but they definitely held their own (check out his version of "(I Know I'm) Losing You," for instance.
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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #38 on: 27 Apr 2015, 01:21 »

The myth, the legend, the Horror from Beyond Time and Space that is William Shatner's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

An actually only above-average song originally, compared to The Beatles at their best, Shatner's inability to carry a tune turns it into a strange, spoken word poem to a random music track like something out of 1950s beat poetry. Unfortunately, Shatner isn't able to stop hamming it up, making even the reading of the lyrics sometimes unintentionally funny and often physically painful to experience.

Shatner has some good stuff to his name though. His cover of 'Common People' is majestic, and he did a skit on Monday Night Raw once doing a bunch of WWE wrestlers' theme songs that was fucking hilarious.
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Stryc9Fuego

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #39 on: 27 Apr 2015, 03:53 »

I was introduced to the GWAR version of "Cary on Wayward Son". They really should have picked a song that Oderus can actually hit all the notes for.

Stoon

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #40 on: 09 May 2015, 09:03 »


I'll never understand the boomer's love and fascination with people who couldn't sing even a single note.
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doombilly

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #41 on: 10 May 2015, 07:32 »

Not a valid youtube URL
I'll never understand the boomer's love and fascination with people who couldn't sing even a single note.
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Akima

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #42 on: 11 May 2015, 06:00 »

I'll never understand the boomer's love and fascination with people who couldn't sing even a single note.
I feel the same way about Barnsey...
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94ssd

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #43 on: 11 May 2015, 13:57 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song? But more annoying in examples where the lyrics have to get clunkily changed. Someone covered 'Big Yellow Taxi' and changed 'old man' to 'girlfriend' which doesn't even approach rhyming with the original fucking lyric.

People here in the theatre department do that all...the...fucking...time during auditions and it annoys the hell out of me.
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Thrillho

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #44 on: 12 May 2015, 01:04 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song? But more annoying in examples where the lyrics have to get clunkily changed. Someone covered 'Big Yellow Taxi' and changed 'old man' to 'girlfriend' which doesn't even approach rhyming with the original fucking lyric.

People here in the theatre department do that all...the...fucking...time during auditions and it annoys the hell out of me.

It makes me want to, should I ever get signed, make a whole album of covers in which I'm deliberately singing in a gender that isn't my own, as if to make the point 'THIS REALLY SHOULDN'T MATTER.'
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KingOfIreland

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #45 on: 12 May 2015, 03:27 »

Love Buzz by Nirvana does this. Originally it was sung by a woman.

On the other hand, Queen of my heart really does sound better in terms of playing cards.
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Aziraphale

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #46 on: 12 May 2015, 12:51 »

Any time someone covers a song and changes the gender of who they're addressing. Annoying in general, because fuck it, can't you just be gay this one song? But more annoying in examples where the lyrics have to get clunkily changed. Someone covered 'Big Yellow Taxi' and changed 'old man' to 'girlfriend' which doesn't even approach rhyming with the original fucking lyric.

People here in the theatre department do that all...the...fucking...time during auditions and it annoys the hell out of me.

It makes me want to, should I ever get signed, make a whole album of covers in which I'm deliberately singing in a gender that isn't my own, as if to make the point 'THIS REALLY SHOULDN'T MATTER.'

That's actually a fairly recent thing, I think. Used to be that people would cover the song as it was written even if it was for a gender other than their own. Still happens quite a bit; Caetano Veloso did a covers album a few years back that included the Gershwins' "The Man I Love," among others (on the other hand, Caetano's unashamedly bi, so there's that, too), plus Lyle Lovett's take on "Stand By Your Man," or Tori Amos's "Strange Little Girls" album.
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Thrillho

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #47 on: 12 May 2015, 13:21 »

Someone has presumably also stolen my idea of doing acoustic versions of electronic songs too but dammit that won't stop me!
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KingOfIreland

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #48 on: 12 May 2015, 13:36 »

I did an acoustic version of call me maybe with a girl once before I'd ever heard the real song.
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Aziraphale

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Re: Worst covers thread
« Reply #49 on: 12 May 2015, 15:31 »

Someone has presumably also stolen my idea of doing acoustic versions of electronic songs too but dammit that won't stop me!


 :-)
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