Monday, 8 August 2011

GOOD COVER/BAD COVER #10 - Metallica vs Katy Perry


Until It Sleeps

rips off
Push It
Salt N' Pepa

Why is this a Good Cover? Because of the sheer audacity that a band like Metallica have to write a song and not expect the world to figure out they've ripped off one of the most iconic songs of the 80's. After making a massive deal about Napster and how their fans are stealing from them, here we have the men in black lifting the synth riff from Salt N' Pepa's "Push It" and using it for guitar segues.

As for the song itself, I know this (whole album in general) is regarded as a sore subject for hardcore fans but I enjoy it as far as slower Metallica songs go, and reading up on it turns out its all about how James Hetfield had to watch his parents die as they didn't believe in medicine (they were Christian Scientists). Pretty dark, plus the video has a tonne of Hieronymus Bosch references which always gets three thumbs up from me.


Teenage Dream
Katy Perry

is a rehashed version of
You Get What You Give
New Radicals

I originally planned a double header of Katy Perry tracks but then I'd have to create another spin-off called Bad Cover/Bad Cover. The song "Teenage Dream" is actually just the same song as her previous single "California Girls" if you strip down the chorus; Ba ba ba x3, then one final bar of 'oral noise' but thats just me being an arsehole.

"Teenage Dreams" is just in fact an reworking of New Radicals' (only) mega-hit "You Get What You Give", if you remember it that is. It was massive at the time, honest.

If you're still not convinced, then listen to the chorus of You Get What You Give whilst reading the lyrics to Teenage Dream's chorus. As Sledge Hammer would say - "TRUST ME, I know what I'm doing..."

Friday, 5 August 2011

GOOD COVER/BAD COVER #9 - Cyndi Lauper vs Lostprophets


When You Were Mine
Cyndi Lauper
When You Were Mine
First of all, I adore Cyndi Lauper. She has a rare vocal talent that's never been matched in recent decades. Second of all, I adore Prince as you've probably guessed from previous posts. Thirdly, possibly my all time favourite song by Prince apart from Uptown is "When You Were Mine".

So obviously, combining these elements usually means something is going to go wrong somewhere down the line? Well in this case, no.

Cyndi manages to take away the cheese-ball element of the original (which I love btw) and transform it into a darker, brooding synth-heavy version. The original, a simple guitar pop tune, now a showcase for Ms. Lauper's superior oral skills. It's chilling, quite frankly and brilliant, which leaves me at an awkward crossroad in my mind as to which one I prefer.

Not that it's a bad place to be...


Burn Burn
steals riffs from
Mother Mary
and vocal interpretations from
Adamski (Feat. Seal)

Love them or hate them, these Pontypridd valley boys know how to write a great pop tune. What's the secret? By making an amplified mish-mash of other songs obviously. I do like this song, I really do but there's just too much theft involved to allow this to step into Good Cover territory.

When not stealing Brandon Boyd/Mike Patton's vocal stylings, Lostprophets can be found plagiarizing riffs from Far, in particular "Mother Mary" for their 2003 hit "Burn Burn".  Don't believe me? Then listen to it.

"What's the next step to ripping off another song to make a hit?" I hear you ask. Well they've only gone and stolen Seal's verse melody from Adamski's "Killer". Don't believe me? Then listen to the lines "do you think, we're that blind?" (Burn Burn) and compare it to "will you give, if we cry?" (Killer).

In your face.

Monday, 1 August 2011

GOOD COVER/BAD COVER #8 - Coolio vs Ja Rule


Gangsta's Paradise

Past-time Paradise 
Stevie Wonder

Everybody on the goddamn planet remembers this. More iconic than Hitler's moustache, this song propelled Coolio's Twiglet-shaped cornrows into nauseatingly dizzy heights. Though never again able to muster up an equally rousing hit, the last time we saw him was appearing in the theme tune to Nickelodeon's Kenan & Kel. Which is a shame, cause Coolio was awesome.

Around that time hip-hop started to transform into bullcack vanity projects, Coolio was the shimmering light who could bring it all back. Even the Pachelbel-robbing "C U When U Get There" was alright, when artists still cared about the backing-tracks and not just a platform to talk about how much money they make, how many hookers' bum-cracks they snorted cocaine from and how many people they've pretended to kill.

Just a shame that few actually know the original. Stevie Wonder's 'Songs In The Key of Life' is arguably the greatest album ever made. A glorious masterpiece with a track-listing that has been covered more times than Rudolph Hess's grave; you've heard Will Smith's "Wild Wild West", George Michael's "As" and S Club 7's "Another Star" right? (I'm not actually joking about the S Club reference...)

"Past-time Paradise" is equally as dark as Coolio's reworking, and seems to have Stevie's seal of approval as the video below proves, where he joins Coolio onstage for a live mash-up of both songs. I just feel sorry for him after the song is over having to stand next to those two bozos yapping utter radge for ten minutes.


Livin' It Up
Ja Rule

Do I Do
Stevie Wonder

Staying in the Stevie vein, do we all remember Ja Rule? You know, the guy who's voice is so dull and gravelly that New York City council used to play his songs through megaphones during the winter months just to de-ice the roads.

It's for this reason this is getting filed under 'Bad Cover'. The song alone is alright, it's produced well,  stays true to the original sample, hell it even uses Stevie's vocal sample, but Ja Rule's actual voice is simply inadequate. Tonally poor and has no delivery; it's just boring. He even makes 50 Cent sound like Captain Charisma.

I almost feel quite bad for slating him, but there's enough people who don't seem to care about anal stuff such as that and will always fund whatever the hell he does these days.

Friday, 29 July 2011

GOOD COVER/BAD COVER #7 - Twista vs Bruno Mars



pryed from the withering fingers of
Bill Withers
Lovely Day

You've all heard the joke.
How you transform a duck into a soul singer? Stick it in the microwave until it's bill withers.

For those of you who know your 90's hip-hop then you're probably aware of Twista's gibberish classic "Mr Tung Twista" in which he manages to cram a dumfounding 11.2 syllables per second according to the Guinness World Records (that's approx 3,147.2 syllables in one song!) in which he makes other 'jibber-rappers' such as Snow look like the nerdy white fraud that he is.

In the mid-00's Twista made a vague comeback into the foray of commercial success, guesting with Kanye West and the likes and releasing this epic summer jam. Yeah yeah, by now you know if it's old skool then I'm gonna drop my pants for it, so I won't go into too much detail.

Still staying true to the vibe of the original (musically, maybe not lyrically) Twista shoots his trademark licks much slower than usual to accomodate the infectious groove of 'Lovely Day' without sodomising what's great about the original, adding with good measure the husky pipes of nu-soul guru Anthony Hamilton, dressed as some redneck crackhead in the video for some reason.

Though obviously it doesn't even come close to the original, the sheer lung capacity of Bill Withers alone is enough to make any asthmatic feel victimised. "Breathtaking" would have been a much more appropriate adjective.

Here's "Mr Tung Twista" for any of you uneducated buffoons;


Bruno Mars

totally rips off
Pirates Of The Caribbean Theme

Prepare yourselves, for I'm about to geek out in the most nerdiest possible way.

So if you listen to POTC around the 0:58 second mark when the stabbing orchestral bits kick it, change the time signature from 3/4 to 4/4, replace the orchestra with "yeah, yeeeaaah..." you essentially have the backing harmony stolen by Bruno Mars for the chorus in "Grenade".

Yes. I know, I know. I'm being more anal than a colonoscopist on a second date. Deal with it.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

GOOD COVER/BAD COVER #6 - LCD Soundsystem vs Samantha Mumba


LCD Soundsystem
Drunk Girls
is basically just
White Light/White Heat
David Bowie
Okay, first of all this is actually a second-hand cover as it's originally by The Velvet Underground, however the David Bowie version is vastly more upbeat, stabbier, and boasts more swag than Tyler The Creator slapping Cher Lloyd in the face with his genitalia. It's this version which has clearly been lifted and remangled into "Drunk Girls".

Perhaps Mr. Murphy wrote this as a homage to Bowie, or just a reference towards his influences. Perhaps it's just lazy songwriting, but you can't fault this track for it's sheer fun factor. Pop music as it should be. The trouble with a lot of modern pop music is that it lacks charisma and/or balls hence why it's refreshing to hear this track has more energy than an 8-year old on a Relentless binge.

It's snotty, it's rampant and that riff is shamelessly stolen, but who cares right? The video is kinda upsetting though...

Meanwhile; here's the original...


Body II Body
Samantha Mumba
is a total farce of
Ashes II Ashes
David Bowie

Whilst we're onto Bowie, remember this gem? Hopefully you won't even remember Samantha Mumba, the British Rn'B hopeful with the face like a kicked rottweiler/Falcor from The Neverending Story? At what point did she come to terms in her mind that a nobody like her, inappropriately touching a Bowie song in this manner would go unnoticed and go without severe retaliation from not just the UK public, but the entire world?

Luckily, she soon realised that singing wasn't for her and decided to attempt a stint in the movies. Remember the modern day spin of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine"? Genuinely suprised she didn't have a crack at "The Bible: The Movie" whilst she was at it. Where do these people get off?

Back to the song/abomination, you wouldn't take "Stairway To Heaven", change the lyrics and whack a garage beat behind it and call it "Airface II Seven" would you? 10 years on and I'm still outraged.

I will say however, no matter how awesome Bowie's quirk-funk space classic may be, the video for "Ashes II Ashes" is still possibly the shittest thing I've ever seen, even for 1980's standards.

Friday, 1 July 2011

GOOD COVER/BAD COVER #5 - Outlandish vs Michael Bolton



originally by
Cheb Khaled

I KNOW! I KNOW! I know exactly what you're thinking. You're thinking, "uum.... whaaaat? Why is this filed under Good Cover?" and you'd be right to think this.

For any of you who isn't familiar with the Danish-Muslim hip-hop group Outlandish, then I wouldn't really blame you as they've only conquered a select handful of European countries, however they've always been a guilty pleasure of mine ever since I heard Walou back in 2003. Don't ask me why, it was catchy and I enjoyed their unique blend of multilingual/multicultural influences.

Moving on to "Aicha", widely ignored here in the UK but caused a monumental storm over in the rest of the continent, is an English language tribute to Cheb Khalib's ("The King of Rai") song of the same name replacing the stereotypical 90's production with a more down-tempo hip-hop edge topped off with some gorgeously crisp guitar licking.

But "WHY" have I filed this under 'Good Cover'? Surely it's just yet another uninspired and lackluster cover version? Yeah, it kind of is, BUT it's not been bastardised to hell and by any means it's not 'bad', and it could be worse is the point I'm getting at. It could be a lot worse. Bottom line is, I kinda enjoy it.


Michael Bolton
When A Man Loves A Woman

is a bastardisation of
Percy Sledge
When A Man Loves A Woman

I don't really need to go into too much detail with this one. Here we have the Percy Sledge version, a staggering behemoth of sheer vocal horsepower and then we have the soul-less, watery and white Michael Bolton version.

Get the hell outta here...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

GOOD COVER/BAD COVER #4 - Jedward vs Lady Gaga



is the same ruddy song as
Britney Spears

Obviously I'm being pseudo-ironic here as both songs are pretty terrible. Jed & Dward must have said "we want a song that sounds a bit like Britney Spears' Womanizer", and clearly someone took that a little too literally by copying the same structure, progressions and drum beat thinking that the general public are too dumb to not even notice this.

Cheating, but it's clever cheating as it's Ireland's Eurovision entry. People who have heard the 'original' will be confused as to why they like this Jedward version, almost as if they've heard it before, hence immediately getting stuck in your head cause it's already in there!

It's actually genius, therefore I salute the electro-incestuous gobshites.


Lady Gaga

is the same song as
Lady Gaga
Bad Romance

Now, for the very same reasons as mentioned above, this doesn't work when you use your own previous hit as a template for another hit. It's too obvious, and lazy.

If you strip it down, the structures are pretty straight forward for both songs;

  • Camp Kelly Llorenna-esque intro
  • Annoying oral 'noise'
  • Big electro beat w/oral noise
  • Verse
  • Bridge
  • Really disappointing Euro-pop chorus with similar "Woah-ooohs"
  • (Repeat)
Both choruses are virtually identical apart from the fact she appears to be singing with a cold/stuffy nose in Judas. I'm sorry, but it's bad penmanship and for this she's getting a stern "See Me" in red biro from me.