CRUNCHLIST: 10 Worst Cover Songs Of All Time

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Category : CrunchLists

So many acts have tried and desperately failed at reinventing a perfectly good song. Year after year artists insist on making mediocre covers purely for the love of the original. It’s enough to make me wonder if they love a song so much then why destroy it which is so often the case. The competition for this CRUNCHLIST was fierce and here are the BANDCRUNCH 10 worst cover versions of all time:

10-Alien Ant Farm -Smooth Criminal

The best of a bad bunch at number 10 with a noise ridden rendition of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. Due the excessive drumming vocalist Sonny Sandoval just shouted louder in hope of being heard. It’s in no way smooth and I doubt very much that Annie was “ok” with this version.

9-Britney Spears – I Love Rock and Roll

There’s no doubt that the unpredictable acts of this pop star keep us all very entertained. So it should come as no shock then that Miss Spears is a repeat offender when it comes to covering tracks she has no business covering. The worst to date is this shiny version of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts ‘I love Rock and Roll’.

8-Madonna -American Pie

American Pie is as an example of timeless feel-good music. Why meddle it up Madge?  You were a Goddess in the 80’s but  this cover is tragic treatment of an American classic.

 7-Avril Lavigne -Basket Case

Another repeat offender on the list whose covered more songs than I think she has released on her own.  I wasn’t aware her cover of Greenday’s Basket Case existed and how I wish it didn’t. More importantly what was Billy Joe Armstrong thinking when he let her and her army of punk-pop producers loose on this song.

6- Jedward – All the Small Things

Who let them cover Blink 182’s All the Small Things?  I want the guilty party’s phone number so I can leave repeat voice mails of this version over and over again.  It’s just not the same without that American punk rock twang to it and as for the video I’m speechless.

5-David Hasselhoff – Love me Tender

The Hoff is the ultimate leather clad villain. He released an entire album of ludicrous covers in 2004 trying his hand at everything from Madonna to Elvis Presley. I’m not sure I can pick just one of these covers as the worst. The entire album could make up this CRUNCHLIST but I will suggest that this version of Elvis’ Love me Tender. Prepare to cringe!

4- Limp Bizkit -Behind Blue Eyes

Fred and Co. should be charged with murder for what they did to this classic. It’s just confusing. Is it a ballad? Is it a rock anthem? Do they know what the original sounded like?

3- Shaun Ryder -Barcelona

I have to admit when I first heard this I thought it was a spoof for charity. On closer inspection it seems that this is a very serious release. Ok so Barcelona is not a massive popular chart favourite but the original is certainly famous. If this is available in the shops you’ll find it either the comedy or horror section if at all.


2- Miley Cyrus – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Sad but true,  Miss Cyrus took it upon herself to scribble this on her set list during a US tour. Attempting to distort her voice only resulting in some chest wheezing vocals it is just plain nauseating.  Billy Ray should have grounded her for a year after this!

1- Ronan Keating – Fairy Tale of New York

Good old RK is probably the most hardened cover criminal there is and this cover of Fairy Tale of New York tops his rap sheet.  You may think there are worse covers out there or you may not even like the original (you Scrooge). But for the sheer nerve of changing the lyrics and trying to pretend for a minute that he could do this song better he gets my nod.  The whole charm of the original seems to have been lost on him and his attempt of sounding anything like Shane MacGowan in the chorus is laughable.

I propose we come up with an international music protection law that prevents crap covers being released. There are so many to choose from I could have written the top 50! What do you think?

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