20 Most Unexpected Rock + Metal Covers

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Bear in mind your first time — the heightened anticipation, that preliminary awkwardness of discovering your self unsure of the best way to really feel, the preliminary acceptance that this was actually one thing particular and discovering your groove, the joyful climax and the speedy want to go once more? We, after all, are speaking about experiencing probably the most sudden of canopy songs. What have been you considering?

A novel cowl can achieve this many issues for a band. It might give you perception into sudden influences, it could showcase the group’s artistry and for those who’re fortunate, it could change your notion of that band. True admission, this checklist was impressed by a dialogue with a fellow staffer concerning the band Switchfoot, a bunch who within the early 2000s scored Scorching AC and fashionable rock hits with the melodic and uplifting “Dare You to Transfer” and “Meant to Dwell.” However upon catching them at an alt-rock competition just a few years later, they completely blew the doorways off the place with a canopy of the Beastie Boys’ in-your-face anthem “Sabotage,” hinting at a heavier sound they’d additional discover within the years to return. Thoughts blown, notion modified.

Switchfoot, “Sabotage” (Beastie Boys Cowl)

Although that was a dwell expertise, we’re turning our focus right here to recorded covers that flipped the script for a lot of upon their launch. Suppose again to your first time listening to these covers and what it was prefer to benefit from the novelty and awesomeness of taking in these songs for the primary time.

  • Alien Ant Farm, “Easy Felony”

    Initially by Michael Jackson

    Who would’ve thought that on the peak of the nu-metal explosion of the early 2000s {that a} Michael Jackson tune could be one of the crucial requested and largest rock radio hits? On the time, Alien Ant Farm have been nonetheless a comparatively unknown act, whereas Jackson was nonetheless the undisputed “King of Pop” who dominated the ‘80s. However on the similar time, he had seen his star dim a bit through the ‘90s. Whereas his songs have been canon, he was not the recent artist of the day.

    Then got here Alien Ant Farm, who correctly stored the percussive components from one in all Jackson’s heavier songs and added their very own rock flare to the observe. What initially felt a bit like a novelty cowl began to resonate with listeners, and Alien Ant Farm themselves helped make the transition cool with a Jackson-referencing video. As we speak, you’ve got a tough time imagining “Easy Felony” with out considering of Alien Ant Farm, a nod to how nice this cowl turned out, however on the time this felt like a brilliant daring step for a fledgling band.

  • Cake, “I Will Survive”

    Initially by Gloria Gaynor

    Disco and rock have been as soon as divergent opposites when cool factors have been doled out, however in 1996 the 2 worlds collided on a canopy that no one noticed coming. Cake have been rising as one of many sizzling new bands on the alt-rock scene once they dropped a canopy of Gloria Gaynor’s disco-era basic, “I Will Survive.”

    Cake themselves have been bizarre sufficient through the ‘90s, growing a sound that didn’t essentially mirror any of their friends. So maybe any cowl would have sounded fairly wild. However singer John McCrea’s close to spoken phrase vocal on a tune principally identifiable as a feminine empowerment anthem helped flip the script. Add in a extra rock centric association and even some backing horns and now you’ve acquired a tune that feels uniquely Cake’s personal. Not surprisingly, it’s turn into one of the crucial standard songs of their profession.

  • Johnny Money, “Damage”

    Initially by 9 Inch Nails

    If ever there was a tune you’d assume could be untouchable, it is likely to be Nine Inch Nails’ “Damage.” The coda to The Downward Spiral album was a nadir, uncooked and weak heaped in self-loathing isolation and the proper finish to Trent Reznor’s intestine wrenching masterpiece of a report. However then got here Johnny Cash.

    Maybe we should always have seen this coming as Money had discovered some late profession success with producer Rick Rubin masking fashionable rock favorites. If ever there have been an artist to tackle Reznor’s heartbreaking tune, Money could possibly be it. The nation music icon had actually lived a life that confronted quite a lot of demons, and at a sophisticated age, his weathered voice added much more emotional heft to the tune, if that was even potential. Whereas Reznor initially felt the quilt of his most private observe felt invasive, he warmed to Money’s cowl even including, “I wasn’t ready for what I noticed, and it actually then, wasn’t my tune anymore.”

  • Youngsters of Bodom, “Oops … I Did It Once more”

    Initially by Britney Spears

    Depart Britney alone? Children of Bodom actually didn’t, and we should always all be grateful. At her early 2000s peak, Spears was one of many extra polarizing figures in pop music and sadly a lot of her profession has performed out within the tabloids as a lot because it has on the radio. However there’s no denying the standard of writing on a few of Britney’s largest hits (you too can try Travis’ stellar alt-rock cover of “Baby One More Time”).

    In 2009, Youngsters of Bodom determined to do a covers album titled Skeletons within the Closet, which compiled most of their covers so far together with some newly recorded cuts. Whereas the set was just about dominated by rock and steel covers, protruding like sore thumb was their tackle Britney’s 2000 pop hit. It was a stunning selection for a lot of metalheads, however Youngsters of Bodom’s cowl proved to be not solely a testomony to their musicianship, but additionally a nod to the unique’s nice songwriting.

  • Devo, “(I Cannot Get No) Satisfaction”

    Initially by the Rolling Stones

    Devo are a type of acts that actually had a sound all their very own, and whereas they’ve scored hits with different covers, their tackle one of the crucial standard songs ever stays the one which stands out. The group pulled in producer Brian Eno as they delivered a brilliant spastic, nearly robotic sounding tackle the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

    It’s laborious to take a tune so identifiable with one iconic rock band and make it your individual, however Devo actually did. Whereas others have tried to cowl “Satisfaction” through the years, Devo’s take is the one that almost all shocked and enthralled listeners and it even obtained Mick Jagger’s stamp of approval.

  • Disturbed, “The Sound of Silence”

    Initially by Simon and Garfunkel

    Sport changer! Whereas it was no shock that Disturbed included a canopy on their 2015 Immortalized album, the tune choice in all probability caught quite a lot of followers off guard. Disturbed had beforehand scored a success with their tackle Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” and had confidently lined Tears for Fears’ “Shout,” however these songs could possibly be rocked as much as match with their total vibe. Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” was a ballad, one thing that didn’t actually play inside the band’s total scheme as much as that time.

    Followers not solely embraced the quilt, it turned one in all their largest hits. The band’s take not solely confirmed their musicianship, it allowed one in all rock’s strongest voices in David Draiman to showcase his vocal vary. After a efficiency on Conan, Paul Simon despatched a observe of reward to the band. After the success of “The Sound of Silence,” Disturbed expanded their musical method to incorporate extra of a mix of heavy and melodic songs on their follow-up album, Evolution.

  • Dynamite Hack, “Boyz within the Hood”

    Initially by Eazy-E

    This one will endlessly carry a smile to most listeners. In 2000, post-grunge rockers Dynamite Hack took a gangsta rap basic about life within the hood and gave it a sunny, acoustic rock makeover. The dichotomy of Eazy-E’s hardcore lyrics towards the backdrop of frat-boy melodic whiteness actually made for an fascinating distinction.

    The “oh no they didn’t” novelty was quickly washed away with heavy alt-rock radio airplay and the belief that the association, which included a Beatles-esque nod as nicely, was fairly genius. Definitely one of many oddest covers for certain, nevertheless it’s an earworm that has stood the check of time.

  • Religion No Extra, “Straightforward”

    Initially by the Commodores

    By the early ‘90s, Faith No More have been making a reputation for themselves with such heavy standouts as “Epic,” “We Care a Lot” and “Falling to Items.” So it got here as a little bit of a shock when on their 1992 album, Angel Mud, they took on the soulful ‘70s Commodores hit “Straightforward.”

    This curveball took place as a acutely aware selection throughout their dwell units, deciding to interchange their cowl of Black Sabbath’s “Battle Pigs” and tweak the viewers a bit with the decidedly completely different “Straightforward.” The Religion No Extra model, although a bit extra rocked up, maintains the soulful base, and famously contains Mike Patton’s over-enunciation of a Lionel Richie‘s “ooh.” That mentioned, Richie didn’t appear to thoughts, stating that he was flattered by the band’s cowl and that he “liked it.”

  • Far, “Pony”

    Initially by Ginuwine

    After an influential run within the ‘90s, Far break up up with band members branching off to different initiatives within the early a part of the 2000s. What ended up being completely stunning was not simply the band’s 2009 reunion, however how they determined to launch that reunion. They lined R&B star Ginuwine’s strip-club favourite, “Pony,” giving it a rock makeover.

    Out of the blue, the as soon as underground ‘90s favorites discovered themselves getting rock radio airplay after placing their rocked up stamp on the Ginuwine observe, bringing it to a complete new viewers.

  • Flying Lizards, “Cash (That is What I Need)”

    Initially by Barrett Robust

    One of many more unusual covers you’ll hear on this checklist, the Flying Lizards made their mark on the music trade with their tackle “Cash (That’s What I Need).” Although initially recorded by Barrett Robust, the most well-liked model of the tune got here from The Beatles.

    In 1979, The Flying Lizards introduced their model of “Cash” to the BBC’s Prime of the Pops, which helped propel the polarizing cowl up the charts. Relying closely on a percussive based mostly association and letting the spoken phrase vocal cleared the path, this cowl left listeners with a “find it irresistible or hate it” response (or “hate that I find it irresistible.”) That mentioned, the tune peaked at No. 5 within the U.Ok. and in addition had some U.S. success as nicely, so it made its justifiable share of “cash.”

  • Foo Fighters, “You Ought to Be Dancing”

    Initially by the Bee Gees

    Foo Fighters have by no means been afraid to put on their influences on their sleeves, typically dedicating parts of their dwell reveals to saluting a few of their favourite acts. However seeing them cowl Rush, Queen, the Rolling Stones or a few of the nice basic rock bands by no means felt like an excessive amount of of a stretch. Then, in 2021, they pushed the envelope — and Dave Grohl’s voice — additional than we ever anticipated it could go. They lined the Bee Gees, not simply as soon as, however for a full on Document Retailer Day EP that will tackle the Gibb brothers and their sibling Andy Gibb’s largest hits.

    Surprisingly, the Grohl growl was capable of transition to falsetto, with the band’s tackle “You Ought to Be Dancing” displaying that their vary knew no bounds. The Foos leaned into the kitsch of the second, dubbing themselves the D.G,’s, dressing the half with ‘70s threads and humorously titling their EP, Hail Satin! Even for a band with a variety of style, this cowl actually took everybody without warning.

  • HIM, “Depraved Sport”

    Initially by Chris Isaak

    Given what we might come to know of them, maybe HIM’s cowl of Chris Isaak’s “Depraved Sport” shouldn’t have been a shock. The unique, recording in a haunting method by crooner Chris Isaak, portrayed a wanton longing that exuded such intercourse attraction that the tune appeared untouchable.

    Then, in 1997, alongside got here Finnish goth rock band HIM to place their recent tackle the observe. The band that will come to be identified for his or her “love steel,” set darkish hearts ablaze with their cowl of “Depraved Sport,” a model that managed to painting the longing, albeit with chunky guitars and a extra rock-centric association. It turned out to be a becoming centerpiece, and for some an introduction, to HIM on their Biggest Lovesongs Vol. 666 debut album.

  • Hugo, “99 Issues”

    Initially by Jay-Z

    For years producer Rick Rubin had been identified for bringing laborious rocking beats to a few of rap’s largest songs, and Jay-Z’s “99 Issues” positively match that invoice. Actually, the tune off 2004’s The Black Album turned out to be one in all Jay-Z’s largest hits, immediately identifiable to anybody who heard it.

    So think about the shock when London-based, blues-influenced musician Hugo arrived on the scene in 2011, fully transforming Jay-Z’s signature tune and turning right into a foot-stomping bluegrass romp that commanded the airwaves. Whereas music followers marveled at this overhaul, one one that wasn’t that each one shocked was probably Jay-Z. Seems Hugo was signed to Jay’s Roc Nation label, which helped carry this recent take to listeners within the first place.

  • Limp Bizkit, “Religion”

    Initially by George Michael

    My what a distinction a decade makes. In 1987, it was laborious to keep away from the acoustic-guitar pushed earworm “Religion” by former Wham! vocalist George Michael. Flash ahead a decade and music listeners acquired one other dose of “Religion,” albeit one which was a bit of extra off-key and in-your-face. This time it was the up-and-coming Limp Bizkit doing the honors.

    On the level of its arrival, Limp Bizkit had but to turn into the dominant drive they’d be over the following couple of years and even nu-metal had but to take over the airwaves, although the “Religion” cowl would play a key position in paving the trail. Sure, Limp Bizkit stored the identical strummy guitar, however then layered Fred Durst’s warbling and gutturals excessive of it giving listeners the aggro anthem they by no means knew they wanted.

  • Machine Head, “Message in a Bottle”

    Initially by The Police

    Whereas we at the moment are nicely conscious of Machine Head’s wide-ranging musical tastes due to their pandemic livestream cowl classes, that wasn’t all the time the case. And in 1999, it in all probability took just a few listeners without warning when the band’s third album included a watery cowl of The Police’s basic, “Message in a Bottle.”

    Singer Robb Flynn pulls again his vocal aggression, first showcasing a extra weak facet that ultimately turns extra menacing within the construct as much as the refrain. It’s a extra rocked up model for certain.

  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, “Finish of the Highway”

    Initially by Boyz II Males

    Punk rock supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are identified for his or her punked up cowl songs with just about nothing off limits. Their 2003 album Take a Break discovered the collective taking up primarily R&B favorites, with issues reaching peak absurdity once they turned Boyz II Males’s chart-topping ballad “Finish of the Highway” right into a punked out rager.

    Whereas the band retains the sentiment principally the identical, the true enjoyable comes with the ad-libbed spoken phrase lament reflecting on drunken seashore day that explains precisely why she’s the one he can’t let go. Whereas the tune is unquestionably meant to inject some humor into this early ‘90s sobfest, there’s no denying the Me First model has its pit-stirring chops so as.

  • Ministry, “Lay Girl Lay”

    Initially by Bob Dylan

    On the earth of sudden covers, this one must rank proper up there. Bob Dylan initially recorded “Lay, Girl, Lay” as a deep-voiced seduction, supposedly written for his spouse, again in 1969. However gone are the nice and cozy intonations of Dylan’s voice on the time, as a substitute changed by a extra aggressive and chugging guitar-led model when Ministry acquired maintain of it for his or her Filth Pig album.

    Regardless of the drastic shift in tone, it nonetheless works, and fairly nicely. When you get previous the odd cowl selection novelty, the Ministry model truly stands up over time.

  • Speaking Heads, “Take Me to the River”

    Initially by Al Inexperienced

    Speaking Heads have been one of many extra experimental acts to return from New York’s punk and funk scene of the ‘70s, so perhaps their cowl of the Al Inexperienced R&B basic shouldn’t have been as a lot of a shock because it was.

    The tune, showing on the band’s 1978 album Extra Songs About Buildings and Meals, truly performed a giant position in propelling the band’s profession. It additionally allowed them to proceed to department out by displaying extra of their soulful dynamics, whereas including simply sufficient of their very own touches to appease their followers. It’s a beautiful mix that is still simply trustworthy sufficient to the unique to attraction to a broader viewers.

  • Mark Tremonti, “Fly Me to the Moon”

    Initially by Frank Sinatra

    In 2022, Mark Tremonti, the guitarist for Alter Bridge and Creed and chief of his self-titled outfit, pulled off one of many extra spectacular musical transitions we’ve seen, embodying the vocal of the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra on not only one tune however a full album …. and with a lot of Sinatra’s personal gamers.

    Turns on the market was an excellent cause for this transition as Tremonti was anxious to begin his personal “Take a Probability for Charity” initiative inviting performers to do one thing entertaining exterior of their consolation zone in an effort to carry consideration and funds to a particular charity. In Tremonti’s case, it was the Nationwide Down Syndrome Society in honor of his daughter. Merely put, Tremonti simply wowed, emulating the vocal intonations that Sinatra made well-known, taking us again in time with a velvet contact.

  • Kind O Unfavourable, “Summer time Breeze”

    Initially by Seals and Crofts

    Right here’s an ideal instance of why enjoying towards kind works so nicely for covers. Seals & Crofts scored a chart-topping hit in 1972 on the peak of country-influenced gentle rock. “Summer time Breeze” conjures up visions of summer time brightness and lightness. It’s precisely the kind of observe you’d by no means count on goth steel experts Type O Negative to land anyplace close to, but they did on 1993’s Bloody Kisses standout.

    Peter Steele and crew strip away all of the ethereal nature of this AM Gold basic, changing it with doomy dreariness, and but it nonetheless shimmers just like the hit tune it ought to. This couldn’t have been a extra sudden cowl, however rattling if it didn’t work all the identical.





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