Criminally Bad Cover Songs

Back in December I wrote about a few criminally overlooked cover songs. For music fans, hearing a different artist bring new perspective to a great song is nothing short of sublime. The trouble is, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Often times the original recording, by the original artist, represents the true pinnacle of that songs potential. It’s for that reason that cover songs are a dicey business. Here are a few that never should have seen the light of day.

5 Criminally Bad Cover Songs

Judas Priest “Johnny B. Goode”
Judas Priest recorded this cover of the Chuck Berry classic for the utterly forgettable Anthony Michael Hall movie of the same name (0% on Rotten Tomatoes!). They did this after refusing to allow Tony Scott to use their song “Reckless” in a little movie called Top Gun. There’s not a word in the English language for a string of decisions this bad.

Celine Dion “You Shook Me All Night Long”
Cringe-worthy does not even begin to describe this musical Hindenburg. It’s like watching your mom try to rap along with a Lil Kim song. Traumatizing.

David Bowie & Mick Jagger “Dancing in the Streets”
Even rock royalty isn’t immune. This song could not be more generic and soulless if it was being karaoked by a Mormon youth group. It also has the ignominious distinction of having one of the worst videos of the MTV era.

Guns ‘n Roses – “Sympathy for the Devil”
Generally speaking, if you’re in a rock band, you should probably not cover any songs by the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Just don’t. You can’t pull it off. The originals are too well loved, and believing that you can improve upon them is the height of hubris.

The B-52’s “Meet the Flintstones”
This actually makes sense. It’s awful, but I get it.

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