We asked NME readers for their suggestions for songs that should never, ever be covered. We wanted to know which songs are so special and sacred to you that you couldn’t stand to ever hear them covered by another artist; the tracks which are so important and integral to your life that to hear them even ever-so slightly tweaked would send the earth spinning off its axis. We published 25 of your best replies.
Some songs are far too precious to ever be tampered with: their DNA is so perfect that to twist them in new directions is tantamount to gross indecency. We asked you for suggestions of sacred songs and here’s 25 of the best responses. You got pretty fired up. Ryan Johnson went for Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven, writing “it’s impossible to come close to recreating the magic in that song.”
“Just about every Smiths song. Morrisey and Marr have already recorded the definitive versions so what’s the point?” asks Harry Ford. Well, quite.
@Casiokidsimon goes for Nick Drake. “No one else could sound so upbeat and yet haunting all at once.”
@Grantdavid27 is not in the mood for a cover of Queen’s ‘The Show A Must Go On’. “Elton John attempting it live just proved that no one else can ever do that song justice,” he argues.
“Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ is never the same without his whine,” says @Mike14WatkinsBowie’s. Also: “‘Life On
Mars?’ Should NEVER be covered,” he adds.
Speaking of whines, @Conkers97 suggests Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’. “You just can’t do it like Liam Gallagher, no one can.”
@ThatAdamKid votes for ‘Back To Black’ by Amy Winehouse. “Covering this could ruin the legacy that she has,” he declares.
‘Suzanne’ by Leonard Cohen is suggested by @NeverMaddOli, who writes, “Only one man can capture the loneliness and heartache here. Sacred ground.”
@JakeAshton16 ays a cover of Stone Roses’ ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ will not stand, simply “because nobody else’s voice would sound right on it at all.” We can’t argue with that.
Enzo De Santis is not into Blink 182’s cover of The Only Ones’ ‘Another Girl.’ “Hang your heads in shame,” he bellows.
“No one should touch ‘Killing In The Name’ from Rage Against The Machine, just like those scumbags from Limp Bizkit did at Sonisphere, this song is a monument that can only sounds good with the voice and power of Zack and the talent of Tom Morello,” spits Théo Lafave.
“Another song, Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’. Man, I mean, that was THE song from Joy Division, no one can put so much frustration and sorrow as Ian Curtis did into that song, Ian Curtis experienced what he talked about in this song, no one can do the same and put feelings as much as Ian Curtis did,” adds Théo Lafave. He’s not wrong.
Brian Burns goes for ‘Mardy Bum’ from Arctic Monkeys, saying, “It just wouldn’t sound the same without Alex Turner’s unique voice.”
“Covering ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is a waste of time,” writes Stuart Conway. “It’s impossible to make it your own and you’re only ever gonna sound crap in comparison to the original.”
Phil Allwright goes for Pulp’s ‘Common People’ “merely because I can’t imagine anyone else doing that breathless ‘are you sure’ justice.”
Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ is Ollie Pearson’s suggestion. “Unfortunately massacred in the name of charity,” he says referring to the Children In Need 2011 special.
Nicholaus Rowe picks ‘Cherub Rock’ by the Smashing Pumpkins, stating simply, that he “could never be played as well by anybody else.”
“I saw a busker covering Blur’s ‘This Is A Low’ recently,” recalls Simon Barton. “It was indeed a low.”
Charlotte Wilson De Smet goes for ‘Racing In The Streets’ by Bruce Springsteen aka The Boss. “No one could ever match his musical genius or do it the justice for the masterpiece that it is.”
Clearly a fan, @GingerPogue picks ‘Fairytale Of New York’. “Shane McGowan & Kirsty MacColl together can never be bettered.”
Dave Cameron – no, not that one – chooses ‘Once In A Lifetime’ by Talking Heads. “Any attempt at this song by anyone else would be a miserable failure,” he asserts.
‘The Whole Of The Moon’ by The Waterboys gets @lucyheisinger’s vote .” I picture a rainbow of songs never covered and this is one of them.”
@Flowers_josie thinks a cover of ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers would be a nonsense. “Though many have tried it never sounds right unless it’s being done by the Vegas foursome.”
‘”Heroes’ by DavidBowie,” says @kurtmathers9. “Absolutely untouchable. But even if anyone would try it, I doubt they’d pull it off like Bowie did, perfect.”