5 Unlikely Heavy Metal Cover Versions

You may not have heard of Adam Lambert, but he’s a moderately big deal in the states. He’s similar to Joe McElderry, in that he’s an openly gay pop star who found fame thanks to a talent show (American Idol in his case).

But whereas McElderry has all the charisma of a sodden J cloth, Lambert comes close to being quite interesting, since he gets American conservatives all riled up by grinding his crotch into men’s faces on prime-time TV. It’s pretty rock’n’roll.

Anyway, the other week Lambert sang Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ during a gig in New Zealand, pausing only to french-kiss his bass player Tommy Joe Ratliff, which I don’t remember James Hetfield ever doing.

I was all ready to scoff, but actually, his version’s not that bad. The guy can sing.

It did get me thinking, though, about other, less successful, metal cover versions. Like these…

Madonna doing Pantera’s ‘A New Level’? It really happened. At a UK gig in 2008 she played a short burst of the riff at the end of ‘Hung Up’. I know the clip looks fake, but it isn’t. More footage here.

Ever wondered what System Of A Down’s ‘Chop Suey’ would sound like sung by a shitting squirrel? Behold Avril Lavigne’s squeaty-shouty rendition.

Shakira adopted a similar vocal technique when she attempted Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’. Even the kindest of critics would have to say the song’s gravitas kind of evaporates when given the hip-swivelling, mandolin-and-castanet treatment.

And of course, who could forget – the song recently voted the worst cover version ever, it’s Celine Dion and Anastacia’s caterwauling demolition of AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’.