Doing covers is an interesting musical decision. Whether jamming them for fun in your practice room, surprising your fans by revealing your hidden influences, paying homage to fallen greats on stage or tactically worming your way into mainstream recognition by slamming a pop tune, they’re bound to get tongues wagging.
Below I’ve decided to name my 10 favourite cover tracks by rock and metal bands. Some stay true to the original, some make the tune their own.. and others dare I say make the song even better than before. Yikes. Let me know your thoughts and choices below!
1. Killswitch Engage, ‘Holy Diver’ (originally by Dio)
The Massachusetts metallers take on the classic Dio tune is an incredible example of modern metal giving a nod to the greats before them. Curious lyrics, wailing high notes – the addition of a breakdown makes this a proper banger.
2. Faith No More ‘Easy Like A Sunday Morning’ (originally by the Commodores)
Mike Patton and co perfectly exercise their skill in delicate dynamics and vocal brilliance with this dreamy – and rather sexy – cover of the crooning anthem. Smooth.
3. Ignite, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ (originally by U2)
Orange County punks Ignite give a passionate rendition of this political anthem from the Dublin rockers.
4. A Day To Remember, ‘Since U’ve Been Gone’ (originally by Kelly Clarkson)
What better way to get billions of kids across the world to learn your name than by throwing up a hardcore metal version of quirky pop ditty? Definitely helps that Miss Clarkson’s track has more hooks than a fishing boat.
5. Trivium, ‘Master Of Puppets’ (originally by Metallica)
A proper case of hero worship exhibited in this ‘Darn it, we wish we were you’ tribute from the Florida metal chaps. A tricky tune to pull off convincingly, but anything that gets young kids switching onto Metallica is a thumbs-up from me.
6. Alien Ant Farm, ‘Smooth Criminal’ (originally by Michael Jackson)
I’m sure they wish ‘artistically’ that they’d never done it, but hearing your name pop up on radio stations around the globe and seeing your face splashed all over TV channels must make you feel pretty darn special. Good video too.
7. Gallows, ‘Starin At The Rude Bois’ (originally by The Ruts)
The Watford punks get all rowdy and gnarly with this collaboration with rapper Lethal Bizzle. Perfectly suits their raw hardcore delivery and gritty production styles.
8. Xerath, ‘Speed Demon’ (originally by Michael Jackson)
Brit metallers Xerath uploaded this cover only a few weeks ago, and it’s an intriguing take on the chuggy electronic original. Definitely worth a listen.
9. Dillinger Escape Plan, ‘Fight The Power’ (originally by Public Enemy)
Dillinger collaborate with Chuck D on this new cover of the thumping original for the Homefront ‘Songs For The Resistance’ soundtrack. Nice chunky guitars make the track even more solid and meaty. Tasty.
10. Biffy Clyro, ‘Buddy Holly’ (originally by Weezer)
A barely-recognisable and therefore amazing take on the head-wiggling Weezer track. Biffy’s rearrangements and time changes make for a whole new and thoroughly enjoyable rock and roll ride. Yee hah!