Miley, Matt Cardle And More: 30 Of The Worst Cover Versions Ever

Maybe it’s ego, maybe it’s booze or maybe it’s just a complete dislocation from reality, but there’s something that continues to make singers attempt covers that range from the baffling to the downright rude. Yes, The Script covering Eminem, we’re looking at you. But sadly, you’re not the only ones…

30 Rod Stewart, ‘Downtown Train’

Will you see us tonight, on a downtown train? No, we’ll be hiding behind a copy of the Evening Standard and hoping you don’t see us, Rod.

29 Mark Ronson, ‘Just’


The sound of Ronson accidentally knocking over a whole brass section on top of Thom Yorke’s top hat.

28 Britney Spears, ‘I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll’

Mistress of irony Britney Spears covered Joan Jett’s paean to axe-loving. Ha. Good one, Brit.

27 Girls Aloud/Sugababes, ‘Walk This Way’

No-one comes out of this well, apart from perhaps Heidi Range whose last sentient memory was the denouement of the ‘Carbon monoxide’ storyline in Hollyoaks in 2007.

26 Madonna, ‘American Pie’


Usually flush with pop smarts, Madge puts a foot spectacularly wrong on this cover of Don Mclean’s 23 hours opus. It also featured Rupert Everett on backing vocals. ‘Nuff said.

25 Emma Bunton and Tin Tin Out, ‘What I Am’

Tin Tin Out (aka the peddlers of dance-lite for the customers of ‘Dorothy Perkins’) make their first of two appearances on this list, on this characteristically stupid version of the Edie Brickell number.

24 Limp Bizkit, ‘Faith’

LB’s ska – ska- take on the George Michael with Fred Durst sounding both creepy and faintly menacing

23 New Found Glory, ‘Kiss Me’

Fact: 59 year old New Found Glory frontman Bob Oldguy sang this to a 12 year old Hayley Williams from Paramore on their first date*
*accuracy of fact, not confirmed.

22 Mel B, ‘Word Up’

Timbaland you should be ashamed of yourself! Mel B sings this whole song like she’s auditioning for a role as an evil witch in Harry Potter.

21 Counting Crows, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’

Made for chomping your plain Biscotti over your flat white at Starbucks. Plain, mind – there’ll be nothing as exciting as flavour in these parts.

20 Tin Tin Out, ‘Here’s Where The Story Ends’

The Sundays’ fey guitar pop turned into something they would play over the soundsystem in Debenhams.

19 George Michael, ‘True Faith’

Drugs are BAAAAAAD, ok? Need more proof than George Michael’s frankly baffling snails pace, re-jig of ‘True Faith’. Oh George, where did it all go wrong?

18 Alexandra Burke, ‘Hallelujah’

The clue’s in the name : ‘A Burke’.

17 Miley Cyrus, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Hannah Montana has her revenge on Seattle…

16 Duran Duran, ‘911 Is A Joke’

DD channel their ‘inner Gomez’ for this rather shocking version of the Public Enemy number.

15 Matt Cardle, ‘When We Collide’

We can’t wait for 2015’s winners single; a faux-jazz edit of Of Montreal’s ‘The Past Is A Grotesque Animal’ (feat. London Community Gospel Choir).

14 McFly, ‘Born To Run’

The Boss’ tale of blue collar disenfranchisement covered by some public school boys from the posh bits of Essex. What could possibly go wrong?

13 Evanescence, ‘Heart Shaped Box’

Amy Lee does her natty skill of sounding like an angry Beverly Craven as they tackle this Nirvana number.

12 The Corrs, ‘Dreams’

The Irish genetic engineering experiment that went a bit wrong (sorry Jim), set their collective antennae on this Fleetwood Mac number and gave it a club makeover.

11 Ronan Keating & Moya Brennan, ‘Fairytale Of New York’

Ronan and her out of Clannad sound like the cleaned up, Daily Mail version of Shane and Kirsty, thus missing the point entirely.

10 Korn, ‘Another Brick In The Wall’


9 Celine Dion, ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’

Encapsulated in Celine Dion’s clueless rock air punch (we refer you to the recently taken down tumblr ‘ridiculous pictures of Celine Dion’).

8 Mel C, ‘Anarchy In The UK’

Sporty Spice re-defines ‘anarchy’. In her version she means doing 300 sit-up as part of her morning workout and not the normal 500.

7 Tatu, ‘How Soon Is Now’

Even Morrissey didn’t deserve this.

6 Fall Out Boy, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’

Where Ian Curtis is re-born as a board short wearing, frat boy who high fives everyone and makes vaguely boorish gestures at every passing girl.

5 Hilary Duff, ‘My Generation’

The Duff gives a voice to Generation Tween, and they’d sit up and take notice if they could only stop texting for one damn second….

4 Joss Stone, ‘Fell In Love With A Boy’

Joss Stone does a number on the White Stripes garage rock classic, turning it into a syrupy faux-soul slow burner.

3 M People, ‘Itchycoo Park’

Coo-wee! It’s the bull-in-a-china-shop vocals of Heather Small trampling all over The Small Faces’ slice of 60s whimsy.

2 The Script, ‘Lose Yourself’

In which unbearable Irish fool and ex-coach on The Voice Danny O’Donohue tortures Eminem’s full throttle angsty anthem into shapes only Maroon 5 would be proud of.

1 Take That, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Sounding like Kula Shaker playing at a beach party, Take That’s irony-free cover shits all over the entire meaning of this Nirvana classic and then – AND THEN – there’s Gary Barlow ripping off his shirt in some kind of ‘sexy’ striptease. The end is nigh.