Sunday, 21 December 2008

There ought to be a law against it

OK, being a 'ghastly snob' about such things, here's my Top Ten of cover versions that should never, ever have been attempted.... In no particular order.

1) 'White Lines (Don't Do It)' - Duran Duran
From a covers album. Thankfully I've not heard any of the other tracks. Perfect Day? Ball of Confusion? Watching the Detectives? 'Stunningly wrongheaded', as the critic said.

2) 'Positively 4th Street' - Simply Red.
Mick - if someone has done something mean to you, just send them a copy of Dylan's version. They will get the message. No-one can sneer like Bob.

3) 'American Pie' - Madonna
Sheer lunacy. What was she thinking? Although at least she didn't do all the verses. Or did she? I never quite got to listening to more than a minute of it.

4) 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' - Paul Young
I almost have a bit of a soft spot for Paul Young, being a Luton lad and all that, and I like 'Everything Must Change' because of the backing singers, but this is..... aaarrrggghh!!!!!Especially when he pronounces 'tear' as 'teer'. Does he think it's a play on words? Is he trying to give it a double meaning? Wrong, wrong, wrong. (And while I'm at it... Bono - it's wrong).

5) All those Abba songs - the cast of Mamma Mia
Just read today that My Worst Film of 2008 (I saw it on a plane) has overtaken Titanic as the best-performing film in the UK ever. I knew it was going to be awful from the trailer, when 'I've been cheated by you since I don't know when' was changed to 'I've been cheated by you and I think you know when', which - at the risk of sounding a teensy bit pretentious - completing robs the opening line of all its poignancy. And I Abba doesn't work without the Swedish accents.

6) 'Light my Fire' - Will Young
The only time I have ever voted in a TV talent show was in the Pop Idol final when Will Young beat Gareth Gates, and this song was one of the reasons. Especially the way he said 'Fire', like Fiy-ya. (The other being the absolutely adorable puppydogness that was Gareth Gates at the time, which he has now spoilt by growing up. Although I still wanted him to win that ice-skating show).

7) Any cover version they've ever attempted - Boyzone/ Ronan Keating
Not only did they misguidedly try to emulate the Godlike Genius that is Billy Ocean, with 'When the Going Gets Tough', they also made the magnificently doomy 'Seasons in the Sun' sound like a holiday camp sing-a-long. And that's not to mention 'Words', 'Baby Can I Hold You', 'Love Me For a Reason' (I'm rather partial to the Osmonds' original), 'Father and Son', 'You Needed Me' and of course the absolute raging travesty that was 'Fairytale of New York'.

8) 'I Will Always Love You' - Whitney Houston
The scene in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas when Dolly Parton sings it to Burt Reynolds on the stairs is enough to bring a tear to anyone's eye. Whitney's bellowing just makes your ears bleed.

9) 'Dancin' in the Streets' - David Bowie and Mick Jagger
The unutterable smugness of it all. And the pulling of faces at each other in the video. Covering Motown generally is not a good idea. Why tamper with pop perfection? Although I did like the Beat's 'Tears of a Clown'.

10) 'My Way' - by virtually anyone except Sinatra and Sid Vicious, and especially Ray Quinn.
Sid's version, or the film clip, still makes me laugh. Ray Quinn's version is the work of the devil.

I'm sure I've missed some really obvious ones, so over to you now. And I won't be accepting any comments that are OT. Especially those from libertarians who take issue with the post's title. It's Christmas. You must join in the fun or leave the party. That's an order!


Northern Lights said...

Wheatus - A Little Respect

Nirvana - Man Who Sold the World

Celine Dion - You Shook Me All Night Long

Kerry said...

I like the Nirvana version.

And what the hell are you doing listening to Celine Dion? I don't know the track but just from the title it sounds truly horrendous. Was she 'rocking out'?

Paul said...

The Paul Young is terrible, thought I was ill when I heard it. How about Kirsty Mccall - New England

Kerry said...

You're not allowed to be mean about Kirsty McColl at Christmas!