Friday, April 24, 2009

Paste's Ten Songs That Should Not Be Covered Again

Paste Magazine is a pretty good music/film mag I read from time to time. Recently they ran a list of songs that should never again be covered by anyone, and I can't help but agree with them. I would like to add that nobody should be allowed (by law) to cover Leonard Cohen's classic "Hallelujah", as Buckley perfected and popularized the John Cale version (which was amazing in it's own right, check out it's usage in Basquiat). Since Buckley has been gone, alot of people have covered the song, but it always seemed like sacrilege to me (even the Rufus Wainright version).

Now, from Paste:

We’ve got nothing against cover songs. In fact, we love a good unexpected cover. But certain songs should be retired after a couple hundred versions. We hereby declare a moratorium on covering the following ten songs.

10. U2 “One”

Just picture it: an over-earnest bar singer propped up in the corner with his music stand and his bulging folder of song lyrics, closing his eyes during the chorus and actually thinking that he can solve the world’s problems by covering Bono’s inspirational hit.

9. Nancy Sinatra “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’”

Dear Jessica Simpson: Your boots are so worn out that you can barely walk in them anymore, and we never want to hear about them ever again. You should stick to designing boots.

8. Fleetwood Mac “Landslide”

It’s not that we have a problem with the Smashing Pumpkins’ or the Dixie Chicks’ versions—it’s everything in between.

7. Oasis “Wonderwall”

Covered by Jay-Z, Ryan Adams, Howie Day, Cat Power, The Beastie Boys, and—most unfortunately—Cartel.

6. Gnarls Barkley “Crazy”

Though the Ray LaMontagne version is kinda cool, the original song was played constantly on the radio for a year, and that was enough. Plus, some would argue that the song’s success lies in its delivery, not the melody.

5. Britney Spears “Oops I Did It Again”

It’s not funny to cover a song simply to be ironic or cute.

4. The Beatles “Hey Jude”

This one is especially annoying when the singer in question gets drunk on the power of leading that crowd singalong part.

3. Bob Dylan “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”

If only because Guns N’ Roses perfected it, so there's really no need for anyone else to attempt a cover.

2. Lynyrd Skynyrd “Freebird”

Because if bands aren’t allowed to cover it, then drunk frat boys will have no reason to request it!

1. Leonard Cohen “Hallelujah”

Enough with the covers of Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece. It’s a beautiful song, no doubt, but “Hallelujah” has to be the most overdone encore for singer-songwriters. We’re even getting tired of hearing Brandi Carlile sing this song. And we don't get tired of Brandi Carlile very easily.