There’s a lot to be said about cover songs and the love-hate relationship people have with them. When they’re hated, they’re often used as filler music, offering nothing new or changing it in a way that fans hate. When they’re loved, a band has made that song their own, added something awesome to it that people love, and in many cases, shows a connection with both the band performing it and the original band who played it for them.
The reason many bands do them is often two-fold: First, as most bands form, songs by other musicians are what they have to start with – each musician bringing their favorite songs together and hoping everything gels into a solid song. Second, it’s tribute to the bands that inspired to grab that guitar, drum kit, DJ table or microphone.
I love cover songs, because it tells a lot about the bands playing them and bands that inspired them. Sometimes it opens me to an original I hadn’t heard before; other times it gives a new personality on a song I already love. Because of this, this list is a two-a-day listing of 10 of my favorites. Some of them are favorites of the fans; some have caused controversy and hatred. All of them demonstrate the qualities above.
(And before you ask: This has nothing to do with America, Patriotism or the 4th of July – it’s not that I’m unpatriotic, it’s that I have something else in mind for that day.)
Sanitarium, covered by Limp Bizkit, originally by Metallica
Why I like this version: When a band is THE FAVORITE for anyone, any version of their music covered by someone else comes under great scrutiny – especially when the band covering them is someone who’s hated on by others. People are often quick to criticize others who copy or make an idea their own, forgetting that some of the best products today are not near what those ideas started out as. Rather than trying to match musically what Metallica did – something they could have done with a second guitarist easily, or could have tried doing with only one guitarist as many bands do – they chose the dangerous path of adapting it to their style. In this case, it works well: Durst’s rapping changes the feel of the song, and the changes give the song some hidden edges. I wish they had put this to CD, though.
Another Brick in the Wall pts 1-3, covered by Korn, originally by Pink Floyd
Why I like this version: Technically, this is three songs combined into one – which, on the original, was spread out with other Floyd songs as part of a concept album. Korn didn’t change much for their version – the main thing they did was to amp up the guitars – but that was all they needed to do. Davis’s vocals add a roughness and amp up the anger and emotion of Water’s original singing, and modernizes the song to fit today.