Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Top 10 Rock Covers of Pop Songs

All bands begin as cover bands and the songs they cover are generally an indication of their influences. Well, as it turns out, there are quite a number of rock and metal acts out there who were closet fans of 80's pop music judging by the number of Top 40 hits that have been covered by rock bands.

The following list has some of the most famous pop songs that have been given a 'rock' makeover:

10.  Disturbed - Shout

Disturbed's breakthrough album, The Sickness, may forever be associated with David Draiman's trademark animal scream in the hit song, Down With The Sickness, but the band's debut album also featured Shout by Tears For Fears. Interestingly enough, Disturbed isn't the only rock band to have covered this song. According to Wikipedia, it's also been covered by a German death metal band and a Japanese rock band.

9. Nonpoint - In The Air

Phil Collins' 1981 hit, In The Air, remains one of his most famous ever songs and in 2005, Florida metal band, Nonpoint, featured a cover of the song in their sixth album, To The Pain. The song became the theme song for Miami Vice which starred Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. On a side note, this isn't the only song by Collins that's been covered by a metal act. Read on to find out who else has covered the former Genesis drummer.

8. Quietdrive - Time After Time

Alternative rockers, Quietdrive, are apparently one of 120 acts that have covered Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time. The Minnesota-based band released their cover of Lauper's 1986 classic in their debut album, When All That's Left Is You, in 2006. Their cover gained nationwide airplay in the US and also made it into the Top 40s. Lesson? If you want to breakthrough to the mainstream, cover a mainstream hit.

7. Korn - Word Up

In 2004, Korn released Greatest Hits, Volume 1 which featured a cover of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall (which made sense) and Cameo's Word Up! (didn't make sense). Who knew these headbangers were secretly into funk? The cover marks a significant departure from the band's typical style and the video that supported the single features the faces of each member of the band superimposed on a dog.

One of the band's guitar players, Brian "Head" Welch, wasn't exactly thrilled with the concept and included it as one of the factors that made him leave the band (the other factor is that he found God which the rest of the band, obviously, hadn't).

6.  Marilyn Manson - Tainted Love

It is a little known fact that the song Tainted Love was originally recorded in 1965 but spent years in obscurity until it was remade and released by Soft Cell in 1981. Then came Marilyn Manson in 2001 who made cover of the song for the soundtrack for Not Another Teen Movie. This wasn't the first time Manson had covered a pop song as you'll later see in this list. The video features the cast of Not Another Teen Movie as well as Joey Jordison of Slipknot.

5. Limp Bizkit - Faith

Next to Phil Collins, George Michael is probably the only other pop star whose music has been remade more than once by rock acts. Limp Bizkit's debut album, Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$, featured Michael's 1987 hit, Faith. The song was released as the second singly of Bizkit's debut album and became the band's breakthrough to rock radio. The band's guitarist, Wes Borland, has previously claimed that Michael hated the Bizkit version.

4. Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal

In 2001, Alien Ant Farm covered Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal in their second album, Anthology. The band's remake gained massive airplay and made it to number one on the Billboard modern rock charts and was a number one single in Australia. Unfortunately for the band, it remains their biggest hit to-date.

3. Disturbed - Land Of Confusion

While Disturbed's debut album featured a cover of Tears for Fears' Shout, their third studio album, Ten Thousand Fists, featured a remake of Land of Confusion by Genesis. Ten Thousand Fists was viewed as a political/ anti-George W. Bush album which makes Land Of Confusion fit in perfectly well with the rest of theme of the album (Land of Confusion was largely seen as an anti-Cold War song).

2. Seether - Careless Whisper

If Limp Bizkit's cover of Faith seemed weird, this one took the cake. South African post-grunge rockers, Seether, remade Michael's most famous song, Careless Whisper, in the band's fourth studio album, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. But bizzare as it may seem, the band's remake received plenty of radio airplay introduced Michael's classic to a new generation, albeit in a much rockier way.

1. Marilyn Manson - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)

In 1995, Marilyn Manson released a cover of the Eurythmics' 1983 hit single, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These) on the former's second album, Smells Like Children. Unlike many other remakes, Manson's cover of the song bares very little similarity with the original, with the exception of the opening riff (which was played on a guitar instead of a synthesizer on a significantly slower tempo) and the lyrics.

In fact, even the lyrics were modified by Manson who added the lines, "I wanna use you and abuse you/I wanna know what's inside you" and "I'm gonna use you and abuse you/ I'm gonna know what's inside you." The single helped propel Manson into the mainstream and still remains a staple of his live shows.

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