Category Archives: Bad Covers of Bad Songs

Bad Covers of Bad Songs: Kiss From a Rose

NorthernKings It’s been a while since we last did a Bad Covers of Bad Songs segment, but we felt the time was right to throw it back into the mix. After all, we’ve had weeks of great music and the like since the last one, and we were starting to think we were taking ourselves a little too seriously around here. Fortunately, the way the music world works is for every crappy hit song that is out there, there’s at least one thousand even crappier covers of it from both the amateur and pro ranks. Well, if not crappy at least bizarre to the point of being crappy. Let’s roll out today’s specimen, Kiss From a Rose by Seal. It’s hard to believe this song took home the Record and Song of the Year Grammys back in 1996, since…actually, it’s not hard to believe at all. The Grammys love schlock like this.

So, here we have Northern Kings and their version of the song. There’s not a whole lot of info on the band out there, with the exception of good ol’ Wikipedia which describes the band as, “..a Finnish symphonic metal cover supergroup…”. As you’ll soon find out, the stellar combination of cheeseball synth, nordic Viking chic wardrobe, much facial hair, and over-the-top attempted vocal grandstanding make this a version you won’t soon forget. You’ll try, but it just won’t…get..out..of…your…head.

Truth be known, it’s almost unrecognizable compared to the original. You would think that would be a good thing.

The Original:

The Cover:

Bad Covers of Bad Songs: Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

Wham! When Wham first showed up with ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ in 1984, it caused a stir for a variety of reasons. First, the video: over-sized Choose Life tshirts, uber tight short shorts, and bleached white smiles that occasionally blinded the cameras.  Second, and perhaps most disturbing: it ended the career of ‘cool’ white boy funk Wham (‘Young Guns! Go For It”, ‘Wham! Rap!’, ‘Bad Boys’) and launched a decade of sugary sweet, teen friendly, ‘Careless Whisper’ Wham.  As badly as the song has been lampooned by the public and musicians alike, it still continues to make appearances on hugely publicized stages, including American Idol and X-Factor.  Not to mention dozens of other TV programs that at some point in time needed a four minute song and dance number that small children could sing and look cute while doing it.

So here we are.  The cover.  I thought at first these guys were just trying to be jokesters and butcher this tune on purpose.  It looks like they’ve got a substantial collection of vids out there, and all of them are just slightly…off.  It appears that some of them can sing, but as soon as someone steps up for a solo things go bad. Very bad.  See for yourself.

The Original:

The Cover:

Bad Covers of Bad Songs: If I Could Turn Back Time

Cher 1989.  Times were simpler then, the year Cher released the Diane Warren-penned ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’.  There was no facebook, no terrorism threat on home soil, and the world was still five years away from Bieber teaching himself how to play guitar in his mother’s womb.  Over the past few years there’s been an ongoing skirmish over the US military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, but in 1989 it was more of a ‘if we ignore it, it will go away’ kinda thing.  So when Cher decided to film the video for ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ aboard a US battleship surrounded by far-too-happy-to-be-there naval personnel, none of the US military higher-ups ever suspected it would turn it what it did: the gayest video ever made.  With full support of the US Navy to boot.  With that being said, the song is, quite frankly, a turd. And the cover of it is equally smelly, but just as entertaining as watching Cher cavort half naked surrounded by shrieking sea men.

The Original:

The Cover:

Bad Covers of Bad Songs: Lick It Up

Kiss The album Lick It Up by Kiss began a new era in the band's storied career.  The make up was off, members Peter Criss and Ace Frehey were tossed, and the world could finally see that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were, without a doubt, butt fugly.  Without the outfits to hide behind, the band sank into a sea of bad 80's arena rock. With the addition of lead guitarist Vinnie Vincent (who in this particular video looks eerily similar to the oldest daughter on Modern Family), Kiss became followers to far lesser bands.  I've never really been much of a fan of Kiss, but I can remember hearing this song for the first time and thinking, "What…the…fu..?"  Then I saw the video for today's bad song 'Lick It Up' and I knew it would be the start of dark days for the Kiss Army.  Besides Gene and Paul now being in a band with a couple of guys who looked like the kind of dudes they would've pantsed on a daily basis back in grade school, the band had become a parody of themselves.  

So hopefully you'll enjoy 'Lick It Up' as covered by singer/keyboardist Butch Philips.  I know I've included this in Bad Covers of Bad Songs, but this one is almost so bad it's good.  His voice is fine, but man, that keyboard… 

The original:

 

The cover:

Bad Covers of Bad Songs: Kokomo

Beach-boys I'm sure the guys working on the atomic bomb knew they were dealing with something dangerous as they were tinkering around in their dingy lab way back when.  They also probably thought there's no way in the world anyone would be crazy enough to use the bloody thing, right?

Whoops.

I can't help but think that's the same way the writers of 'Kokomo' felt as they penned the 1988 chart topping smash sung by The Beach Boys for the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise guide to sexy bartending 'Cocktail'. "Sure", the writers said to themselves as they finished the chorus that could drill itself into a listener's skull, destroying all brain matter as it went.  "In the wrong hands, this song could do some serious damage.  Let's take a pact that it will not fall into those hands."  Then they all got hammered on zombies, forgot about the pact, and handed the song over to The Beach Boys' Mike Love.  The rest, as they say, is history.  And history, as they also say, is written by the winners.

So here we are.  Forget about the tropics.  What this song really needs is a living room setting.  With a drum machine.  And a tiny little dog walking around.  What's that?  Someone has done that?  Well, let's take a look then!

The original:

 

The cover:

Bad Covers of Bad Songs: Ebony and Ivory

Stevie-paul It's funny.  I like Stevie Wonder.  I like The Beatles.  Take a Beatle who isn't John Lennon away from the rest of the band and sit him down at a piano and sometimes things go…wrong?  I know a lot of people who love Ebony and Ivory, but I feel like it could be one of the biggest pieces of cheese ever created in the history of pop music.  It could feed an entire village, there's so much cheese.  When this duet from Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney hit the airwaves in 1982 it went straight to the top of the charts around the world.  McCartney and Wonder weren't even in the same studio when the song was recorded, which is too bad since if they were they might have been able talk some sense into each other and skip this one.

Our cover this week comes from the band Flying Horses, who get marks for trying but thanks to a lack of vocal ability fall a little flat.

The Original:

 

The Cover:

Bad Covers of Bad Songs: The Final Countdown

Images

What seems like a lifetime ago Europe (the band with tight trousers and wicked hair, not the geographical location) had a hit with the tune ‘The Final Countdown’.  For the first installment of Bad Covers of Bad Songs That’s Funky Awesome presents a lackluster performance of the tune that appears to have been recorded at a county fair.

The original:

The cover: