Cover Songs to Live and Die By

I recently heard the abomination that is Amarillo by Brainstorm. I had forgotten how truly awful a cover it is. Then, on the flip side, take The Sound Of Silence by Nevermore. Stunning. I have noticed that metal bands seem to love doing cover songs, some taking particular pleasure in Brittney Spears and Christmas songs. So, a simple question, what would you say are the best and worst cover songs done by metal bands?

  • Félim Whiteley

    Best – Sanitarium/Welcome Home by Limp Bizkit in Metallica Tribute or pretty much aqll of Garage Days Revisited/Garage Inc. by Metallica… except below ;-)

    Worst – Whiskey in the Jar by Metallica… it’s a Cover of a cover of a Traditional Irish song… and Thin Lizzy is better by being original.. InMetallicas covers of NWOBHM at least they sped it up etc

  • http://www.jezuk.co.uk/jez Jez

    I always had a fondness for Xentrix’s Ghostbusters cover, and Apocalyptica’s version of Refuse/Resist is fantastic. They’re playing in Brum in December, I think. Will you be along?

  • Félim Whiteley
  • Giacomo

    Generally I don’t like cover, and to be honest, I think that the cover of The Sound of Silence is the worst song in the album :O

  • Ash

    Nevermore is a terrific band, very talented. I’ll look forward to hearing that cover one day. For me, my favourite covers by a heavy metal band are from Type O Negative’s Origin of the Faeces album. Their covers of “Paranoid” and “Hey Joe” are brilliant examples of making other bands’ songs your own, and they do have a unique vibe- A gothic hey Joe!

  • http://julipedia.blogspot.com/ jmmv

    If by “cover song” you mean the first song of an album… my positive vote goes to “Imaginations from the other side”, from the album of the same name by Blind Guardian. “Crimson King” from the “Touched by the crimson king” album by Demons & Wizards is also very good. Would probably recommend some more, but I have to go now ;-)

  • Dom Lachowicz

    “No Quarter” by Tool

  • Kat

    I never know what you lot consider a metal band, but I’m very partial to “easy” by faith no more.

  • IanW

    I have a soft spot put aside for the metal tribute album Heavy Abba. Especially the Helloween cover of “Lay All Your Love on Me”.

  • Ken

    The best best cover version ever is Frank Zappa’s live take on Stairway to Heaven. It’s on the album “The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life”, a recording of a gig in 1988. There are a lot of “funny noise” samples, a huge drumkit (maybe more than one), typical rock guitar setups and a large, solid brass-section – nearly a Big Band. Oh yeah – and they’re playing it reggae style.

  • jorge

    I’m really into Disturbed’s “Land of Confusion.”

    Megadeth also does an awesome “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath.

  • http://www.hamjob.com GoatTuber

    Not really a metal band, but Fat Cat Voodoo is definitely worth checking out if you appreciate classic rock and blues. They put a harder sounding edge on some great classics.

  • http://www.jameshooker.com James Hooker

    This is Halloween (from a nightmare before xmas) – Marilyn Manson

  • Jonas

    Depends on how you define metal band…Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Personal Jesus” is pretty damn good. HIM’s version of “Wicked game” is amazing. “Smooth criminal” as performed by Alien Ant Farm is good too. Leatherstrip’s “Showroom dummies” ain’t too bad either. If I had to pick just ONE of these, it would be “Wicked game”.

    The worst? Probably the Tribute to Metallica album by Die Krupps. Simply awful. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

  • http://decafbad.net Craig Maloney

    Best: Got the Time – Anthrax (Originally by Joe Jackson) Brick House – Rob Zombie (Not really a cover, since Lionel Ritchie appeared, but still good nonetheless) Land of Confusion – Disturbed (Originally by Genesis) Painkiller – Death (Originally by Judas Priest) Talk Talk – Prong (originally by Talk Talk) Cars – Fear Factory (performed with Gary Numan) Just about any cover that Megadeth did, with rare exception.

    Worst: Lay Lady Lay – Revolting Cocks (Originally by Bob Dylan) (Cringe-worthy at best) Anarchy in the UK – Megadeth (Originally by the Sex Pistols) (Only because they mis-remembered up the lyrics)

  • http://lunacymaze.org lunacymaze

    Two of my favourites are Gethsemane played by Vanden Plas (originally from the Jesus Christ Superstar rock opera) and Enjoy the Silence by Lacuna Coil.

  • Janne

    “Walking in the air” by Nightwish. truly, truly beautiful piece of music. i really love the solo in it. the orignal by Howard Blake is beautiul as well.

  • http://maxolasersquad.com/ Maxo

    {Deep, deep voice} “Summer dreams, makes me feel fine. Like blowing through the jazzmen in my mind.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about you don’t truly love metal.

  • Antoine

    I love the wacky versions of “La Bamba” or “Smoke on the water” by Mattias ‘IA’ Eklundh (from Freak Kitchen). Cracks me up every time…

  • http://www.jessejoe.com/ Jesse Jarzynka

    Yeah, gotta go with Astronomy by Metallica on Garage Inc. Awesome guitar work on a very obscure Blue Oyster Cult song which is amazing.

  • IllO

    Johnny Cash has done some good covers, like Personal Jesus (from Depeche Mode) and Hurt (from Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails).

    Also the Supertroopers (previously known as The Abbas) have done some wonderful things with music from Abba.

    Finally I’ve heard several folkbands play Maiden songs. Cracks me up everytime :)

  • http://www.jameshooker.com James Hooker

    How could I forget -

    There was a “Tribute to the Beast” Iron Maiden album – -

    Transylvania – Iced Earth was amazing

    and Running Free – Grave Digger

  • http://blog.nixternal.com nixternal

    Alien Ant Farms rendition of Michael “is that your son” Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. Don’t know why, but I find myself running people off the road from groovin’ when I hear it on the radio.

  • Yanko Kaneti

    I love how Metallica can turn songs into their own. The Garage Days EP was my frist hook into heavy sound.

  • Dave Morley

    Best

    Guns ‘n’ Roses Live and let die (paul and wings did it first)

    Worst

    Guns ‘n’ Roses stairway to heaven (even rolf didn’t manage to kill this) :)

  • Mike

    HLAH (at the time Head Like a Hole) did a couple of great covers including ‘Summer Lovin’ from Grease and Springstein’s ‘I’m on Fire’.

  • anthony

    the worst is anything by six feet under.

  • John

    More punk than metal (and about the best thing they did too) but I always loved Three Colours Red’s version of “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush. All together now… “Heathcliff, it’s me, your Cathy…”

  • Daniel

    It depends on what you consider ‘good’, but if you’re looking for the most entertaining cover by a metal band, it’s hard to beat Blind Guardian’s rendition of Mr. Sandman: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qDFmNgmaEe0 :D

  • http://www.kallisti.net.nz/blog Robin

    In Flames – Land of Confusion After Forever – Evil That Men Do There’s also some amusing stuff on ‘A Swedish Metal Tribute to Abba’.

  • doug

    the best cover: The Misfits – Monster Mash

    The worst: chicks doing metal songs as dance songs

  • http://www.qdh.org.uk Karl Lattimer

    Best – I think I love you – Less Than Jake, or take your pick from their greese album :) Worst – Ever Fall In Love (with someone you shouldn’t) – FYC, that was just wrong!

  • ooer

    best technically: Faith No More, War Pigs

    best rocking-hard: Slayer, In-a-Gadda-da-Vida

    best live recording: Iron Maiden, Revelations (not a cover but I love it)

    worst: Iron Maiden, Cross-Eyed Mary (what were they drinking??)

  • http://www.davidpashley.com JD

    Nothing can come close to the awful live version of Chop-Suey – SoaD by Avril Lavigne. I think even she knew she shouldn’t have tried it.

  • http://www.csamuel.org/ Chris Samuel

    Two favourites of mine are Acid Reign covering “Hanging on the trelephone” (only released as a single I think) and Jelo Biafra and DOA covering “We gotta get out of this place” from “Last Scream Of The Missing Neighbors”.

  • Brian R

    “Nothing can come close to the awful live version of Chop-Suey – SoaD by Avril Lavigne.” Wrong.

    Crazy Frog did a cover version of Chop Suey. That’s right- Crazy Frog.

    Speaking of SOAD, their live cover version of “When the smoke is going down” by The Scorpions is excellent.

    A good rock (rather than metal) cover is Gun’s version of Word Up! by Cameo. Korn’s take on the song is pretty good, too. Whether Rage Against the Machine are metal (as opposed to Rock) is also debatable, but anything off their Renegades cover album is well worth a listen. In particular, Kick Out the Jams rocks harder than even a particularly hard lump of rock.

  • http://silent-blade.org Athropos

    Best: Fear of the Dark by Cradle of Filth. A metal song by a metal band, but an amazing work. It sounds like an horror movie OSD.

    I don’t know any really awful cover, so I’ll give a second very good cover: Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson. They have turned a dance song into a suicidal one.

  • ChrisM

    Most awesome cover ever – Soundgarden doing Come Together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpT4kgg5xlw :cool:

  • kriberg

    Iron Saviour – crazy (originally by seal). Anton Maiden ofc ;)

  • http://theangryangel.co.uk the_angry_angel

    Some of the Metallica covers by Apocalyptica are pretty impressive, when you consider their “limited” instruments.

    A few others that I can recall off the top of my head, as pretty enjoyable / wacky; H-Blockx’s cover of The Power Dimmu Borgir’s version of Twisted Sisters Burn In Hell Decide did Black Night, which I think was a Deep Purple song A Perfect Circle did a cover of Lennon’s Imagine. Pretty good I thought..

    The “worst” I think has to be Manson’s cover of Another Brick in the Wall, simply because it’s fairly similar. Or Mord A Stigmata’s cover of Firestarter (Prodigy), which was horrifically boring

  • J. Hilchin

    I seem to remember hearing a terrible metal version of The Free Software Song somewhere… :-)

  • http://informationhunger.blogspot.com C.M

    Machinehead – Message in a bottle (from The Burning Red) It’s a great song from the start, and even better in this version. Can’t believe no one has mentioned it yet, listen here (speed up at 1:26): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU3TIQQKyso

  • RealJenius

    Mako – it’s actually ‘Jasmine’, not ‘Jazzmen’ :wink:

  • http://www.keincoder.de Martin

    Best: ‘Barbara Ann’, performed by Blind Guardian. Worst? Well, there was this Heintje-Song performed by an Munich based death-metal-Project in the “Fabrik” I once witnessed. On the other hand, it was so extremly bad that it actually was adorable again. “Grunt Maaaammaaaaaa, Grunt …”

  • http://www.theshadowaspect.com mph

    my personal faves

    Sonata Artica – Fade to Black(Metallica Cover) Akercoke – Chapel of Ghouls(Morbid Angel Cover) Deftones – Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)

  • McFaust

    ‘The wild rover’ By Tyr. A viking metal version of an Irish folk song.