The six worst covers of all time

Friday, March 21, 2014
Most bands start out covering some songs as part of their set. Sometimes covers can be great. Cash’s cover of Hurt being a great example. Covers can also be good as novelty, but sometimes covers go bad. Terribly, terribly bad. Here are six of the worst covers we could find.

Miley Cyrus - Smells Like Teen Spirit: This is so bad I can’t even be snarky about it. Isn’t this exactly what Kurt Cobain was railing against? The idea of Miley singing Kurt’s opus to the disaffected without a hint of irony makes me cringe. I didn’t even know this existed until last year. This was before Ms. Cyrus went all adult with her career. Her coming out party and attendant antics does show me how cynical and calculating she and her management are. Singing this song to a crowd who were barely out of diapers or weren’t even alive when Kurt took his life, who probably don’t understand the lyrics, is a travesty.

Sheryl Crow - Sweet Child O’ Mine: I like Sheryl Crow, but this a serious WTF moment in her career. I would like to think some producer said to Sheryl, “You know what this album needs? Some Guns ’N Roses,” and Sheryl said, “I don’t know”. Then the producer said, “What’s the worst that could happen?”. This. This is the worst that could happen.

U2 - Fortunate Son: Why does this even exist? Who exactly thought they should release it? Why? I am huge U2 fan but this is so cringeworthy it makes me want to cry. Seriously. Cry like a little child. Why, U2, why?

Oasis - Heroes: Oasis is a band accused of ripping off the Beatles, but in this song they took what is, arguably, one of the best pop hits of all time. They put it in the Oasis meat grinder and totally destroyed Heroes. Now, Heroes is on my list of top six best produced songs of all time, so not only do I find this cover horrible, I also find it insulting. I wonder if Liam or Noell even thought this was a good idea. Maybe they were both drunk and fighting and it sounded like a good idea.

Bono & Chris Martin - What’s Goin’ On: Oh look, Bono made the list twice! The horribleness of this cover makes me wish Marvin Gaye climbed out of his grave, went down to the studio and bitch slapped the both of them. Then zombie Marvin Gaye would sit the two of them down like children and show them how it’s really done.

Big & Rich - You Shook Me All Night Long: This is the classic bad cover. Take a song, change the genre and hope it works. How can you even be proud of this? It’s like U2’s cover of Fortunate Son, who told these guys, “Hey that’s great! Let’s put it on the album!”? Look, some songs crossover just fine to country, but AC/DC? No… just… no.

Here are some youtube clips of said awfulness. Listen if you dare.


  1. I thought they were all hideous until I heard Big & Rich and then...well then my eardrums exploded. SO bad. Just- no.

  2. They are all horrendous


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