Follow TV Tropes
For some time now, I've been convinced that there should be a "blacklist" of songs that cover bands wouldn't be allowed to play anymore, simply because they've been done to death.
You know the feeling. You're at a moderately large party, and the people organising the party thought it would be mighty fun to invite a local cover band to provide some live music. And they start to play... and you go, 'Oh no, not THAT song again.'
In my experience, there are three reasons why some songs get covered to death:
The following is a list of songs of which we, the posters in this thread, have heard a hundred equally bland renditions by a hundred cover bands, and of which we strongly wish not to hear the 101st rendition. Note that being on this list does not mean a song is bad; we aren't trying to bash any particular genre or period, either. This list purely concerns itself with songs that have been covered too often, thus eliciting the aforementioned 'Oh no, not THAT song again' response.
Also note that, since this is about Cover Versions, the songs are sorted by their original artist (or, in the case of a traditional, the earliest known performance). This is not necessarily the version most people are familiar with.
We're at 50 songs now, I think that's a nice round number.
edited 9th Apr '12 3:09:21 AM by MidnightRambler
I'd vote for Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", simply because if you're playing it, it's generally because A) you can't play anything else and B) you think it's gonna have the widest appeal and make people love you.
"Crazy Train" too maybe—playing it is essentially admitting, "We only know/can play a single metal song."
And I like Amii Stewart's version of "Knock on Wood" :'( (Maybe it's just because I like disco.)
EDIT: Oh, your username just made me think of "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band...maybe? And there's probably a couple Rolling Stones songs we can add to this list, but I can't think of a good specific one to list.
edited 27th Mar '12 7:04:41 PM by 0dd1
Ooh, yes, "The Joker"! Good one. As for "I'm Yours", I don't know about that one... although I've definitely heard that chord progression a thousand times. If you say it's been done to death, I'll trust your word.
And like you, I've been thinking of Rolling Stones songs to add to the list, but can't think of any specific songs that are really played so often it gets annoying. Besides, most of their well-known songs are just too damn good to be on a list like this.
edited 27th Mar '12 7:13:06 PM by MidnightRambler
Maybe "I Can Get No Satisfaction" for sole virtue of its riff having become a cliche by this point? And speaking of riffs, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" maybe EDIT: And "Smoke on the Water", though that's more of a "don't enter a guitar store if that's all you're going to do" thing.
edited 27th Mar '12 7:10:29 PM by 0dd1
Well, I was mostly thinking of the standard pop/soul outfit - you know, the ones with bubbly blonde women on vocals, serious-looking guitarists in dress shirts, and often a small brass section. (I don't know if bands like this exist everywhere, but it's definitely a thing here in the Netherlands).
Still, "Crazy Train" is probably a good addition, but "Smoke On The Water" is more of a guitar-store thing, indeed - I don't know if I've ever heard a band play it. As for "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", I think I'd actually be happy if a cover band played that...
Well, unless you're trying to pay homage to DEVO or The Residents, in which case "Satisfaction" should be forgiven if not advised.
As for covers that people should just avoid playing like the septicaemic plague, "Anarchy in the U.K." and "Sweet Jane". Seriously, just... if you're going to play a Sex Pistols song, there are several others that you can play without sounding like a simpering poseur. Ditto the Velvet Underground, with the further caveat that everyone forgets the middle-eight and, more importantly, the fourth chord.
It also may be the only thing of serious merit in Iron Butterfly's entire catalogue. The organ part requires some talent, though.
edited 27th Mar '12 7:27:05 PM by JHM
They have a catalogue?
There's a reason for you thinking that...
Well, I was kidding I know the other songs on the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album - of which "Are You Happy?" is actually quite decent.
Anyway, back on topic... If enough people contribute to this, we might be able to make it into an article, similar to The Grand List Of Console RPG Cliches. That would be pretty cool.
edited 27th Mar '12 7:52:00 PM by MidnightRambler
Also, HOW did I miss "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" when I originally posted this?!
Heh, just realized one song you have on this list is a song a friend of mine's band plays in their shows ("Anarchy in the U.K.").
That was JHM's addition. I personally can't recall ever having heard a band play it.
"Tainted Love" should be on there. Hell, the Soft Cell version is a cover.
Really? Some of my favorite covers are of songs on that list. Stuff like Smells Like Teen Spirit by Patty Smith. (The riff is catchy, but so what? Why are you being protective over it?) Also a poster up thread mentioned Satisfaction. I love Cat Power's take on this song.
In general this is true, though I may give exception to covering Coil's version—namely, at a snail's pace, with all the sinister overtones turned waaay up.
Patty Smith does not count here. We are talking normal humans.
edited 27th Mar '12 10:09:15 PM by JHM
I think generally he means being covered by the kind of band you'd hear playing at one of your local venues or in a bar or something.
@JHM: yeah, there are some good ones...but Christ, you could put together a 2 CD set from covers of that song alone. It is officially played out, I say.
Yeah, we're not talking about actually recorded covers by accomplished musicians - just about the thousands of small-time cover bands who exist primarily to provide live music at parties and other small events, and about the tens or hundreds of thousands of cheesy teenage bands across the world.
edited 27th Mar '12 10:25:28 PM by MidnightRambler
Or like the four I was in.
I take it some of these choices are from personal performance experience?
I'm in a band in which at least two of the active members are teenagers, and we don't completely suck...
(Caveat: One of them is a virtuoso classical player; the other is just shy of twenty. The residual suck is, therefore, inexcusable.)
Damn. Wish I knew people who played the violin at all, much less are virtuosos.
He's actually a viola player. We have a violin player too, though; he also plays guitar sometimes.
But yes, it's one of those weird coincidence things, in this case. That, and our school being saturated with random musicians and choral singers (we're big on the arts around here).
But back to it! There are certain Pixies songs, I think, that should not be covered without sufficient justification or modification, for the simple reason that anyone with a less idiosyncratic voice than Frank Black would just sound dumb trying to sing them. Ditto Dead Kennedys, if to a much lesser extent. (I actually really want to sing "The Man With The Dogs"...)
edited 27th Mar '12 10:51:59 PM by JHM
Yes, they are. God, how I hated having to play "Californication" because that's the only thing we could more or less agree on...
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?