UG Articles Archive

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top 5 Metal Covers of Pop Songs

For today's post I thought I'd do a list, because everyone loves lists.

Ever hear a pop song and think 'Wow, if someone did a metal version of this it would be awesome'?  Well, then you're in for a treat, because this is my list of the 5 best metal covers of pop songs:
(Songs by artists that only play covers have been omitted, as that shit is cheating)

5.  Blind Guardian - You're the Voice (John Farnham cover)
Blind Guardian tends not to screw too much with the sound of the tune they're covering, and this is mostly true of "You're the Voice."  The bagpipes are a nice touch, and the song just feels more powerful with the bigger guitar sound.  Hansi Kursch's vocals are what make this cover awesome, and it was a song choice that I think fits right in with the Blind Guardian sound.

4. Machine Head - Message in a Bottle (Police cover)
I've recently become a bit of a fan of Machine Head, or, excuse me, Machine FUCKING Head, which is what the band's true fans call them (allegedly.)  The "I'll send an SOS to the world" repetition in the original version of the tune always seemed to me to be ripe for a more metal rhythm backing, and Machine Head delivers.  The vocals are raw and heavy, which is just 100 billion times better than listening to Sting.

3. Dream Theater - Funeral for a Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding (Elton John cover)
I remember the first time I heard this song.  I was doing dishes after a family dinner when I was 8 or 9 and my dad put on his favorite Elton John CD.  I was pretty much hooked instantly, and it's been a favorite of mine ever since.  It's a pretty rocking tune to begin with, but Dream Theater brings it to another level.  It's a very interesting take on the original, and you can't go wrong with John Petrucci and his flawless shredding.  Great stuff.

2.  Anthrax feat. Public Enemy - Bring the Noise (Public Enemy cover/collaboration)
Chuck D, Flava Flav, and Scott Ian on the same track?  Thrash drums, guitars, YEAAAHHHH BOYYYYYYYYs, Scott Ian rapping, and an appearance at 3:30 by Ice T?  The stuff of legends.  Anthrax released a studio version as well, but this live version tops it easily, demonstrating that rap and metal could successfully coexist in the early 90s, before the Fred Dursts of the world arrived to ruin that harmonious balance:

1.  Children of Bodom - Oops!  I Did it Again (Britney Spears cover)
This track is a crossover cover masterpiece.  Leave it to Alexi Laiho and company to turn a tame and bland teenage girl-marketed pop song into a headbanging monster of a tune.  The chorus section fits perfectly with the heavy chugging rhythm line Bodom adds, and the random Finnish chatter midway through the song is confusing yet hilarious.  The contrast between Spears' voice, left in the mix for parts of the song, and Laiho's raw scream is just perfect.  Add to all this the fact that the song was recorded as a joke when the band was raging drunk makes COB's Oops! I Did it Again my #1 metal cover of a pop far.

Got any suggestions for other potential winners?  Think my list is garbage and you could do better?  Then let's see your top tunes in the comments, dick.


  1. My favorite is the Gorath cover of Britney Spears:

  2. That's pretty awesome, though it's pretty loaded with noise, kinda hard to make out the original melody. Almost wouldn't be able to figure out it was a cover without being told.