Ah, music and movies. I've been having a real one track mind as of late, and here's something else to add to that. In my Song Sampling video, I explained the difference between a cover song and a rip off song. Here, we're going to be talking about covers, though. This is actually going to be a positive list for a change and we're going to go over my PERSONAL Top 7 Favorite Covers.
Honorable Mention: "Turn The Page" by Metallica
Now, I know the public is really half & half on this song, but as a big Metallica fan, I really dug their spin on Bob Segar's classic tune "Turn The Page". It's such an amazing song that you can't help but bob your head to it and that was the reason Metallica covered it. However, even with their enthusiasm and effort, Metallica's version falls a little short when compared to the original Segar version. Either way, they're both amazing songs and when either one comes on, drop what you're doing and crank that shit up!
#7 - "Bad Company" by Five Finger Death Punch
Ordinarily, I don't give bands that debuted past June 2004 much of a chance because most of them sound the same. That said, I'm glad I looked these guys up out of curiosity after a friend saw them opening for Korn. This was the first song I heard from them and I was floored. Much like Metallica's "Turn The Page," FFDP's take at "Bad Company" falls oh so short to the original version from Bad Company, but at the same time, FFDP's version has a lot of OOMF to it and it colored me very impressed, thinking that the future of metal may not be limited to all those "Rah-Rah-Rah" type bands.
#6 - "Balls To The Wall" by Fozzy
Originally done by Accept in 1984, "Balls To The Wall" is classic metal in every sense of the word. Much like Quiet Riot's "Metal Health", this song will get your head thrashing and your fists pumping. However, I gotta be honest, I prefer Fozzy's version. Featuring former members of Faith No More, Stuck Mojo & sporting WWE Superstar & fellow Manitoban Chris Jericho on vocals, Fozzy did a great job on this song and I feel it outdoes the original.
#5 - "Rock On" by Def Leppard
Originally done by David Essex, "Rock On" was the main single on Def Leppard's cover album "Yeah!" I find it superior to the original version because Essex's version is mostly vocals and little music, whereas Def's version actually makes use of the music, including a rocking guitar solo at the end and a neat bass intro at the start. That, and this song sounds awesome live.
#4 - "Pretty Woman" by Van Halen
Now, with all due respect to Roy Orbison's classic, Van Halen's cover appeals to me more as a classic rock fan. With the instrumental "The Intruder" building up to "Pretty Woman," the song takes off with Eddie Van Halen's trademark sound and is soon joined by David Lee Roth's wise ass naughty vocals. What's not to love about this song? It's upbeat, has a bit more crunch to it, but at the same time doesn't distance itself so far from the original. Love it.
#3 - "Holy Diver" by Killswitch Engage
Originally done by the late, great, heavy metal godfather Ronnie James Dio, "Holy Diver" is a rockin' tale of medieval magic and adventure. While Dio's version is great in itself, I find myself leaning towards Killswitch Engage's version simply because it feels like it has more energy behind it with crunchier instrumentals and incredible vocal work from singer Howard Jones. The music video for "Holy Diver" is an entertaining watch as well and it goes to show how much of a disturbingly convincing woman guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz can portray.
#2 - "Land Of Confusion" by Disturbed
This song was originally done by Genesis way back in 1986 and the music video for it was VERY fucked up. Phil Collins as a puppet is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen, but the song is very powerful with its message of greed & uncertainty of the world during The Cold War yet having an optimistic sense of hope for the future. The Disturbed version builds on top of this and expands it by putting it modern scenarios of a more corporate & globalized world. As for the music itself, much like "Holy Diver," Disturbed's version seems more energetic, but it doesn't completely overshadow the amazing original version either.
And my #1 favorite cover song is...well, it's actually a tie! A tie between PanterA's covers of "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Planet Caravan."
"Cat Scratch Fever" by PanterA
Yeah, yeah. You're probably thinking, "Oh, sure. The Cynic's favorite cover songs are from his favorite band. Big woop." Hear me out. I know there's a lot of hate on this band for whatever reason, but holy fuck, I love PanterA. I don't think anything short of Metallica's "Master Of Puppets" or Judas Priest's "Painkiller" gets me going the way PanterA does. Now, as you probably already know, "Cat Scratch Fever" was originally done by the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent. This song is basically singing about getting poon with the use of delightful feline euphemisms. This cover was recorded for the soundtrack of the film "Detroit Rock City" and drummer Vinnie Paul has been quoted saying, "We're all huge Ted fans & we wanted to put our own spin on it. I swear, I hear our version in tittie bars more than Ted's." Even my own mother, who is very neutral on the whole heavy metal subject, finds this version better than the original. This is either really cool or really sad.
Now, as much as I love me some "Cat Scratch Fever," technically speaking, the cover of Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan" is the better song. "Planet Caravan" was originally on Black Sabbath's epic "Paranoid" album but whenever I listen to it, I can't hear a damn thing, which is a shame. This is one reason why I love PanterA's version. The other is because of how out-of-left-field it is. Seriously, just listen to the song. This song isn't like "Cemetery Gates" or "This Love" where it goes back and forth from melodic to heavy. It stays this mellow the entire time and it's impressive that it does so seeing as how PanterA put this on the same album as such ballbreakers as "5 Minutes Alone," "Becoming," "Use My Third Arm," and "Strength Beyond Strength." I have been known to say "Metal is soothing," but this is a song that is genuinely relaxing and it actually leaves a sense of magic & peace in your heart. It's too bad that things went the way they did in PanterA, because regardless of the haters, PanterA was an amazingly fun band and still a hoot to listen to today. PanterA was one of the greatest metal acts in their time, and of all time.
So tell me, what are some of your favorite song covers? Feel free to comment.
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