Cover songs have been a staple in the modern music era for decades. When a song is referred to as a cover song, it simply means that it’s been revived and interpreted by a new performer. In fact, cover songs have always been a smart way for up and coming musicians to gain the attention they need in order to carve out a successful career. One of the more fascinating aspects of the cover song is how the new performers decide to interpret it. When a new band puts their personal stamp of creativity on a song composed years before, it often becomes a captivating, unique work in and of itself. Today, we present you with 10 metal covers of popular songs, with each band contributing their own individual style to the final product.
10. Deftones “No Ordinary Love” originally by Sade
Deftones Chino Moreno considers Sade a woman with a beautiful voice, which lead to their cover of her hypnotic R & B hit, “No Ordinary Love”. If you’re wondering how a band like the Deftones could interpret Sade’s sultry, mesmerizing and immersive style, then you’re not alone. However, the song came out perfectly. Filled with passion and sensuality, the Deftones nailed it.
9. Paramore’s “Passionfruit” Originally by Drake
On June 19, 2017 the band Paramore appeared on the UK show, The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge to perform their single, “Hard Times”. However, that wasn’t all they offered. They also performed a surprise cover: “Passionfruit” by Canadian rapper Drake, off his 2017 hit album, More Life. Listen closely as Paramore’s lead vocalist Haley Williams sends the audience chills with her smooth and silken rendition.
8. Amity Affliction’s “Can’t Feel My Face” Originally by the Weeknd
The Amity Affliction did a superb job when it came to transforming The Weeknd’s hit, “Can’t Feel My Face” into a hardy, Australian metalcore offering. “Can’t Feel My Face” came of the 2017 album, Punk Goes Pop Vol. 7. In an imaginative move, The Amity Affliction created a music video around their cover, which depicted a zombie romance during the end of days.
7. Korn’s “Word Up” by Cameo
If you’re searching for a distinctive cover song, then Korn’s rendition of Cameo’s 1980’s funk hit, “Word Up” could possibly be that cover. A great dance-funk piece, Korn took it and resurrected it via earth shattering guitars and the spot on vocals of Jonathan Davis. According to James “Munky” Shaffer …”It was just this great song with a good hook, and it was, you know, it kind of opened the door for a lot of people to listen to, you know, rap and hip-hop.”
6. Megadeth’s “These Boots are Made for Walking” Originally by Nancy Sinatra
In 1966 Frank Sinatra’s daughter, Nancy, had a hit with “These Boots Are made for Walkin'”. Little did she know that decades later, rock gods Megadeth would record a cover of it. Described as a “speed metal” version, this recording had a bit more going for it than just musicianship. It seems that lead vocalist Mustaine altered the lyrics a bit, which ticked the composer, Lee Hazlewood off just a bit.
5. Rammstein “Stripped” Originally by Depeche Mode
Rammstein released “Stripped” as a single on July 28, 1998. Found on the Depeche Mode 1998 tribute album, For the Masses, Rammstein’s cover peaked on the German singles chart at number 14. To say that Rammstein put their own spin on the song would be an understatement. The heavy, powerful vocals of Till Lindemann takes the song in an entirely new direction: A visceral and intuitive cover which seeks to reach the subterranean depths of the listeners gut.
4. Van Halen’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” Originally by Roy Orbison
On February 6, 1982 rockers Van Halen released a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”. That cover did quite well for the band, reaching number 12 on the Billboard singles chart. In fact, the song’s success was such a surprise that the Warner label pressured the band to craft a new album, Diver Down. While it was a big success for the band, Eddie was disappointed as there was no room for a long guitar solo, to which he stated, “It shows you how much guitar solos mean to people.”
3. Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” Originally by Joan Baez
“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” was composed by Anne Bredon, and recorded by folk singer, Joan Baez in 1962. Jimmy Page came to know of the song before his tenure with Led Zeppelin. After playing it for Robert Plant in 1968, the decision was made to include it in their 1969 debut album, Led Zeppelin. The band handily transformed the folksy sound of the Baez version into a heavy-hitting hard rock masterpiece. As of 1990 the original composer, Bredon has received the royalties due her.
2. Aerosmith’s “Come Together” by The Beatles
“Come Together” was the result of the many attempts Lennon took to compose a campaign song for Timothy Leary. In the end, Lennon didn’t write a campaign song, but did come up with “Come Together”. According to Lennon, “It was a funky record – it’s one of my favorite Beatle tracks, or, one of my favorite Lennon tracks, let’s say that. It’s funky, it’s bluesy, and I’m singing it pretty well. I like the sound of the record. You can dance to it. I’d buy it!.” When Aerosmith did the cover for the film, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it was a charting success, hitting number 23 on the billboard Hot 100.
1. Avenged Sevenfold’s “Wish You Were Here” Originally by Pink Floyd
According to M. Shadows, the idea of a metal band like Avenge Sevenfold covering only metal songs would be boring, “the same type of band doing the same thing, it doesn’t necessarily get us excited.” Featured on their 2016 album, Stage, the song was released as a single on October 6, 2017. Avenged Sevenfold’s interpretation goes beyond words, they discovered the lifeblood of this classic and gifted us with a most magical auditory experience.
The above metal covers of popular songs are just the tip of the iceberg. The website Second Hand Songs gives you a good idea of just how large the catalog of cover songs actually is. Cover songs are a crucial part of the development of any musician. When a young person picks up a guitar for the first time, it’s likely they’ll be playing covers before they start to compose their own music. Indeed, the cover song can be seen as an integral part of the development of a musicians musical skillset.