Help me make the greatest "Punk Rock Cover Songs" Playlist of all time!
November 13, 2008 2:21 PM   Subscribe

I love Punk Rock. I love "Cover Versions". Help me make the greatest "Punk Rock Cover Songs" Playlist of all time! Bonus points if I can buy any of the songs I don't have on iTunes...
posted by Master Gunner to Media & Arts (62 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Me First and The Gimmie Gimmies are basically the band for you. That's all they do.
posted by nímwunnan at 2:27 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

correction: as far as I know that's all they do. Punk Rock purists forgive me if I've neglected some of their legacy.
posted by nímwunnan at 2:29 PM on November 13, 2008

Yeah, I came in to recommend Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies. That's precisely what you're looking for.
posted by nitsuj at 2:31 PM on November 13, 2008

(Click on each album to see their covers)
posted by nitsuj at 2:32 PM on November 13, 2008

I would also suggest Me First & the Gimmie Gimmies...they cover everything from show tunes to pop songs.
posted by god particle at 2:36 PM on November 13, 2008

How about the Revolting Cocks covering Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?
posted by priested at 2:42 PM on November 13, 2008

There are also the "Punk goes X" compilations, where X is a specific genre.

Oh, and the cover of 99 Red Balloons by Goldfinger is pretty classic.
posted by Geppp at 2:42 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Nthing MF&TGG, and i guess, Fat Wreck Chords in general.
posted by Oktober at 2:43 PM on November 13, 2008

Yeah... but there has to be more... I have "Are A Drag" and "Take A Break" already.. But I was thinking there had to be more out there besides MF&GG.

Any other suggestions?
posted by Master Gunner at 2:43 PM on November 13, 2008

The Minutemen - "Dr. Wu"
posted by saladin at 2:44 PM on November 13, 2008

Assuming that this question is about Punk versions of non-punk songs, not the opposite, I'd recommend the Vindictives album Party Time For Assholes.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:46 PM on November 13, 2008

posted by Master Gunner at 2:47 PM on November 13, 2008

Previously, across genres. And here is a Coverville episode. And an e2 node all about punk covers.

Or do you mean punk-covering-punk? What do you already know/have?
posted by knile at 2:49 PM on November 13, 2008

Swing Kids - "Warsaw"
posted by saladin at 2:50 PM on November 13, 2008

Stiff Little Fingers did versions of "White Christmas" and "Running Bear," as well as some more expected covers ("Johnny Was" by Bob Marley, "It Doesn't Make It Alright" by the Specials). The Pistols and Minor Threat (and a lot of more obscure bands) did covers of the Monkees' "Stepping Stone." The Clash did too many covers to list.
posted by craichead at 2:50 PM on November 13, 2008

Manic Hispanic does punk rock covers, with a Latino twist--their cover of Social Distortion's "Mommy's Little Monster" is "Mommy's Little Cholo."
posted by mattdidthat at 2:50 PM on November 13, 2008

If you want to browse through listsings by artists alone, there's The Covers Project. While it would be fantastic to be able to filter by genre, you just have to hope for the best now. Surprisingly, the Ramones have covered a number of songs.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:51 PM on November 13, 2008

The Toy Dolls did loads of covers

As did The Dickies... Banana Splits is a fave
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:06 PM on November 13, 2008

The Mr. T Experience covered Don't Go Breaking My Heart, I enjoy it.
posted by Asherah at 3:10 PM on November 13, 2008

Terminus City did a good cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues".
Another band - maybe the Brass Knuckle Choir? - covered "Sunday Morning Coming Down".
The Anti-Heros covered Patti Smith's "Rock and Roll Nigger".
Minor Threat covered The Monkees' ("I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone".

Punk-covering-punk covers are literally innumerable, and all sorts of mainstream rock bands cover The Misfits on a regular basis.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:10 PM on November 13, 2008

I'm not sure if this fits with what you're looking for, but it's a lot of fun

TV Terror: Felching A Dead Horse
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:11 PM on November 13, 2008

Joey Ramone did a pretty good cover of "What a wonderful world."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:14 PM on November 13, 2008

Oh, and while not technically punk, Motorhead & Girlschool together covered Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Please Don't Touch", which appears on both the Motorhead/Girlschool EP St. Valentine's Day Massacre and live on the Motorhead EP DVD. The song is funny for two reasons: "Philthy Phil" Taylor does backing vocals because he had broken his neck and looks absolutely ridiculous trying to sing/dance next to one of the Girlschool guitarists and Lemmy singing about "shaking so much" is funny because he was a well-known heavy amphetamine user at the time - hence the band name.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:15 PM on November 13, 2008

If you want non-punk bands covering punk songs, then Nouvelle Vague did "Too Drunk to Fuck" and probably another good one I'm forgetting. Low did a whole concert of Misfits in the style of the Misfits, 3 songs of whch are on their box-set of B-sides and rarities. And the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain regularly perform (and may have released) versions of "Anarchy in the UK" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit." And getting back towards punk, the Cramps did "Surfin' Bird."
posted by K.P. at 3:16 PM on November 13, 2008

Splodgenessabounds - Two Little Boys
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:17 PM on November 13, 2008

I can't believe no one has mentioned The Clash with I Fought the Law. The Damned also did a cover of White Rabbit that's pretty darn good.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:18 PM on November 13, 2008

Splodgenessabounds - Two Little Boys

I'd forgotten about that. Just enough silliness to keep it from being really sad - mostly.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:19 PM on November 13, 2008

Also, Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits has covers of cartoon show theme songs, covered by punk bands e.g. The Ramones doing the theme to Spider-Man, Helmet doing the theme to "Gigantor" (although I prefer the Dickies version from Stukas Over Disneyland)
posted by mattdidthat at 3:21 PM on November 13, 2008

If you're interested in non-punk covers of punk bands, there's always The Sandinista Project, which contains probably the best theramin version of "The Call Up" that I've ever heard.
posted by craichead at 3:22 PM on November 13, 2008

Screeching Weasel covered I Think We're Alone Now, and also I Can See Clearly Now.

Jawbreaker did a medley cover called With or Without U2 that includes some U2 song and Turning Japanese.

Beefeater did a nice cover of Manic Depression.

Shudder to Think did a decent cover of Crosstown Traffic.
posted by OmieWise at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2008

Patti Smith -- Hey Joe
The Jam-- Batman Theme
The Ramones -- Surfin' Bird

Seconding the Saturday Morning Cartoon's Greatest Hits, especially the Violent Femms' version of Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You).
posted by Sculthorpe at 3:41 PM on November 13, 2008

Quite a few cover songs on The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (by the Sex Pistols).
posted by CrunchyFrog at 3:51 PM on November 13, 2008

The China Drum (okay, pop-punk) version of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights is thee best tune ever.
posted by runincircles at 4:00 PM on November 13, 2008

I enjoyed several of the covers on MxPx's On the Cover (iTunes store link).
posted by immlass at 4:01 PM on November 13, 2008

X, Wild Thing
posted by The Tensor at 4:32 PM on November 13, 2008

Gob does a hilarious cover of A View to a Kill - yes, the Duran Duran James Bond theme.
posted by O9scar at 4:35 PM on November 13, 2008

Besides the Me First & The Gimme Gimmies pointer, which I nth, there's a few hardcore punk covers by Pennywise I know of: Stand By Me (a bit meh), Surfin'USA and I Get Around from the Beach Boys (great), then there's the Lemonheads' cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson, Lagwagon's cover of Brown Eyed Girl, and a good Punk/Noise California Dreamin' covered by a japanese band called Hi-Standard.

And there goes the theme for my MeFiSwap mix. Thank you very much, Sir.
posted by _dario at 4:42 PM on November 13, 2008

before you were punk - there used to be 2 albums, I think this may be the compilation of the compilation.
posted by kookywon at 4:48 PM on November 13, 2008

Thee Headcoats - Bo in Thee Garage
It's a whole album of Bo Diddley covers Billy Childish style.

Some of The Cramps shockabilly covers might fit the bill as well. Strychnine, The Way I Walk, Fever amongst others.

It's not really punk, more industrial, but one of my all-time favorite covers is the Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood duet Sand by Einstuerzende Neubauten.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:50 PM on November 13, 2008

Fear does a "cover" of the Animals' "We Gotta Get Out of this Place". By "cover" I mean the words are there in order but the music has nothing to do with the original.

Agent Orange's "Misirlou" deserves to be a classic.

As for non-punk, more new-wave or post-new-wave, the Plastics did a cover of the Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" and it should make you laugh.

The Melon Band did "Fly Me to the Moon" in a similar vein, though in that case the laughter is intentional.
posted by jet_silver at 4:50 PM on November 13, 2008

Sorry... wrong album:

before you were punk

before you were punk 2
posted by kookywon at 4:51 PM on November 13, 2008

Screeching Weasel also does a shockingly heartfelt cover of "You Are My Sunshine".

And in addition to Steely Dan's "Dr. Wu", the Minutemen covered Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love".

*opens iTunes*


Butthole Surfers have done twisted versions of "American Woman" (called "American Women") and, while not quite a cover, "Sweat Loaf" is an homage (I guess that's the word) to Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf".

Husker Du cover "Eight Miles High" and the Mary Tyler Moore theme. And there's a live version of them doing "Sheena is a Punk Rocker".

The Melvins cover Kiss' "Goin' Blind", and The Replacements cover Kiss' "Black Diamond".

Nirvana's cover of the Meat Puppets' "Lake of Fire", of course.

The Queers seem to hide a Beach Boys cover on just about every record they make.

The Ramones did a whole record of psychedelic 60s songs on the album "Acid Eaters".

Oh, and no punk cover collection is complete without Killdozer's version of "Sweet Home Alabama".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:53 PM on November 13, 2008

Does anyone remember which early-'80s D.C. hardcore band did a cover of "Boris the Spider" by the Who? I remember thinking it was awesome, but I can't remember which band it was.
posted by craichead at 5:15 PM on November 13, 2008

Top of my head: I remember enjoying DOA's covers of Sinatra tunes and Motorhead (not punk, technically, OK) covering Louis Louis back in the day (mid '80s).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:19 PM on November 13, 2008

What about the Circle Jerks song Golden Shower? Fantastic medley of horrible 70's pop songs all in the same melody? Fricken high larry us. My first band got to open for them. (Redhush's only brush with fame)
posted by Redhush at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2008

I would argue that the 7 Seconds cover of 99 Red Balloons is hands down one of the finest covers of all time. Personally, I think it smokes Goldfingers'.

The Ramones' version of the Who's Substitute is a favourite of mine as well, and I think that Pete Townsend's backing vocals really contribute!

NOFX do a pretty sweet cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" as well.

Oh, and Canadian punks The Forgotten Rebels did some great covers along the way, starting, sorta, with a song called "The Punks Are Alright" which was a version of The Kids Are Alright. They also did a fantastic version of "Save the Last Dance For Me", a decent "Eve of Destruction" and a not-too-bad version of "Dizzy".

Oh, and I'm not sure it fits the bill, but the Stray Cats did a pretty great version of "You Can't Hurry Love"...had a very "Lust for Life" feel to it.
posted by Richat at 6:58 PM on November 13, 2008

I dunno if it qualifies as a punk cover, or just a hard rock cover, but Foo Fighters' version of Band on the Run is just awesome... dare I say maybe even better than the original. (And of course, Grohl's other guitarist in the band moonlights with Me First).
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 7:39 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Alice Donut - War Pigs and My Boyfriends Back
Generation X - Gimme Some Truth
Sloppy Seconds - Leaving On A Jet Plane
Dead Boys - Hang On Sloopy
Lords Of The New Church - Like A Virgin
Dead Kennedys - Viva Las Vegas and Take This Job And Shove It
Devo - Satisfaction
Gun Club - Preachin' Blues
Lydia Lunch - Heart Attack & Vine
posted by Sailormom at 8:50 PM on November 13, 2008

Less than Jake released several covers on their album Goodbye Blue & White, including I Think I Love You, We're Not Gonna Take It, Teenager in Love, Freeze Frame, and Your Love.
posted by Nedroid at 8:54 PM on November 13, 2008

Schlong's Punk Side Story.
posted by msbrauer at 11:25 PM on November 13, 2008

And presumably you've checked google, but the first result when I typed in "punk cover songs" was this extensive list followed by this top 10 list at the same site. Looking through the list, I was reminded of The Queers' "Walk Like an Egyptian" which I remember liking a lot.
posted by msbrauer at 11:28 PM on November 13, 2008

Keep hitting "post" too soon. I remember around about 1998 or so there was a bit of news about a project to make punk covers of the states of all 50 United States. Can't find anything about it online (didn't look that hard...) and don't know what ever came of it, but I do remember some state official complaining that the state songs need to be serious and stately. Get off of his lawn.
posted by msbrauer at 11:32 PM on November 13, 2008

The Minutemen also covered Blue Oyster Cult (The Red and the Black) and, of course, Creedence Clearwater Revival (Green River and Have You Ever Seen the Rain?).
posted by macdara at 5:37 AM on November 14, 2008

late to the party, but...

Big Black - The Model (cover of Kraftwerk. find it on Songs About Fucking) Big Black have a bunch of covers, including James Brown, Cheap Trick, Wire...

Jawbreaker - Into You Like A Train (cover of the Psychedelic Furs. find it on Dear You)

No Use For A Name - Redemption Song (cover of Bob Marley. the live version off "Live in a Dive" is superior to this studio cut)

Pennywise - Land Down Under (covering Men at Work)

Good Riddance - Come Dancing (cover of The Kinks. find it on A Comprehensive Guide To Modern Rebellion)

how about some punk-on-punk covers where the cover is almost unidentifiable as such?

NOFX - Straight Edge (covering Minor Threat. find it on White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean)

The Vandals - Come Out Fighting (cover of Pennywise. Find it on Hitler Bad, Vandals Good)

speaking of the Vandals, they do a bunch of covers of musicals/showtunes and the like...for instance, So Long, Farewell (cover from The Sound Of Music. also on Hitler Bad, Vandals Good)
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:39 AM on November 14, 2008

i actually have a playlist in iTunes called "get under the covers!" which is all punk rock covers. apologies if i repeat any.

Allister - Fraggle Rock theme song
the Ataris - I'll Remember You
Dope - You Spin Me Round
Goldfinger - Feel Like Making Love (I like this version better than the original!)
Hippos - Always something there to remind me (ditto)
Less than Jake - I think I Love You
Less than Jake - I'm gonna be (ditto again)
Millencolin - Surfin' USA
MxPx - Barbie Girl (classic)
MxPx - Summer of 69
MxPx - Take on Me
New Found Glory - Everything I do
New Found Glory - The Glory of Love
New Found Glory - So Happy Together
No Use For a Name - Turning Japanese
NOFX - Olympia, WA (Rancid cover)
NOFX - There She Goes
Pennywise - Land Down Under
Rufio - Like a Prayer
So They Say - Forever Young
88 Fingers Louie - Help!

happy hunting!
posted by kidsleepy at 7:14 AM on November 14, 2008

X, "Breathless" (Jerry Lee Lewis cover)
posted by kirkaracha at 7:56 AM on November 14, 2008

Oh yeah! Gotta plug the Dirty Projectors' Rise Above -- a song-for-song treatment of the Black Flag classic.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:53 AM on November 14, 2008

Queens of the Stone Age covered "White Wedding" pretty well. I think it was a B-side from Era Vulgaris.

Face to Face covered "Turning Japanese" and "In A Big Country", but I think those were unreleased (drop me a line if you're interested).
posted by Twicketface at 10:27 AM on November 14, 2008

XTC covered All Along The Watchtower on their White Music album.

Toby Swann did a nice punk cover of Over The Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz. His version is called Somewhere Over the Rainbow
posted by lockedroomguy at 10:43 AM on November 14, 2008

Speaking of Neaubauten, Pussy Galore covered E.N.'s "Yu-Gung" and the entirety of the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street. The Birthday Party covered "Funhouse" by the Stooges on their recently released live CD. And Alice Donut did an instrumental version of "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath that is unbelievably groovy.
posted by K.P. at 11:51 AM on November 14, 2008

Killdozer's For Ladies Only is a must-have. Their version of "American Pie" is not to be missed.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:25 PM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lola by The Raincoats.
posted by rachelpapers at 8:07 AM on November 15, 2008

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