Music remakes that could be a different song
May 20, 2010 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend music remakes into completely different genres?

I don't know if it has a name, but I LOVE when a song is remade into a different genre of music. Take this Ozzy Osbourne/Smooth Jazz parody, even though it's a parody and I usually can't stand smooth jazz, I really like this. I like everything else by that youtube user, even songs I've never heard before.

Of course, they don't have to be parodies, if it's done seriously that's even better, like Chris Cornell's Billie Jean. Thank you.
posted by Danila to Media & Arts (83 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Losing my Religion.

By Graveworm.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:49 PM on May 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Obviously, Nina Gordon's Straight Outta Compton.
posted by oliverburkeman at 4:51 PM on May 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Richard Thompson's version of the Britney Spears song Oops, I Did It Again

Battlefield Band does the Scottish trad version of Bad Moon Rising. (It's not parody, but it's pretty bad. Sorry, Battlefield Band!)
posted by craichead at 4:51 PM on May 20, 2010

Nouvelle Vague covers Dancing With Myself, etc
posted by fixedgear at 4:54 PM on May 20, 2010

The (English) Beat remade Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "Tears of a Clown" with a fast ska beat. Original. Cover.
posted by jet_silver at 4:59 PM on May 20, 2010

Handsome Hank and his Lonesome Boys do many covers of song in a western swing style, like Black Hole Sun (which I've always wanted to hear done bluegrass style, myself). Come to think of it, that song's been covered many times, many ways. Mimi Goese does an unusual version. Nouvelle Vague specializes in Nouvelle Vagueing songs (ah, yes, somebody already...covered them). Gary Jules version of Mad World, vs. Tears for Fears original.

Most good covers I can think of are drastically different, really.
posted by Red Loop at 5:02 PM on May 20, 2010

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound doing a soul cover of Wilco's "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart." (Original.)
posted by waitingtoderail at 5:03 PM on May 20, 2010

Many Cat Power songs are covers. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction is probably a good starting point.
posted by telegraph at 5:06 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Richard Cheese has built an entire career out of lounge covers of popular songs.
posted by Diagonalize at 5:09 PM on May 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you're going to mention Oops, I Did It Again covers, you've got to include the Max Raabe version.

One of my favorite genre breaking cover concepts is Rondellus -- Black Sabbath, medieval style.
posted by Wossname at 5:12 PM on May 20, 2010

I can never get enough of Toots and the Maytals doing Country Roads.
posted by kitcat at 5:12 PM on May 20, 2010

It's rather obvious but The Knife's electro pop Heartbeats was covered by José González who made it acoustic guitar and it only comes to mind because I've been listening to The Red Steers (free download) who sample the original.
posted by holloway at 5:15 PM on May 20, 2010

Happy Guthrie. Sad Bragg.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:15 PM on May 20, 2010

Oh, and Alanis Morissette's My Humps. (strong WTF warning)
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:19 PM on May 20, 2010

Coal covering Motörhead's Ace of Spades? Fibrotown's cover of Kraftwerk's Pocket Calculator (although that's verging into parody)?
posted by Pinback at 5:19 PM on May 20, 2010

Andy Rehfeldt does a bunch of those. My favorite is polka face.
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy at 5:22 PM on May 20, 2010

And DEVO not getting any satisfaction.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:24 PM on May 20, 2010

It's probably been overplayed, but i really like Johnny Cash's remake of Hurt, which was originally by Nine Inch Nails.
posted by hoperaiseshell at 5:27 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

early 90's punk is chock full of this stuff, there's a project called "Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies" that does this only.

I like Screeching Weasel's cover of the cranberris "linger"
posted by oblio_one at 5:30 PM on May 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Also, Lounge Against the Machine is an album of early 90's alternative / hard rock in smooth jazz, somewhat like the Ozzy cover you mentioned.
posted by oblio_one at 5:32 PM on May 20, 2010

Response by poster: thank you, I'm currently listening to suggestions and the more suggestions the longer I can listen!

I'd like to add that I think I really prefer those where the music is somewhat complex. Just taking a guitar and strumming a few simple chords can certainly constitute a remake, but I am really impressed when there's more involved (and I am feeling the suggestions in this thread, so that's not a criticism).
posted by Danila at 5:39 PM on May 20, 2010

Brian Setzer recently (2 albums ago I think) of classical music translated to Swing / rockabilly.

Peter Gabriel
just has an album out of covers that is.. shockingly good.

lots of other stuff.. but if I may plug something I produced that's on MeMu, You Spin Me Round
posted by edgeways at 5:54 PM on May 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: yeah, Me-Mu suggestions are very welcome!!
posted by Danila at 5:56 PM on May 20, 2010

Response by poster: and anything else Mefites have done, it's all good, I just love hearing these songs and the choices that the musicians make. ok I'll stop commenting now
posted by Danila at 5:57 PM on May 20, 2010

It's Rolling Bob--A reggae tribute to Bob Dylan
posted by OmieWise at 6:07 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Kind of Bloop — An 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue
posted by brother at 6:21 PM on May 20, 2010

I liked the a cappella Straight No Chaser covers of stuff like Wonderwall andTainted Love.
posted by jacalata at 6:21 PM on May 20, 2010

UB40 did a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love".
posted by mnb64 at 6:22 PM on May 20, 2010

Ray LaMontagne did an interesting cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". This guy also did a version on violin!
posted by jihaan at 6:30 PM on May 20, 2010

Avoiding the trend of folksy / indie pop singers covering rap, which I've always found to be kind of weird (it's striking, but what is the unspoken joke is either bad or racist?)

In-depth remakes which I feel avoid that cliché:
  • The Bad Plus's cover of 'Flim' by Aphex Twin
  • Muse's cover of 'Feeling Good' by, famously, Nina Simone, but a lot of people
  • Too Little Too Late by Daniel Rossen (Jo Jo Cover)

posted by tmcw at 6:35 PM on May 20, 2010

Aztec Camera's cover of Van Halen's "Jump."

Lick the Tins, Can't Help Falling In Love.

Tori Amos, "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

The Housemartins acapella cover of the Isley Brothers' "Caravan of Love" and the Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."

Mat Weddle's cover of OutKast's "Hey Ya."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:13 PM on May 20, 2010

The drummer from my high school jazz band plays in a group called the Up Ensemble out of Cleveland, OH. They do a version of Blackhole Sun which runs on the awesome side of the muzak / Jazz Combo line.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:34 PM on May 20, 2010

The Gourd's cover of Gin and Juice
posted by juv3nal at 7:37 PM on May 20, 2010

Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach isn't exactly a different genre from the original, but it's different enough to be noteworthy. There's always the Swingle Singers, too.

Several Manson covers probably fall into this category, most notably Sweet Dreams and Tainted Love.

Vitas uses material from the mad scene in Lucia di Lammermoor. The most famous recent-ish pop appropriation of classical material is probably A Lover's Concerto.
posted by sleepingcbw at 7:38 PM on May 20, 2010

Nostalgia 77's cover of Seven Nation Army
posted by juv3nal at 7:38 PM on May 20, 2010

Oh, yeah... The Bad Plus. they do plenty of kick ass covers. Iron Man stands out for me. (the ALSO do Smells Like Teen Spirit)

There is a blue grass cover of Dark Side of The Moon and (I think) The Wall that is out there and is .... odd.

Caetano Veloso - Come As You Are

Nick Cave doing a Leonard Cohen song, Tower of Song

posted by edgeways at 7:40 PM on May 20, 2010

"Baby One More Time" - Fountains of Wayne

"Only You" - Flying Pickets

"Suspicious Minds" - Fine Young Cannibals

Would "Mickey" by Toni Basil count? The original song is "Kitty" by Racey.

I have to mention Dread Zeppelin. They perform Led Zeppelin songs as reggae...with an Elvis impersonator singing lead. Here's "Heartbreaker" (Yes, with a bit of "Heartbreak Hotel" mixed in)
posted by SisterHavana at 7:41 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hayseed Dixie was originally an AC/DC cover band, but they've also done Kiss covers and some general hard rock covers. Along similar lines, there's a bluegrass disco covers album called Saturday Night Hay Fever.

For single songs, the Asylum Street Spankers do a great bluegrass cover of NIN's Closer, and I'm currently in love with the Carolina Chocolate Drops' cover of Blue Cantrell's Hit 'Em Up Style.
posted by immlass at 7:44 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

_El Baile Alemán_ by Senor Coconut - latin covers of Kraftwerk.
_Dub Side of the Moon_ by Easy Dub All Stars - reggae/dub version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon
posted by Emanuel at 7:48 PM on May 20, 2010

"Let's Dance" - M. Ward

Very stripped down and simple, but Ward changes it from a raucous pop song into a dreamy ballad. It was our second choice for the first dance at my wedding. Beautiful.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 7:49 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Lenny White's Jazzed out version of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir is pretty interesting.
posted by priested at 7:50 PM on May 20, 2010

The Ramones What a Wonderful World
Sid Vicious did it his way.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:27 PM on May 20, 2010

The Ooks of Hazzard, a ukelele band, did a cover of MGMT's Kids that has been making its way around the internet lately. It's legitimately good.
posted by inmediasres at 8:28 PM on May 20, 2010

Having thought about it the Australian national youth station Triple J does a segment called Like a Version where they invite artists and bands in to cover songs in their own style.

Here's Once In A Lifetime, London Calling, Every Little Step, Borderline, Heart of Glass, and so on.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:35 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

[ahem Once In A Lifetime]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:36 PM on May 20, 2010

A few more:

"That's Entertainment" - Morrissey

"99 Red Balloons" - Goldfinger

"Smooth Criminal" - Alien Ant Farm

"I Will Survive" - Cake

"Flower" - Pansy Division (lyrics extremely NSFW!)
posted by SisterHavana at 8:38 PM on May 20, 2010

And CW Stoneking doing Seven Nation Army.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:41 PM on May 20, 2010

Not a specific song recommendation, but, you should check out Brian Ibbott's Coverville podcast if you're not already a subscriber. Nothing but covers, several 40+ minute episodes per week.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:55 PM on May 20, 2010

Brad Mehldau covers lots of non-jazz artists, as do most jazz players, but I especially like his Radiohead stuff, even better than Chrisopher O'Riley, whose classically minded covers of Radiohead and others are still pretty great.

There's always Vitamin String Quartet, though I suppose they're a bit cliché for some.

If you're a fan of video game music you should check out Overclocked ReMix (a website of user submitted arrangements of video game themes into various genres), The Minibosses (heavy metal video game cover band), and The Advantage (kind of a jam band for video game music).

A great place to find interesting covers would be the Coverville podcast.

The Cover Me Blog is another great resource.

A great WTF cover would be Nina Gordon (she of 90s girl-grunge group Veruca Salt) covering the seminal NWA anthem Straight Outta Compton.

Señor Coconut, a German DJ based in Chile does some great latin inspired covers of just about everything.

Indie darling Bonnie 'Prince' Billy does a very interesting cover of Am I Demon, originally by heavy metal group Danzig.

Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden and Audioslave fame) did a pretty rip-roaring cover of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean.

Finally, one of my favorite covers ever, 8bit bEtty's cover of the theme song from Reading Rainbow.
posted by jnrussell at 8:57 PM on May 20, 2010

Oh and I forgot to mention that the Nina Gordon cover of the NWA song is quite NSFW.
posted by jnrussell at 8:59 PM on May 20, 2010

An acoustic, bluegrassy version of "Don't Stop Believing" performed on a Strumstick.
posted by Lexica at 9:01 PM on May 20, 2010

Tori Amos covering Slayer's "Raining Blood".

No, really.

Also, Blind Guardian's "Mr. Sandman" and "Surfin' USA"

Not sure if Norther's cover of "Final Countdown" counts, though Children of Bodom's "Oops I Did It Again" certainly should.

I can think of quite a lot of other metal covers, but those are the one's I'd actually recommend. There's a pretty decent album by a lot of Finnish metal singers that's all covers that range from spectacular ("Don't Stop Believin'" as sung by Marco Hietala) to average.

Speaking of Marco Hietala, Nightwish's cover of "Phantom of the Opera" is not to be missed.
posted by Lifeson at 9:15 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

dynamite hack cover eazy-e's "boyz-n-the-hood"

preppy kids singing cheery, acoustic versions of straight up gangsta rap isn't terribly novel, but damn if it isn't catchy
posted by thatelsagirl at 9:22 PM on May 20, 2010

Quite possibly my favorite example of this, and extremely well-done to boot, is "Rodeohead", Hard 'N Phirm's Radiohead bluegrass medley.
posted by wander at 9:25 PM on May 20, 2010

Oh yeah, also, if you like chiptunes at all, the songs for D-Pad Hero are worth checking out. You can listen to them on the site if you have spotify, but if not, one of the creators has some of them up on his/her youtube page (and the ones he doesn't are easy to find elsewhere on youtube). I particularly like the Daft Punk cover.
posted by wander at 9:31 PM on May 20, 2010

The Be Good Tanyas cover Prince's When Doves Cry (couldn't find a link to the song, so that's a Coverville podcast with 11 different covers of that song)

There's always the "Pickin' On" series, like this cover of Zeppelin's D'yer Mak'er

Ollabelle's cover of Nina Simone's See Line Woman (which is actually a traditional song so Simone was basically covering it too).

Nickel Creek's cover of Pavement's Spit on a Stranger (poor audio quality).

Clem Snide covers Beautiful by Christina Aguilera (skip to 1:30 if you don't to hear the little anecdote).
posted by jnrussell at 9:39 PM on May 20, 2010

How has Scala not been mentioned? It's a Belgian girls' choir which covers various pop/indie songs. Their version of Creep can still occasionally bring me to tears if I crank up the volume and wail along. I'm also partial to Heartbeats and I Touch Myself.
posted by Starmie at 12:14 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Been beaten to most of the metal covers, but I can throw in Turisas' viking metal cover of the Boney M disco classic Rasputin.
posted by Bodd at 1:05 AM on May 21, 2010

Oh, and of course Apocalyptica, Finnish metal cellists.
posted by Bodd at 1:08 AM on May 21, 2010

Tori Amos does Britney. Her pre-song thoughts are pretty funny.

Different genres: Superstition, by Stevie Wonder and Stevie Ray Vaughan

And they do it together!
posted by ambient2 at 1:59 AM on May 21, 2010

The Sex Patels do covers of punk/new wave songs in an indian style. They're very good. Check out the Once in a Lifetime cover.
posted by handee at 3:29 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

You like complex? You might really enjoy I. Overdrive Trio's Syd Barrett covers. Kinda free-jazzy, and some of them are altered to the point where the song's nearly unrecognizable at times.

I also enjoyed the London Philharmonic's "Symphonic Led Zeppelin" much more than I expected. Most of these genre-mashups I find somewhat unsuccessful, but this one really got the essence of the music. Here's their version of Kashmir (audio fidelity is not great on the link, sorry).
posted by ROTFL at 4:48 AM on May 21, 2010

Soft Cell's synth-pop "Tainted Love" is a cover of Gloria Jones' Northern Soul original.

Sandie Shaw's original and Naked Eyes' cover of Burt Bacharach's "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:31 AM on May 21, 2010

Just taking up space here, but there are some GREAT ones! I had completely forgotten about "Switched On Bach", an album my parents played a lot when I was young. Now I've got some iTunes shopping to do!

This is what I love about this forum - I learn more every day! Thanks!
posted by mnb64 at 6:37 AM on May 21, 2010

I love (The Real) Tuesday Weld's cover of ABBA's The Day Before You Came.
posted by so much modern time at 6:44 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I absolutely love Drag the River's version of the Misfits' "Hybrid Moments."
posted by Atom12 at 6:51 AM on May 21, 2010

Chris Thile (bluegrass mandolin) covers The White Stripes' Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, and The Strokes' Heart in a Cage, among other things.
posted by Bardolph at 8:10 AM on May 21, 2010

The Bird and the Bee recently answered the question: "What if I could've played my Hall & Oates tapes through my Atari 2600?" I especially jump around the kitchen for their Yar's Revenge version of "I Can't Go For That."

[ Also, this is my first post, having joined after reading IFDS,SN9's rescue story. I hope I'm doing it right. (: ]
posted by easement1 at 8:16 AM on May 21, 2010

alarm will sound did a whole album of classically instrumented remakes of aphex twin tracks called acoustica.
posted by soi-disant at 8:23 AM on May 21, 2010

Luther Wright & the Wrongs, Rebuild the Wall (country bluegrass version of Pink Floyd's The Wall album
Big Daddy's 1950s style version of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 8:30 AM on May 21, 2010

One of my favorite examples of this kind of thing is the Polyphonic Spree's cover of Nirvana's Lithium.
posted by nuclear_soup at 10:07 AM on May 21, 2010

Oh, how could I forget Lene Lovich's version of "I Think We're Alone Now?"
posted by SisterHavana at 10:23 AM on May 21, 2010

You can dig up a lot of really obscure and freaky cross-genre covers simply by plugging "(band) + cover" or "(song) + cover" into Youtube. You can find things like this Russian rockabilly band covering Ministry's "Stigmata." Also cross-genre covers are how Youtube-based outfits like Pomplamoose get into people's heads and into car commercials.
posted by furiousthought at 11:45 AM on May 21, 2010

Slaughter of the Bluegrass does bluegrass covers of death metal, like "Punish My Heaven" and "Blinded by Fear."

Weird Al's polka medleys of modern pop/rock songs fit your criteria.

And Microsoft Songsmith can output, for example, "Wild Wild West" as bluegrass and "I Kissed a Girl" as big band.
posted by brainwane at 3:36 PM on May 21, 2010

The Dead Science covered Terence Trent D'Arby's "Sign Your Name".

The cover is available on the band's Bird Bones in the Bughouse EP (preview-fu).

(Which, by the way, is phenomenal. The band is pretty phenomenal too.)
posted by phonebia at 9:51 PM on May 23, 2010

I just went to a baby shower on Saturday where the parents had registered for a number of these CDs. Totally got them the Stones and Led Zeppelin. Too bad they didn't register for Journey.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 3:22 PM on May 25, 2010

When I was first learning of power chords on the guitar I would try to learn and play 'mefirstandthegimmiegimmies" punk covers of various songs (favorite things, and others I can't remember right now, I think all they used to do is covers, it let me think of big sweeping orchestral songs as just harmonies of individual groups of notes.
This helped to be able to play the trumpet and understand how it was supposed to fit with other instruments, this helped me receive a better mark in band class than I otherwise may have achieved.

This page from wikipedia has some very interesting links and bits as well.
The term 'cover version', coined in 1966[2], originally described a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the recently released original version, e.g. Paul Williams' 1949 hit tune "The Hucklebuck" or Hank Williams' 1952[3] song "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)", both crossed over to the popular Hit Parade and had numerous hit versions. Prior to the mid-20th century the notion of an original version of a popular tune would, of course, have seemed slightly odd — the production of musical entertainment being seen essentially as a live event, even if one that was reproduced at home via a copy of the sheet music, learned by heart, or captured on a shellac recording disc. Popular musicians (and especially modern listeners) have now begun to use the word "cover" to refer to any remake of a previously recorded tune.
I think I have always liked it when one band 'covers' their own songs in a unique way... often totally making 'different' songs; from the same raw materials.
Also "Punk goes acoustic"- modern band who have electric songs playing them very differently, I found a couple of these really different, and helped to think of dual guitars as being able to go in and out of harmony... having a really cool 'cross chord' thing..
Sugarcult - Memory [Punk goes acoustic] with lyrics

Silverstein "Apologize" Cover [Music Video]

Cute Without the e (acoustic) - Taking Back Sunday

Finch - Letters To You (Acoustic)

...and a bunch of 'covers of songs that were number one when a user was born' are coming into metamusic right now.

also Zyzzyx Road

Zyzzyx Road was shown once a day at noon for six days (February 25 through March 2, 2006) at Highland Park Village Theater in Dallas, Texas,[3] a movie theater rented by the producers for $1,000.[1] The limited release was deliberate: Grillo was uninterested in releasing the film domestically until it underwent foreign distribution, but needed to fulfill the U.S. release obligation required by the Screen Actors Guild for low-budget films[1] (films with budgets less than $2.5 million that are not for the direct-to-video market).[4]
The strategy had the side effect of making the film the lowest grossing film of all time, earning just $30 at the box office from exactly six patrons.[5] Unofficially, its opening weekend netted $20. The $10 difference is due to a personal refund by Grillo to makeup artist Sheila Moore, who had worked on the film, and her friend.[1]
Both Zyzzyx Road and the similarly-named Zzyzx have been cited as the lowest-grossing film of all time; Zyzzyx Road is in fact the lowest-grossing film.[6]
The film was released in twenty-three countries and by the end of 2006, had earned about $368,000.[1] As of 2009, the film has not yet received the legitimate domestic distribution that the producers had hoped would follow its foreign release.
is also...
is (this one is the song)....

posted by infinite intimation at 11:17 AM on June 2, 2010

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