How about another MusicFilter question?
May 21, 2007 9:29 AM   Subscribe

MusicFilter : I'm looking for not-so-serious covers which have been yanked from one genre to another.

How do you expand upon a fairly basic "recommend me more music" question?

I'm currently loving Hayseed Dixie's covers (rock->bluegrass), Weird Al's covers (various->polka) and the rather more serious "Rhythms Del Mundo" covers (various->latin).

So, I'm after some suggestions of other music that's been brought from one genre to another, and preferably stuff that's ended up in a similar kind of style to those mentioned above (ie, turning 'Strawberry Fields' into a thrash metal track probably won't do it for me).
posted by twine42 to Media & Arts (77 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Eläkeläiset is a Finnish Humppa band that does polka-style covers of just about everything out there. It's fun to just listen and try to figure out what song's being absolutely destroyed.
posted by kcm at 9:34 AM on May 21, 2007

ME First and the Gimme Gimmes: quasi-punk covers of all different genres, from show tunes to country to 70's pop.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:35 AM on May 21, 2007

Lily Allen - Nan You're A Window Shopper
posted by infinityjinx at 9:37 AM on May 21, 2007

Authority Zero - Mexican Radio
posted by infinityjinx at 9:37 AM on May 21, 2007

Something like the Meat Purveyors' bouncy country cover of Ratt's "Round and Round"? (Lou Barlow also has a pretty, acoustic version on his album Emoh.)
posted by leesh at 9:38 AM on May 21, 2007

Anything by Richard Cheese would fit the bill - he does everything in a lounge act style.
posted by blackkar at 9:40 AM on May 21, 2007

Faith Hill's "Breathe" punk'd by SmartBomb (I think)
Pretty much everything by Richard Cheese

posted by Carnage Asada at 9:40 AM on May 21, 2007

Gloria Gaynor's disco hit I Will Survive remade by Cake (1999).
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:47 AM on May 21, 2007

Easy Star All Stars did reggae versions of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," and Radiohead's "OK Computer" that were actually pretty good.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:55 AM on May 21, 2007

Britney Spear's "Baby, Baby" by Fountains of Wayne
posted by jeanmari at 9:57 AM on May 21, 2007

Pat McCurdy did a country-western cover of Jane's Addiction "Been Caught Stealing" though I'm having a hard time locating it online. It was awesome.
posted by jeanmari at 10:01 AM on May 21, 2007

Stairways to Heaven, 101+ covers of Stairway to Heaven. Lot's of great personal favorite has to be
Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Chorus (direct mp3 link).

Along the same lines, Dread Zepplin (Reggae/Zepplin/Elvis impersonator Band) has a ton of great Zepplin and/or Elvis covers. And/or? Yes...Heartbreaker Hotel, for example.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:03 AM on May 21, 2007

Britney Spear's "Baby, Baby" by Fountains of Wayne

methinks that cover was done by Travis
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:04 AM on May 21, 2007

Well, if you're willing to tolerate a little thrash metal, the Pixies did an incredible cover of "Wild Honey Pie."

On the folkier side of things, Jonathan Coulton recently did a great cover of "You Oughta Know."
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:04 AM on May 21, 2007

The band Phish covers a large variety of popular music during their live performances, from Snoop Dogg to Bob Dylan to Smashing Pumpkins. It's all out there.
posted by Industrial PhD at 10:04 AM on May 21, 2007

That Snoop Dog cover that's often attributed to Phish is actually performed by a group called The Gourds (not Phish).
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:12 AM on May 21, 2007

The Bobs - a-capella covers of everything from Beatles to Hendrix
Bim Skala Bim - cover's Pink Floyd's Brain Damage. There's a ton of SKA covers usually on compliation discs.
posted by Gungho at 10:13 AM on May 21, 2007

Ben Folds covered Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit." It is outstanding.
posted by sdrawkcab at 10:14 AM on May 21, 2007 [3 favorites]

Britney Spear's "Baby, Baby" by Fountains of Wayne

methinks that cover was done by Travis

"Baby One More Time" is covered by Fountains of Wayne on Out Of State Plates. By the way, isn't this question sort of being answered, coincidentally, in the blue as we speak? (Or was that what inspired it? Am I missing something?)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:17 AM on May 21, 2007

(Here I mean.)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:18 AM on May 21, 2007

Thrice - Send Me an Angel

all the "Before You Were Punk" CDs
posted by infinityjinx at 10:21 AM on May 21, 2007

Ted Leo - Since You Been Gone
posted by infinityjinx at 10:22 AM on May 21, 2007

Madonna - American Pie
posted by infinityjinx at 10:22 AM on May 21, 2007

childrens --> death metal
Grim Saviour covers Raffi's "Bananaphone"
posted by kitty teeth at 10:23 AM on May 21, 2007

The Nutley Brass is renowned for its "lounge"/orchestral rendition of the entire first Ramones LP. It's actually quite exceptional, even though it's otherwise a "novelty" record.

They've also recorded similar albums of Misfits covers and other punk standards.
posted by melorama at 10:29 AM on May 21, 2007

Richard Thompson's 1,000 Years of Popular Music, especially his cover of "Oops, I did it Again", which made me realize that it's actually pretty good song.
posted by rtha at 10:30 AM on May 21, 2007

Aztec Camera - Jump
Bigod 20 - Like A Prayer
Dump - 1999
Dwight Yoakam - Train In Vain
Edson - I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Golden Shower - New York Groove
Jason & The Scorchers - Take Me Home Country Roads
Mojo Nixon - Girlfriend In A Coma
Nouvelle Vague
Polyphonic Size - Mothers Little Helper
Rasputina - Wish You Were Here
Shneider TM - The Light 3000 (Smiths Cover)
The Silicon Teens (entire Songs For Parties album)
Steve & Edie - Black Hole Sun
The Slits - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Tindersticks - Here (Pavement Cover)
posted by ktrey at 10:33 AM on May 21, 2007 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah, Gabba is great.
posted by ktrey at 10:34 AM on May 21, 2007

Acid Brass - a number of classic Detroit and UK techno tracks played by the Williams Fairey Brass Band. (KLF, Rhythim is Rhythim, 808 State, etc.)
posted by mkb at 10:43 AM on May 21, 2007

There are 3 covers, in different styles, on the John Peel fabriclive set. In the Midnight Hour, Lust for Life and Purty Vacant. You can listen to bits of them at the link - Purty Vacant is my favourite.
posted by jontyjago at 10:57 AM on May 21, 2007

Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons
posted by SisterHavana at 11:05 AM on May 21, 2007

Also, WFMU's Beware of the Blog is a treasure trove (complete with full mp3 downloads) of bizarre and really obscure stuff that fits what you're looking for. e.g.,

- Japanese Surf Versions of Classical Themes (by Takeshi Terauchi, another exceptional musician)

- Pop music covers on an 8-bit Nintendo synthesizer

- Tuvinian kargyraa throat singing renditions of Motorhead and Joy Division

- 72 versions of "Stormy Weather"

- 79 versions of "Popcorn"

- 101 versions of "Stairway to Heaven"

There's also, of course, Innocence and Despair, by the now-infamous The Langley Schools Music Project (rediscovered and re-released by WFMU's own Irwin Chusid), an amazing recording of 60+ schoolchildren from the 1970s, singing songs from the likes of David Bowie, Wings, Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac.
posted by melorama at 11:05 AM on May 21, 2007 [2 favorites]

Nouvelle Vague is a French music collective that does bossa nova/ lounge covers of new wave and punk songs. Check out their versions of "Too Drunk to Fuck" and

And if their music isn't your taste, then check out this compilation that they just put together called Nouvelle Vague Presents New Wave. It's New Wave bands covering songs of other genres. The track list is pretty amazing:

1. Silicon Teens - You really got me
2. Polyphonic Size - Mother's little helper
3. Devo - Satisfaction
4. Ronny - If you want me to stay
5. OMD - Waiting for the man
6. Paul Haig - Running away
7. Antena - The boy from Ipanema
8. Jo Lemaire & Flouze - Je suis venue te dire que je m'en vais
9. Honeymoon Killers - Route Nationale 7
10. Snakefinger - The Model
11. Elton Motello - Jet boy Jet girl
12. The Stranglers - Walk on by
13. Gary Numan - On broadway

1. The Flying Lizards - Move on up
2. Telex - Dance to the music
3. Comateens - Summer in the city
4. Visage - in the year 2525
5. Karel Fialka - People are strange
6. The Slits - I heard it on the grapvine
7. Original Mirrors - Reflections
8. Duran Duran - Fame
9. Nico - Heroes
10. Etienne Daho - Arnold Layne
11. Joy Division - Sister Ray
posted by kimdog at 11:08 AM on May 21, 2007

I'll chip in with Nina Gordon's version of NWA's Straight Outta Compton (YouTube or MP3), the Puppini Sisters' versions of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" and Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and Tori Amos's rather bizarre versions of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the Stranglers' "Strange Little Girl" (more listed at The Covers Project)
posted by Lionel d'Lion at 11:22 AM on May 21, 2007

Revolting Cocks - If you think I'm sexy
posted by Jairus at 11:23 AM on May 21, 2007

When Pigs Fly Is a pretty good random sampler of covers. Not all cross genre, but Don Ho doing Shock the Monkey is priceless.

Not sure if Bossa Nova is in the running for you, but I ran across a bunch of interesting Bossa Nova covers in Japan: Rolling Stones covers and Bob Marley covers are a lot of fun.

Maybe a little hard to find if you can import it are CoCo D'Or compilations. (#2 has more cross genre covers).

Do the Verve Remix albums meet your criteria? They're fantastic.
posted by Ookseer at 11:25 AM on May 21, 2007

Brave Combo
posted by hortense at 11:32 AM on May 21, 2007

Luther Wright and the Wrongs - Rebuild the Wall (Pink Floyd)
Will Oldham - Big Balls (AC/DC)
The Cardigans - Iron Man, Sabbath Bloddy Sabbath (Black Sabbath)
Modest Mouse and Califone - South of Heaven (Slayer)
Bobby Bare Jr. - What Difference Does it Make (The Smiths)
posted by hydrophonic at 11:41 AM on May 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Don't overlook Seu Jorge's acoustic covers (in Portuguese, nonetheless) of various Bowie classics, including Life on Mars, Rebel Rebel, and Suffragette City, brilliant on their own, and highlighted in Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou."
posted by nkknkk at 11:52 AM on May 21, 2007

Senor Coconut - El Baile Aleman - By far the world's finest Cha-Cha and Bossa Nova covers of Kraftwerk.
posted by thewittyname at 11:56 AM on May 21, 2007

Oh, and I have deep affection for both Cake's version of "I Will Survive" and Gnarls' Barkley's "Gone Daddy Gone".... both of which do what I think a good cover requires - they add something special... a twist, without destroying the original. They create an homage, if you will
posted by nkknkk at 11:57 AM on May 21, 2007

I don't know how genre-different they are (haven't heard the album yet), but Patti Smith has a new album of covers out.
posted by rtha at 12:12 PM on May 21, 2007

Macha and Bedhead's cover of Cher's "Believe."
The Flaming Lips cover of Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head."
posted by sad_otter at 12:19 PM on May 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

The Vandals- So Long Farewell & Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious both from the Sound Of Music.
great great punk band.

25 Minutes To Go (Johnny Cash)-Pearl Jam
Across The Universe -Rufus Wainwright
All My Loving (Organ Version) -The Exotic Beatles
Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash) Social Distortion
Going Underground (The Jam)-Buffalo Tom
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (the Ramones)- Pete Yorn
Kick Out the Jams (MC5)-Presidents Of the United States of America
Knives out(Radiohead)-The Flaming Lips
Louie Louie-Black Flag
Skulls(Misfits)-The Lemonheads
Steppin Stone (Monkees)-Minor Threat
The Guns Of Brixton (The Clash)-Nouvelle Vague

(i love covers...)
posted by ShawnString at 12:20 PM on May 21, 2007

richard cheese is the best! I especially love his Chop Suey and Down with the Sickness
posted by milestogo at 12:27 PM on May 21, 2007

I can't believe no one have said James Last so far. For the last fifty years or so, he's been busy covering just about everything with his easy listening orcestra.
posted by pica at 12:28 PM on May 21, 2007

Kiss --> Big Band
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - "Detroit Swing City"

School House Rock --> Ren Fest
Brobdingnagian Bards - "Interjections"
Sorry, too dorky? I couldn't resist...
posted by gueneverey at 12:29 PM on May 21, 2007

Johnny Cash's American series are arrangements of old and new songs in his style. American IV is probably his best known, thanks to his amazing rendition of NiN's "Hurt".
posted by mkultra at 12:34 PM on May 21, 2007

Nickel Creek sometimes cover britney spears Toxic as well as some Radiohead songs.

Rasputina sometimes do dual cello covers of Hearts "Barracuda" and others.

California Guitar Trio often do covers as a three piece acoustic guitar. "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes to mind.

The Dresden Dolls do War Pigs on piano/drums.

Hurra Torpedo do the greatest cover of Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

Yes's Roundabout performed by a high school show chior.

Primus's Jerry Was a Racecar Driver performed by a drumline.

Sir Mix-A-Lot did a cover of "Iron Man" with Metal Church on one of his early albums.
posted by alikins at 12:38 PM on May 21, 2007

Travis also covered 'Hit me baby one more time' (who knew it was really about domestic violence?)

The Live Lounge on Jo Whiley's show on BBC Radio 1 gets guest artists to usually play a song of their own and a cover (this might even be where the Travis does Britney cover came from way back when). An album has been released.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:04 PM on May 21, 2007

The Shins - We Will Become Silhouettes (Postal Service)
Marilyn Manson - Like a Virgin (Madonna)
The Futureheads - Hounds of Love youtube (Kate Bush)
DJ Tiga - Hot in Here weirdly awesome video: dancing puppets! (Nelly)
The Editors - Feel Good Inc youtube (Gorillaz)
Snow Patrol - Crazy in Love youtube (Beyonce)
posted by nerdcore at 1:05 PM on May 21, 2007

Tuvan throat-singing sensations Yat-kha (check spelling...) cover Motorhead and Captain Beefheart, for starters...
posted by AJaffe at 1:07 PM on May 21, 2007

No one's mentioned Alanis's "My Humps" (MetaFilter thread) yet?

At one time, I would not have thought that Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" would be good if set to a disco beat and sung in falsetto. Scissor Sisters proved me wrong.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:18 PM on May 21, 2007

Fourteen examples of what you're looking for here - all Carpenters songs, redone by a variety of bands (Japanese punk, shoegazer, Sonic Youth, etc.). Most of it is really good, to boot.
posted by jbickers at 1:31 PM on May 21, 2007

The Blue Ribbon Glee Club (myspace page), which includes mefite verysleeping.
posted by sleepy pete at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2007

How about "Baby Got Back," covered by Jonathan "Code Monkey" Coulton as a folk song.
posted by bricoleur at 1:52 PM on May 21, 2007

Luther Wright and the Wrongs' bluegrass version of Pink Floyd's album The Wall

Petra Haden's a capella version of the Who's album The Who Sell Out
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:27 PM on May 21, 2007

nerdcore, are you sure you don't mean Iron & Wine covers the Postal Service?
posted by paul_smatatoes at 3:00 PM on May 21, 2007

Angélique Kidjo - Voodoo Child (Slight Return). Wow. I'm not even a Hendrix fan, but I like this.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:16 PM on May 21, 2007

Holy hell... I left work ans was expecting two or three replies - not 60!

Game Warden - I hadn't been that post on the blue. This is one of those questions I've been meaning to ask MeFi for a while and I suddenly realised I had a question waiting to be used.
posted by twine42 at 3:40 PM on May 21, 2007

José González covering The Knife's Heartbeats
posted by flaterik at 4:36 PM on May 21, 2007

paul_smatatoes: Yep, I'm sure. Iron & Wine covered The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" but The Shins did a cover of "We Will Become Silhouettes." Here's an amateur lip synching music video which uses The Shins' version of the song.
posted by nerdcore at 4:37 PM on May 21, 2007

As someone else mentioned, definitely Ben Folds' cover of "Bitches Ain't Shit" by Dr. Dre.
posted by mrbill at 4:38 PM on May 21, 2007

posted by nicwolff at 8:12 PM on May 21, 2007

Tori Amos: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Toots & the Maytals: Take me home country road
Kronos Quartet: Purple Haze
Israel Kamakawiwoole: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
countless Latin and Reggae versions of popular songs
Joshua Rifkin: The Baroque Beatles Book
posted by euphotic at 8:23 PM on May 21, 2007

There was a band called Big Daddy in the 90's that did contemporary songs in the style of the 50's.
posted by brujita at 11:46 PM on May 21, 2007

Dolly Parton did a decent cover of Shine, originally by Collective Soul
posted by madforplaid at 2:16 AM on May 22, 2007

I love the Guy Obrecht Duo. They toured the west coast recently. The throat-singing/country version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" is great.
posted by billtron at 8:07 AM on May 22, 2007

Oh, and not all of their songs are covers, but Petty Booka are probably the best Japanese hula swing mento band in the world.
posted by billtron at 8:13 AM on May 22, 2007

I recently discovered that Paul Anka released an album of covers including "Eye of the Tiger," "Wonderwall," and "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
posted by shoseph at 8:13 AM on May 22, 2007

Dynamite Hack - Boyz in the Hood
posted by Otis at 11:18 AM on May 22, 2007

By the way, if you like covers you should check out the Coverville podcast.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

There's some good stuff in the various Red Hot projects, especially the original Red Hot + Blue with covers of Cole Porter songs by kd lang, Erasure, Annie Lennox, Tom Waits, Sinead O'Connor, etc.
They've done other ones with covers of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and Fela Kuti. Also jazz, country, "alternative", and dance music.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2007

Reel Big Fish have done some spectacular covers, my favorites are:

Take on Me
Hungry Like the Wolf
Kiss Me Deadly

They also do their own song "S.R." in a variety of styles.
posted by ApathyGirl at 2:23 PM on May 22, 2007

Check out the 'Even better than the real thing' series of CD's which is several volumes of re-interpretations of pop songs!
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:16 AM on May 23, 2007

There's a great Modest Mouse cover album called "Pickin' on Modest Mouse", comprised entirely of bluegrass versions of Modest Mouse songs. Bizarre yet fantastic in it's own way.

And though it's not entirely cross-genre, TV On the Radio's cover of the Pixies' "Mr. Grieves" is pretty unique.
posted by sprocket87 at 7:21 PM on May 23, 2007

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