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Music Playlist: The Absolute Worst Covers… Ever.

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The Worst Cover Songs Ever Recorded


So, you’ve tried root canals, primitive genital modification and colon stretching, but they just don’t provide that sweet, grotesque pain you’re looking for? Having problems quenching your masochistic desires? Fear not my little freaks. I’ve built the most insufferable cover song playlist ever compiled. It’s sure to produce more agony than the finest nipple suspension ever could! Enjoy!

You HAVE to listen to this list. No words can do these songs justice. You can listen for free by clicking here.

Please let me know what you think.

The Playlist:

1. Mr. Tambourine Man – William Shatner
2. Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town – Leonard Nimoy
3. Let’s Hang On – Mrs. Miller
4. Die Zauberflote / La flute enchantee: Der Holle Rache – Florence Foster Jenkins
5. Amie – Wesley Willis
6. Space Oddity – The Langley Schools Music Project
7. Stairway To Heaven – Tiny Tim With Brave Combo

8. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Guns N’ Roses
9. American Pie – Madonna
10. Like A Virgin – Various Artists – Azzurra Music
11. Holy Diver – Pat Boone
12. Creep – Richard Cheese/Lounge…
13. Mexican Radio – Celtic Frost
14. Send In The Clowns – Grace Jones
15. Happy Together – Mel Torme
16. Crazy Train – Swisher
17. Whole Lotta Love – Perry Farrell
18. Carry That Weight – Francis Lai

Find more at The Rhapsody Radish.

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About Robert of the Radish


    oh, the humanity!

  • I love The Langley Schools Music Project version of “Space Oddity” — so did David Bowie. And Guns N’ Roses
    at least had an original take on “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”


    If original means “overblown, drawn out, histrionic, and crappy” I ‘ll agree.

  • Eric Olsen

    whoa, that is brutal, thanks Robert. Hey, on these lists there is no need to ty to identify all genres included with subcats – it’s fine if it’s confined to a few subcats, but in this case “Music” is fine

  • Eric Olsen

    I’ve just created a “Music:Lists” subcat


    No disrespect due you sir, but your list is incomplete without Ms. Sheryl Crow’s life draining, tepid bath wather, vacant version of “Sweet child o’ Mine”. It is possibly the worst cover song ever recorded. Not that she isn’t a hottie. Cause she is.


    Please pardon the typographical errors. It is quite difficult to bang one’s head to the latest Cattle Decapitation CD, and type at the same time!

  • I am totally unfamiliar with Wesley Willis’ “Amie” – I’ve heard a lot of Wesley’s stuff, but I must have missed this one. And who’s the original by?

    And Madonna’s “American Pie” is by far the worst cover on this list. Shatner’s “Tambourine Man” is nothing compared to Madonna’s atrocity. Actually, Shatner’s is entertaining – Hell, to me, would be consiste of Madonna’s “American Pie” on an endless loop.

  • I must be the only guy in the world for whom Sheryl Crow registers as pretty much the opposite of “hottie.” Blech – nasty.


    There are many good covers, this list has manged to not mention one of them, bravo!
    Might I also add, “She Bangs” by William Hung?

    Years ago there was a terrible pop-country cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart”. It was trumatically damaging to all who heard it, I’d repressed from my memory until this moment; damn you for dredging from my subconscious.


    How can you say that about Ms. Crow? Have you never seen her in a leather racing jacket? Yummy. Not as yummy as her pal Liz Phair though. Do you think they have sleepovers and stuff?

  • Thanks Eric! That’s fantasic! I will be using that one. I alway have such a hard time. And since these songs defy all that is right and just I Selected all genres.

  • Tom,

    “Amie” was originally performed by Pure Prairie League. You know the song… “Amie, what you wanna do, I think I could stay with you, for a while, maybe longer if I do”

    The Wesley Willis version is with his full band (not just the keyboard) and is track #15 on his Greatest Hits Vol. 2 album.

  • Rodney,

    I will say this…The Langley Schools Music Project’s version of Space Oddity can be enjoyed as pure outsider art and definately has it’s moments, but there is NO excuse for GNR’s version of Kockin’ on Heaven’s Door. One of the biggest pieces-o-dung ever recorded.
    Completely Undefendable.

  • I love the G n’ R version of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”; it’s so weird and so ballsy. I mean, he even adds his own “lyrics,” so to speak, with that guy saying all that nonsense about sniffing your own rank subjagation or something. He takes Dylan’s elegiac dirge and puts it into the blender of what’s left of his brain, along with his obsessions, his paranoia, his rage, his bullshit — and hits the Puree button. It’s one of my four favorite cuts on Use Your Illusion II, the others being “Civil War,” “Shotgun Blues,” and the S&M classic “Pretty Tied Up.” I thought the whole disc was just a fantastic metal wonderland. It’s like some strange, loud, occasionally baffling journey through the hell of Axl’s life.

  • You may want to see a doctor about that…

  • The Theory

    yeah, i can’t believe you had the audacity to put “6. Space Oddity – The Langley Schools Music Project” on there. FOR SHAME!

  • i personally cannot believe the rest of the list is even a fair assumption with guns n roses “knockin on heaven’s door” there. you my friend need to put down the radiohead (which i like too) and listen to some real rock’n’roll.

    it is easily one of the best covers ever.

  • I think G-N-R’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” is fine. And their version od “Live and Let Die” is way better than the original. And it’s still awful. Take that, Paul McCartney!

  • And lets not forget the great and marvelous Slash, whose guitar churns through every verse and delivers a beautiful, soaring mid-song solo.

  • for the record, Janis’ ‘Piece of my Heart’ was a cover, as were almost all of her songs. In the blues, covers are standard business. I suspect most of the fabled Robert Johnson’s set was probably covers too.

    oh, and my two cents for worst cover ever – Toad the Wet Sprocket doing ‘rock and roll all night’ from Kiss my Ass. Honestly, Toad is one of my favorite groups… but sweet sassy molassy does this version suck.

  • True, the Janis version was a cover of Erma Franklin’s original on the Stax label — but I think Janis’s version is better. She really lays claim to that song.

    Speaking of Stax covers, not too awful long ago, Marilyn Manson did a version of “Tainted Love.” When the local deejay played it, she said “Ewwww, I just hate cover versions.” What she didn’t seem to know was that Soft Cell’s early 1980s version was itself a cover of the 1964 Gloria Jones classic. label. I think she set the standard for the song, really, but Soft Cell brought a whole new techno thing to it.

  • crooked spine

    OK, here’s my list:

    “What’d I Say” by John Mayall – This is from the album he did with Clapton. Clapton was in his prime, but Mayall couldn’t sing worth crap. He had no business covering a Ray Charles song.

    “Tomorrow Night” by Big Joe Turner – The original by Lonnie Johnson was beautifully sparse, with just acoustic guitar, piano & a standup bass. I love Big Joe’s jump blues, but he removed all the subtlety from this song and ruined it in the process.

    “Fire and Water” by Wilson Pickett – Another case of not understanding that less is more. The original tune by Free was a masterwork of paring a song down to its essential elements. Wilson Pickett was one of the great soul singers of the ’60s, but his funkifying of this song sucked.

    “Summertime Blues” by T Rex – Even worse than Blue Cheer’s version. Who had the bright idea of taking an Eddie Cochran classic and using it to feature the bongo player?

    “Gimme Shelter” by Grand Funk Railroad – The original by the Rolling Stones was a true classic. This version was a piece of shit. But then again, even the Stones have made their share of bad decisions. For example…

    “Under the Boardwalk” by the Rolling Stones – Recorded before they made it big with “Satisfaction.” You gotta wonder what made them think that recording a Drifters song would be a good idea.

    “Little Wing” by Stevie Ray Vaughan – First, take a Jimi Hendrix classic. Then remove the sentiment of the song by deleting the lyrics. Then noodle on your guitar until two minutes past the point it should have ended. Then play for two more minutes. At least Stevie Ray had the sense not to release this during his lifetime.

  • Blogcritics’ editors liked this one. It’s a pick of the week. Congrats. Put the news up proudly on your site.

    Here’s a link to the rest of this week’s picks and the reason why.

  • luke

    Look no further than Britney Spears cover of Satisfaction. Not like she had creative control over what to cover mind you.

  • fince

    sheryl crow is ugly. that girl had a lot of work on her hideous face. when you see her in a magazine, believe me, it was doctored up a lot.

  • fince

    sheryl crow needs to retire.

  • Raul

    Great list.. but to have GNRs Knocking on Heaven’s Door on it?! I am sure thats why its their version thats constantly played on the radio…

  • johnson

    madonna- american pie. horrid. please go away you annoying echo chambered vagina.

  • Jerry Stinson

    Please listen to the Carpenters on “Ticket to Ride.” And don’t give up too early: The first half is boring, but the second half gets truly terrible and will have you convulsing.

  • rogus

    Shatner should be all over the list 😀
    He is the most definetly the best worst musician ;]

    But I would give Madonna more credit. Making out of very metaphorical song which makes everybody stop for a while… making out of it another stupid pop hit…

    Hmmm actually when you think of Dylan cover’s – Hendrix hardly got there – at least he did not blow it. I’d say in my time of dying by Led Zepplin is also alright.
    But the rest holy fucking Jesus! ;D