Artist’s Unexpected Covers

Covers songs recorded by unexpected artists

Cover songs have been a staple of the music industry for its entire existence. If a song is popular enough, you already know a cover will soon be on the way from any and all artists who think they can sell a few copies. With covers as popular as Elvis Presley’s entire library to Led Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused, many of your favorite tunes are in fact covers even if you didn’t realize it! However, on the flip side of that, with so many artists synonymous with a particular sound you’d never expect them to venture out into covering something totally out of their genre wheelhouse. That’s where you’d be wrong. We’ve complied a collection of artists who covered some unexpected songs that may take you by surprise!

Purple Haze- Dion

YouTube: Modpants

Yes that’s right, the American Doo-op singer responsible for such hits as Runaround Sue and The Wanderer ventured into Hendrix! In an odd twist, Dion adopted Purple Haze into his library in 1968, just one year after Hendrix released it! The psychedelic rock anthem was slowed down and turned into more of a balled under Dion but somehow remains to be, if not becomes even more, trippy. Certainly and unexpected track from the heartbroken oldies singer, but not an unwelcome one by any means!

Faith- Limp Bizkit

YouTube: JulianOBlink

Believe it or not there are people who enjoy Limp Bizkit! Alright, jokes aside the controversial rap rock group found their success in the early 2000s with tracks like “Rollin’” and “Break Stuff” and were even used as The Undertaker’s entrance theme during his stint as The American Badass. Unfortunately for us, nobody told front man Fred Durst that rap rock and George Michael don’t mix. For reasons unbeknownced to us Limp Bizkit decided to include Michael’s 1987 Faith on their 1997 album “Three Dollar Bill, Y’all”. The kicker? While bordering on the creepy side, Durst’s opening to the song isn’t the worst thing in the world. Fret not however, just wait for the chorus and sit back as Fred and the boys ruin this classic.

Jolene- The White Stripes

YouTube: The White Stripes

The White Stripes can do no wrong! The iconic 2000s Faux Brother/Sister, Husband/Wife duo left their mark on the music industry with memorable rock tracks such as Fell In Love With A Girl, We’re Going To Be Friends, and Icky Thump. However the song that will ensure The Stripes live on forever has to be Seven Nation Army, a staple of any high-school football game or workout playlist. Always the artist, front man Jack White is no stranger to experimenting with covers, as is the case with The White Stripes rendition of the 1965 #2 hit Love Potion No.9. However it’s their iconic cover of Jolene we’re focusing on for this list. The echoing live guitar and raw emotion in the voice of Jack White coveys the emotion behind the classic Dolly lyrics. The rock rendition may be one of the finest live covers of the era and is definitely deserving of a listen if you have yet to hear it!

Heartbreaker- Nirvana

YouTube: Nirvana

Kurt, Dave, and Krist were certainly no strangers to borrowing from some of their favorite artists. With a library containing the likes of Bowie, The Meat Puppets, Lead Belly, and many others it’s no shock the band fiddled around with other cover ideas. Dating all the way back to 1987, The legendary trio broke into Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker during one of their very first live performances. Unfortunately this rendition never made it to the studio but did become available to the public courtesy of With The Lights Out and Sliver: The Best Of The Box which features early recordings, demos, live tracks and unreleased music! But the best part about this cover, “I don’t know how to play it!”

Smells Like Teen Spirit/ Wonderwall/ Etc.- Paul Anka

YouTube: PaulAnkaTV

Oh yes, that is correct. The mind behind “Puppy Love” and “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” proved he could still hang when he released his album 2005 album “Rock Swings”. The album included lounge and swing covers of the likes of Bon Jovi, Nirvana, Oasis, Survivor, Van Halen, Chris Cornell, and more! Anka undoubtedly knocked it out of the park earning himself a long deserved star on Canada’s Walk of Fame! Having the ability to take Smells Like Teen Spirit and make it easy listening even your Grandparents would call quality music is a true sign of a multitalented artist! Step aside Richard Cheese!

With a vast and ever growing world library of cover songs, these are just a handful of renditions that may have taken you by surprise! Let us know what you think down below and who’s cover caught you off guard! Be sure to check out more music related articles here and keep on rockin’ on!

-Style

Wild Banned Songs From The Radio

If there’s one thing I love more than anything else it’s music. Not just listening to it but playing it, writing it, and studying it. While doing my weekly radio show, One thing that always keeps me motivated is learning the history of the songs i’m playing, More than anything else however, the single most interesting thing I love to find is songs that have at one point in time been banned from airplay and the reasons why. The following is a small collection of some wildest banned songs I’ve had the privilege to play.

Photo by Ian Panelo on Pexels.com

1. Strange Fruit

Possibly the most infamous and controversial songs to ever be banned from radio airplay is none other than Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit. Even without any context, at first listen this song provides an eerie and unsettling feeling to the listener. Strange Fruit, to those unaware, is not a reference to any form of “fruit” at all rather than the unjust lynching of African Americans in the early 30s and 4. So why was the song banned from airplay? For that reason exactly, the song was a call to action for justice against racial inequality, the only issue was the 1930’s, primarily southern, America was no place to welcome racial equality or call to attention to the wrongful nature of their crimes. To this day Strange Fruit still stands as one of the most powerful, brash, and moving songs to take the stand for equality among races ever recorded.

2. Splish Splash

If you have not previously heard Bobby Darin’s 1958 top 40 hit Splish Splash already, I would highly recommend doing so now. The narrative in the story describes a man who had decided to relax and unwind with a soothing bubble bath one Saturday evening only to find that once he had done so, a party had commenced in his living room, of which he was prompt to join. So what in this song could have led a collective of radio stations in North America to ban this song from their air waves? Does this song promote the use of drugs, violence, maybe something considered too immoral? Nope! Splish Splash was banned from North American radio stations for the simple fact the main protagonist in the song is assumed to be nude! That’s right, though no where in the song is any form of nudity is ever actually defined or described, this hit tune apparently made some listeners feel uncomfortable at the depiction of taking a bath.

3. Mack The Knife

Bobby Darin strikes again! One year removed from making listeners uncomfortable Bobby was back again to have yet another song banned from airplay. A No. 1 hit in both the US and UK, Mack The Knife was banned from airplay for showcasing a “Positive Portrayal of Serial killers”. Even though Darin was long from the first artist to record this ditty, he gained himself yet another spot on the list of banned songs.

4. Brown Eyed Girl

A favorite of karaoke singers and your dad, you might be asking yourself what could this upbeat summer tune possibly have gotten banned for. Well hold onto your hats for this one, the track was initially titled “Brown Skinned Girl”… and welp, that should tell you all you need to know for that one. Morrison changed the title in order for the song more accepted for air play, However many stations still refused to play the song due to the line, “Making love in the green grass” which was deemed overtly sexual.

5. Space Oddity

One of David Bowie’s staple songs, alongside Starman, Space Oddity has seemingly become a staple of classic rock radio stations as well over the past few decades. Interestingly enough however, this wasn’t always the case. Following the climax of The Space Race, the BBC decided to pull the song from airplay until Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin Michael Collins had returned safely to Earth’s surface in fear that it may invoke unease and restlessness among listeners for the safety of these astronauts.

6. The Monster Mash

Yes, The Monster Mash. You know, the song that children sing aloud come October, a mainstay of any Halloween party or Spotify playlist. The Monster Mash was deemed “Too Morbid” for airplay by the BBC. Honestly, I’m at a loss for this one here! If you can help me in anyway understand what is to be considered morbid in The Monster Mash please let me know in the comments below.

7. Charlie Brown

If there is one thing that we have learned by now it should be that the words deemed unsuitable for airplay have taken on quite the shift over the years. Common or obscure sayings and phrases we openly discuss today were at one time considered fowl or taboo. However when it comes down to it, The Coasters take the cake with Charlie Brown. The song depicts the “cool bad boy” type kid in school, describing his shenanigans and consequences. One thing that the BBC however did not find very cool was the use of the word “Spitballs”. Yes, Spitballs is the word that got Charlie Brown removed from stations across the nation. What a time to be alive.

8. Rumble

We kicked off the list with one of the most iconic and infamous banned songs of all tim, therefore the only way to cap it off is to offer up one of the most seemingly unknown yet historical songs to ever get the blacklist. Link Wray’s 1958 song Rumble is the only instrumental song to ever be banned from the radio. Now how in the hell could this be possible is a completely normal thought to be having right now, but allow me to explain. While the song lacks any for of hard or intense lyrics, it more than makes up for it in pure, soul shaking, heart pounding, guitar chords. Considered “The most dangerous sounding instrumental” for good reason, The ominous sounding heavily reberbed guitar is enough to put you in an uncomfortable trance. To quote The Rolling Stone it, “Sounded like an invitation to a knife fight”. The song was banned from radio stations in major cities such as New York and Boston for fear that it would actually insite gang violence. Don’t ever let anyone tell you instrumental aren’t cool ever again.

-Style

6 Legendary Rock Bands And How They Got Their Names

Over the years there have been countless bands to climb the rock ranks to legendary status and become household names. But have you ever actually stopped to think about some of these household names? Compiled below are 6 legendary rock bands and how they got their names!

1. AC/DC

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

The Scottish/Australian rock group originated from brothers Angus and Malcolm Young who, upon seeing their brother George Young joining popular Australian group The Easybeats, decided to form a rock group of their own. The two would take on the name AC/DC upon a suggestion from their sister Margaret, who had seen the lettering on their home sewing machine. In case you’ve never found yourself in a situation where you needed to know, AC stands for alternating current while DC stands for Direct current when referring to electrical flow. Bonus fact time! In Australia the band is also commonly referred to as “Acca Dacca”

2. Cream

Ultimate Classic Rock

The english rock band comprised of Eric Clapton, Jake Bruce and Ginger Baker were destined for greatness right off the bat. With Clapton fresh off a run with The Yardbyrds, Baker earing an elite reputation for himself as the drummer for The Graham Bond Organisation alongside future future Cream-mate Jake Bruce. The band was formed as a gathering of the elite of the elite, the name Cream derives from the idea they are the “Cream of The Crop” in the music industry, a statement i’m sure Macho ManRandy Savage would definatelt agree with.

3. Golden Earring

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Golden Earring, one of the most underrated bands of all time in my opinion, originally went under the name The Tornados before realizing the name had already been in use. The band would rename themselves “The Golden Earrings” after an instrumental piece by The Hunters of the same name. Eventually the band would settle on just simply Golden Earring.

4. Journey

journeyworld.com

Forming in 1973 under the name The Golden Gate Rhythm Section the band decided to hold a radio contest and allow the fans to select their new name. Not thrilled with any of the results that came back, it was a roadie who had been traveling with the band that suggested the name Journey. The band all agreed and have been rocking with us ever since!

5. Led Zeppelin

Tone Deaf

Led Zeppelin… Really think about that for a second, a household name most of us say on a regular basis without even batting an eye. The story goes that Robert Plant was ready to start a musical supergroup and was kicking around this idea with Who drummer Keith Moon who supposedly told him his idea would go down like a lead balloon. Balloon, Zeppelin, same thing right? Well Plant sure seemed to think so anyway.

6. The Foo Fighters

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Not one, not two but three legendary rock bands lace Dave Grohl’s historic career! How does the drummer from one o if not THE most over band of the 90s step out and begin a band of his own outside of that shadow? Nevertheless one with as clever and catchy name as the simply titled Nirvana. Two words, Foo Fighters. Admit it if you’ve ever heard the name Foo Fighters on the radio, fan or not, you’ve wondered where the hell that name could come from! Really it’s quite simple, UFOs. That’s right, Foo Fighters is allegedly a name that was given by allied aircraft pilots for unidentified flying objects. Meaning the Foo Fighters are quite literally out if this world!

Regardless of how they acquired these names one thing is always going to be for certain. If the word, object, or idea your band was named after takes a backseat to your band in terms of word association or recognition, you’ve made it.

-Style

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/rock-band-names/