The art of making a cover song shouldn't necessarily be all that hard. After all, if you're a good enough act, most of it just comes down to doing your own version of karaoke to a song that you love. Then again, there are some artists that are willing to go a bit further than just your standard copy and paste song job.
Across rock's history, cover songs have been the bread and butter of getting a band's foot in the door, but they can also act as a unique creative opportunity as well. By all accounts, the music is written, you just have to put yourself into that space...and boy did these artists have a field day with these.
Compared to the original songs, some of these don't even sound anywhere close to the source material, with them reinventing the entire track from the ground up. It's one thing when it's just for a gag...it's something else entirely when it actually manages to work.
As wrong as some of these feel to listen to, the execution of these tracks are nearly flawless, with no note being out of place across a second of runtime. Though there is a fair amount of creative license at work, it should be illegal for people to pull something off this well.
10. Turn the Page - Metallica
For any die hard Metallica fan, the mid '90s are not a time period that they look back on fondly. Even though the thrash legends had made their millions off of the Black Album, the one-two punch of Load and Reload was a bit much for a lot of fans to take in all at once. While Garage Inc. feels like a bit of course correction for these guys in retrospect, we did get an unexpected left hook with their version of Turn the Page by Bob Seger.
Granted, it's not like the Seger classic wasn't already dark in its own way, as it told the tale of the lonesome traveler going across the country and getting more lonesome by the day. Then again, this is Metallica, the same guys that were known for songs about drug addiction, war atrocities, and the pure darkness that existed in every human's head. How the hell are they able to make this work?
Well, the real crux of this tune comes from James' delivery, which is actually spot on for Seger's tone. As much vocal acrobatics that he put his throat through, this is the one instance where the Load-era experimentation really works. Hell, even the guitar solo and Kirk Hammett mimicking the original's saxophone line goes over like gangbusters here. Even though this is the polar opposite of what a Metallica fan was expecting, the AM rock radio look isn't too shabby on them.