10 Hard Rock Music Covers You Wish Never Happened

9. Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm

When a bands most recognised track is that of another artist, it's not usually a good sign...

Alien Ant Farm topped the Billboard charts with their cover of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal in 2001, and if you were alive back then, you'll remember this track being played everywhere, from school discos to shopping centres and even appearing in American Pie 2. For many millennials this track was their first introduction to the King of Pop's music, which is an alarming and sad state of affairs for anyone to find themselves in.

There isn't any one aspect that made this a bad cover, it was just unnecessary. Much like the 2008 Fall Out Boy Cover of Beat It, Alien Ant Farm's take didn't add anything new to the song, they just ran it through a skater, nu metal filter and called it done.

It's not the most offensive cover in the world, and when it came out, nu metal was the popular thing, but looking back it wasn't all that of an inspired rendition of the Michael Jackson classic.

It does captivate a time and place though, so maybe this cover can be applauded for flicking that nostalgia switch.


Before changing directions and engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in TV and film, working as a camera operator. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.