Top 5 Perfect Songs Ruined By Awful Cover Versions 

There's nothing more annoying than doing something again, but worse. Here are some covers we can safely confirm never lived up to the real deal...


1)      Hurt 

Johnny Cash’s 2002 track Hurt is an emotional classic that cuts deep; a beautiful parting gift from a genius not long for this world.                             

Sadly, some choose not to respect the dead. In 1995 Nine Inch Nails delivered a terrible cover of the song, which drags on for 6 breathy minutes over what sounds like a B-Side instrumental from a D-Grade album by The Cure.   

2)      The Man Who Sold The World 

Nirvana debuted this 1993 track as part of their MTV Unplugged set, one of the most memorable live music records of all time.                       

Unfortunately, those memories were tainted when David Bowie covered the song in 1970, missing the point of it entirely by playing and singing correct notes and words. Bowie would later plagiarise Kurt Cobain again in early 2016 by dying tragically.  

3)      Valerie 

Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse recorded this astounding Top 20 Hit in 2007. 10 years later, many of us still aren’t sick of it, even though we desperately wish we were.  

Not content with this, however, The Zutons decided in 2006 to release their own inferior version (minus the trumpets, and thus any chance of it being good). On top of all that, the band changed this brilliant song about a love between two women into yet another dull, hetero-normative pop song. Good one, guys; add it to the skip-full of those that came in just last week. Who Killed…… The Zutons?, their debut album artwork asks. You have to wonder, listening to this dreadful cover, if The Zutons were ever really alive in the first place…

4)      Hallelujah 

Christ, where to start with this one? Alexandra Burke gave us an early Christmas present in 2008 with her unbearably depressing (but in a nice way, really) ‘Hallelujah’. X-Factor viewers watched in delight as the star gave a touching and innovative performance where she cried half the song inside a storm of confetti reminiscent of the last 5 minutes of Crystal Maze.                             

Everyone has had a go at this one, from Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen, to the only marginally better Shrek (who probably wasn’t even really singing it in the film). Sadly, no one comes close to Burke’s original.

5)      Blinded By The Light

This 1976 tune from Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band was an astonishing piece of avant-garde rock, featuring abstract and poetical lyrics about ‘wrapped-up douches’ and ‘little early birdies giving anuses Curly Wurlys’.   

Bruce Springsteen (‘The Boss’, or so he claims) had to come along and ruin it in 1973 by turning it into another bland slice of Americana pie. I’m On Fire? Good.

Article written by Bobby Innes