Monday, October 20, 2014

My Favorite Genre-Switching Covers

If you know much about my music taste, you know I have a fondness for covers that sound nothing at all like the original version. I'm fascinated when artists slow down goofy songs, cheer up sad ones, or just generally change it up. Why cover a song if you're not going to put your own spin on it, after all? Here are a few of my very favorite weird covers!

(As always, * = not family friendly)

Badi Assad from Flickr via Wylio
© 2006 Borya, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio
Ring of Fire by Adam Lambert, originally by Johnny Cash

*My Humps by Alanis Morissette, originally by Black Eyed Peas

Umbrella by The Baseballs, originally by Rihanna

*Get Low by Dan Henig, originally by Lil Jon & Eastside Boyz

Bangarang by Dario Fo, originally by Skrillex

Rolling in the Deep by Dirty Loops, originally by Adele

My Favorite Things by Family Force 5, most famously by Julie Andrews

Holding Out for a Hero by Frou Frou, originally by Bonnie Tyler

*Baby Got Back by Jonathan Coulton, originally by Sir Mix-a-Lot

Blow (Deconstructed) by Ke$ha, originally by Ke$ha -- she covered herself

Once Upon a Dream by Lana del Rey, originally from the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty

Who Let the Dogs Out by Matt Mulholland, originally by Baha Men

I Will Always Love You by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, originally by Dolly Parton and famously covered by Whitney Houston

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Paul Anka, originally by Nirvana

Single Ladies by Pomplamoose, originally by Beyonce

*Get the Party Started by The Rebeatles Project, originally by Pink

You're Still the One by Roper, originally by Shania Twain

All I Want for Christmas Is You by Sam Tsui, originally by Mariah Carey

California Dreamin' by Scala and Kolacny Brothers, originally by The Mamas & The Papas

*Thrift Shop by Scott Bradlee, originally by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Leaving On a Jet Plane by Slightly Stoopid, most famously by Peter, Paul & Mary

Do You Want to Build a Snowman? by Stellar Kart, originally from the Frozen soundtrack

Both Sides Now by Susan Egan, originally by Joni Mitchell

I Wanna Hold Your Hand by T.V. Carpio from Across the Universe, originally by The Beatles

*97 Bonnie and Clyde by Tori Amos, originally by Eminem

Wannabe by Zebrahead, originally by Spice Girls

I'm always on the lookout for new songs -- so what are your favorite genre-switching covers?


  1. I don't know if it strictly counts, but I love that Susannah McCorkle covered "If I only had a heart". The reason it may not count is because the she didn't actually change the musical style. However, just by covering it as a jazz song, she made it a metaphor for experiencing being in love, or something. (Unless it was already always meant as a metaphor, but if so I didn't get it.)

    1. I actually thought about that one when I was first brainstorming the list and intended to include it but then forgot. So I'm glad you mentioned it! :-)

  2. The Scala cover of California Dreamin' is one of my favourites, actually.

    Others: Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) by Alien Ant Farm Smooth Criminal by 2Cellos + Glee Sandstorm (Darude) by eight floppy drives Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Eurhythmics) by PelleK Holding Out for a Hero (Bonnie Tyler) by Van Canto (I could have picked so many of their songs, but this is the most obviously cross-genre) Rasputin (Boney M) by Turisas Kashmir (Led Zeppelin) by Gregorian Thunderstruck (AC/DC) by Steve'n'Seagulls

  3. Branches' (indie-folk) cover of I Believe In a Thing Called Love by The Darkness (rock):