Hello everyone and welcome to The Pulse, your lifeline on pop culture and media. It’s been a while hasn’t it? I will admit, tackling a new top 10 every week was taking its toll on me, combine that with the helluva year it’s been and I put my focus on other things, depriving you fine folks of the lists you so desperately crave (or don’t, anyone still reading these things?). Look, self-depreciating narcissism aside (how’s that for an oxymoron?), I wanna try something a bit different here today. Rather than my usual top 10 format delivered on a weekly (or less) basis, if I get the urge to rank something for you lot I’ll see what I can put together without any real set restrictions or guidelines.
Which brings us to the subject of today’s list. Cover songs, the remakes of the music industry. I always found it funny how much crap gets thrown the way of movie remakes while generally speaking people love their cover songs, just..why is that? I’d honestly argue that they are even more of a low effort cash grab than people accuse movie remakes of being, but what do I know, I’m not a music guy. That’s not to say I don’t like music, I’ve done my share of top 10’s on the subject that you can at least appreciate that I do like listening to music, I just kinda suck talking about it. So why am I doing this list? Because I wanna share my favorite cover songs and you all were curious enough to click on it and by this point you may as well keep reading to see what my picks are, right? Right.
Without further adieu…
5. Hard Luck Woman (Garth Brooks)
If any two artists were to define my childhood they would be Garth Brooks and KISS. I grew up on their music and they helped influence a lot of my musical tastes, and to this day many of my all time favorite songs are from them. So it seems only fitting that one of my all time favorite KISS songs would not only be covered by Garth Brooks (trivia time, my very first concert experience was seeing Garth Brooks at the Pond in Anaheim, now the Honda Center) but performed alongside the iconic rock group. Yeah, I absolutely love this take on the song, Garth does a fantastic job and fits in shockingly well in this melding of country and rock and roll. The 90’s were a wild time man.
4. Smooth Criminal (Alien Ant Farm)
So let’s commit a bit of blasphemy, shall we? Alien Ant Farm’s Smooth Criminal is better than Michael Jackson’s original. Like, I like the original, it’s a great song, Michael Jackson is a fantastic artist, but man does the guitar on this just shred and I find the delivery of the lyrics just better here. So..sorry not sorry, this is the definitive version of the song.
3. Let’s Go All the Way (Insane Clown Posse)
An anthem of love and acceptance as only the wicked clowns could preach it. ICP’s cover of Let’s Go All the Way breathes new life into the Sly Fox original 80’s hit. The beat hits hard, the chorus is catchy as fuck and the lyrics promise a future of peace and belonging that is free of hate, prejudice and all the bullshit we’re facing still today in 2020. Like, I get if ICP just isn’t your cup of tea, but any hate thrown at the duo is completely misplaced, ICP and the juggalo family are the most loving and inclusive group of freaks, weirdos and assholes that I have ever been proud to associate myself with and this song is just one of many examples of the sort of message they actively preach and believe in.
2. Boyz in the Hood (Dynamite Hack)
You wanna talk about a cover that completely transforms a song look no further than Dynamite Hack’s cover of the LEGENDARY Boyz in the Hood. Adopting a much more mellow beat completely ill-fitting to the content of the song, the accompanying music video absolutely sells it for me. This is actually the version of Boyz in the Hood I grew up with and while I give mad props and respect to the original I do actually prefer this take on it, it’s almost to the point of parody but it just works and I can’t help but love it.
1. The Sound of Silence (Disturbed)
I’m not even gonna say anything, this one speaks for its fucking self.
There you have it folks, it’s good to be back at it, had a lot of fun with this one, got to listen to some great tunes while narrowing it down to these five picks and I can definitely say with almost confidence that this is a subject I will be visiting again in the future here on The Pulse. Have something special coming next month that I’ve been wanting to do for a while so do look forward to that, next time on The Pulse!