This may be heresy, but I like the Five Finger Death Punch cover of "Gone Away-" if for no other reason than it's the first time I actually understood the lyrics (:powerlevel: my hearing is iffy, especially in higher ranges.)
Worst cover? THIS:
It's Ed Sheeran and some bint covering the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" and it's even worse than it sounds.
Everything is wrong with this cover. Bowdlerization. Inability or unwillingness to hit the notes or stay in sync. Whininess. Abrupt, completely inappropriate jump into fucking "Jingle Bells." The fact that the Britbongistani taxpayers funded this botched home abortion. But it all comes down to the complete castration of what is, at it's heart, a deeply bitter song into this soy-stuffed tripe. This cover is a fucking war crime.
This recording isn't as good as the one on the CD I have, but it gives you an idea of how the original is supposed to go.
They aren't everyone's cup of tea, but they remain my always and forever favorite band so here's (THAT WORD FILTER SHOULD BE DISABLED IN THIS SUBFORUM) cover of Led Zeppelin's All of My Love. I would absolutely kill to hear it live.
I think Motorhead's version of Enter Sandman is a little bit better than the original in a couple respects. Lemmy's vocals sound more sinister for example, and their more lo-fi sound helps make the song sound creepier. I especially love the spoken interlude because Lemmy's harsh voice makes it work.
It's not a specific cover for me, (I'm actually even struggling to think of any specific instances of these because they're as vapid and forgettable as they are ubiquitous.) But pretty much every movie trailer these days features a cover of a decent song that is much slower in pace than the original, with a whiny (usually female) emotionless singer... and it's just terrible.
As I said, none of these are particularly memorable but here is just a small random selection of what I'm talking about.
. Bjork's version of It's Oh So Quiet is a classic example of a great cover.
. Within Temptation, some band I was obsessed with in my edgy 12-year-old days, did a bunch of really good covers of Radioactive (Imagine Dragons, Skyfall (Adele), Crazy (Gnarls Barkley), and Little Lion Man (Mumford and Sons). Nightwish, another band I was crazy for at the time, also did a really good cover of Walking in the Air (that song from The Snowman)
. Sucker Punch isn't a good movie by any means, but I have a soft spot for a couple of the songs - The covers of Sweet Dreams and Where is my Mind are pretty nice (even though I do prefer the originals).
. Probably gonna get shot for this, but A Perfect Circle's cover of Imagine is... I don't know, I just really like it. I love the different tone to it, I love it when covers are more daring to be different when it's executed right.
. Ashley Tisdale's version of Never Gonna Give You Up (Tisfail'd). I unrironically like the original, so uh, I'm not fond of mediocre, artificial as hell Disney popstars covering such a charming and memorable song.
. Most covers that are just slow indie ballad versions of songs with a lot more energy (some exceptions are some of them made by Birdy, like Young Blood and White Winter Hymnal). A great example would be that one Sweet Child of Mine cover from that hilariously awful Irish speeding PSA that everybody made fun of.
Little Bonus for you all to end this on a high note:
Did you know that Morning Dew by the Grateful Dead is actually a cover of a song written in the 60's? The original was made by a Canadian folk singer called Bonnie Dobson (no relationship to Andrew). I just thought this was interesting, as I have much more of an attachment to this version, yet everybody I know is like "hey isn't that by the Grateful Dead?" and from what I understand, it's not very well known this is the original. Shame, Dobson's got some really nice music.
The Dead Kennedys cover of Elvis Presley's Viva Los Vegas
The non-Jello Biafra parts of Dead Kennedys are great, and the lyrics work pretty well for the whole manic drug fiend thing they were going for. Plus who doesn't love the Fear and Loathing In Los Vegas soundtrack?
Queens of the Stone Age's cover of Chris Elliot's Christian Brothers
Chris Elliot was a pretty good songwriter, but he was pretty underwhelming as a singer. So a cover by Josh Homme who's a pretty good singer and especially with the harmonys with Troy Van Leeuwen really added to this song.
QotSA also did a cover of White Wedding that turned out pretty good. I'm not sure I like the slower pace, but Josh Homme can out-Billy-Idol Billy Idol.
Iron Horse has done an awful lot of Bluegrass covers. As far as I'm concerned the best covers I've heard out of them are from the Modest Mouse tribute they did.
Avril Lavine's awe inspiring cover of Chop Suey by System of the Down