Ah the 80’s, you simultaneously shame me and make me want to break out into dance. 80’s covers have always sort of been horrible, why is that? I’m guessing that has to do with the overall quality of music in that time period. No one seemed to know what the hell was going on (except Michael Jackson). Here’s a list of some odd covers coming from some odd bands in the last 10 years.
10. Dinosaur Jr. “Just Like Heaven” (The Cure)
Every band has covered this song, but no one makes it their own like Jay Mascis. The amount of distortion and sloppy shredding going on before the lyrics come in is truly inspiring. It’s the most ballsy a Cure song has ever sounded.
9. Kings Of Convenience "Free Fallin’” (Tom Petty)
This is one of those songs that guy at the party who brought a guitar always plays. Luckily, these guys do it so well, that you’re free to smash that guy’s guitar and play this instead.
8. Postal Service "Against All Odds" (Phil Collins)
The first time I heard this cover I almost thought it was an original until I heard the chorus. Postal Service does it so well, adding a good amount of desperation in a way only Ben Gibbard can.
7. She & Him "Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want" (The Smiths)
I’m admittedly not a fan of sad British pop music from the 80’s, but I do love me some Zooey Deschanel and I very much enjoy this cover that was set to 500 Days Of Summer’s soundtrack.
6. Band Of Horses "You Make My Dreams Come True" (Hall & Oates)
Come on, you knew I wouldn’t make a list like this without some Hall & Oates, the king and queen of the 80’s (I’ll let you decide who the queen is). This song makes me want to get up and just kick the air.
5. David Byrne "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" (Whitney Houston)
David Byrne makes this song funky, not that it already didn’t have a good rhythm for dancing. I remember my sister all scrunchied up dancing to this song back in the day.
Hearing Ceelo sing this song works, but it’s really all about the xylophone, and Danger Mouse does the Femmes proud here. Yes he can play instruments, no he’s not just a DJ anymore.
3. The Lemonheads “Skulls” (The Misfits)
This is one of my favorite covers of all time, and I’ve spent many weeks attempting to find it after it disappeared from my iTunes. While most of the Lemonheads’ other work doesn’t quite hit me, hearing Glenn Danzig’s song about mounting skulls on his wall sung so sweetly is just perfect.
2. Gary Jules "Mad World" (Tears For Fears)
Thanks to Donnie Darko, Gary Jules came under most peoples’ radars with his whisper soft cover of this totally 80’s hit. This version just makes a bit more sense to me without a lot of overused synthesizers.
1. Tori Amos "Raining Blood" (Slayer)
Yes, this really happened. I actually don’t like Tori at all, she’s very much a diva and is not polite to those she doesn’t know. But, behavior aside, this is one of the more interesting covers of any band ever. I wonder if Slayer enjoyed it?
Gossip "Careless Whisper" (Wham!)
Boy Least Likely To "Faith" (George Michael)
The Flaming Lips “Borderline” (Maddona)
The Arcade Fire “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Cyndi Lauper)
What are your favorite covers of songs from the 80's?