In a recent interview, Joan Jett was asked how she felt about the Britney Spears cover of her iconic rock hit, “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.”
“I’ve never even heard Britney’s version,” Jett said. “I mean, I’ve obviously heard about it, but I never understood that whole idea I mean, people usually cover a song that says something about them, but I doubt she loves rock ‘n roll. Maybe she likes songs.”
The woman has a point – sometimes musicians cover odd songs to be ironic (i.e. Alanis covering “My Humps”), but I’m thinking Britney (or her record company) thought the song would give her an edge (the songstress also covered the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction.”) But Spears is definitely an easy target. There are tons of other artists who try their best to do a great rendition of someone else’s song when it just sort of falls flat.
Hilary Duff doing “My Generation”
Duff doing The Who? Their ’60s song was taken and poppified for a younger generation that doesn’t appreciate what the lyrics mean whatsoever. Can’t you see the tweens cooing, “Things they do look awful cold/Yeah, I hope I die before I get old.”
Madonna doing “American Pie”
Sorry, Madge: I just didn’t dig it. The song is a legendary folk tune
Smash Mouth doing “I’m a Believer”
First of all, it’s Smash Mouth. Second of all, Davy Jones is The Believer and was on The Brady Bunch. Dave Harwell, the band’s singer, was on The Surreal Life. Davy for the win!
Jessica Simpson doing “These Boots are Made for Walking”
It seems to me that this cover came about simply based on what Jessica could wear for the video. Nancy Sinatra cannot be outdone by Simpson’s collagen-lipped purrs or cowboy boots’ spurs. No sir. (OK that’s enough of that.)
On the bright side, some covers rival the originals, and on that note, do yourself a favor and listen to Sonic Youth‘s cover of the Carpenters'”Superstar,” Tori Amos doing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or the Scissor Sisters‘ take on “Comfortably Numb.”