“The Pandora’s box of unholiness is attempting to sing anything that Freddie Mercury ever sang”
Treading On Dangerous Ground
I’m here to take another look at a Punk Cover. Last time I talked about The Toy Dolls’s version of The Devil Went Down To Georgia that was originally performed by The Charlie Daniels Band. What follows is a copy-paste of the intro from the last entry (cos I’m lazy 😉 ), then we’ll get on to the song we’re looking at today.
What I originally wanted to do here was do a Top 10 about my favourite Punk Covers. But there are just to many that I love. So I’m gonna take the opportunity to talk about some of them individually.
You’ve all heard covers before, even if you didn’t know you had.
Whether it’s songs like Hallelujah by Rufus Wainright (from Shrek), All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix, Mad World by Gary Jules (Donnie Darko) and loads of songs you probably didn’t even know were covers.
I fucking HATED the Busted version. Suddenly everyone “knew” the song and it was used as ringtones that would drive me nuts when they went off.
But lets get back on track. I’m here to talk about a particular type of cover, the “Punk Cover”. The most famous Punk Cover has to be Sid Vicious singing My Way (Frank Sinatra) and while it’s slurry, incoherent absolute insult to the original I still really love it.
Punk has always been a music with high energy, fast pace and badly tuned guitars. I was raised on Punk music so when I discovered Punk Covers I was a very happy teenager.
Sometimes Punk Covers are just fast paced versions. Sometimes they are complete nonsense. And sometimes they can change the meaning of a song entirely.
So let’s take a look at some music fuckery in the form of a Punk Cover.
We Are The Champions – Originally by Queen – Covered by Green Day
Well this one might get some interesting responses.
Covering Queen is a dangerous undertaking (just ask McFly), even if you do a great job (McFly didn’t) you are still going to be hated by almost everyone (fuck you McFly). Queen were a special band whose magic is unlikely to ever be topped.
We are the Champions is one of Queen’s best known songs, still played in stadiums all around the world and drunkenly sung by many sports fans in pubs throughout the land. I mean it’s become such an integral part of sports culture that it should really replace the Olympic anthem and just be made official.
So. Green Day. I love Green Day, every so often they release a phenomenal album, make a few headlines and then go quiet for a bit. It’s also possible that Billie Joe Armstrong is immortal, he’s 47 years old and he looks the same now as he did when I first saw him in the Basket Case music video.
In 2004 while headlining Reading Festival, Green Day performed a cover of We Are The Champions.
Now is it the best cover you’ll ever hear? No.
Is it better than the original? Fuck no.
Does it add anything new to the original? Again, no.
So why do I love it then? Well it was clearly sung with love and admiration. I love that Billie Joe starts the song by running off to find a bit of gaffer tape to turn into a Freddie Mercury style moustache. That immediately makes me smile from ear-to-ear and We Are The Champions is such an ear worm that you can’t get pulled in after that.
In essence this is what all covers should do, make you smile and pull you in. If it can do those two things then surely it’s a pretty good cover?
So which do you prefer? Original or Cover? If you can think of any covers you’d like me to talk about next then feel free to chuck me a message and we can have a chat 🙂 .
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all next time. Until then, remember to take care of yourselves. Peace.
The time that the whole world came together and decide that we could be champions if we really wanted to be.