The Worst Cover I’ve Ever Heard™

I love cover songs. If any artist has an interesting or entertaining version of someone else’s music, then I’m generally down for it. My personal music collection contains something like 1500 cover songs from different artists.

I especially love when a cover is so good that it becomes the more well-known version, and the fact that it was sung previously by another artist becomes a matter of trivia. A great example of this is “Istanbul (Not Constantinople).” I became acquainted with this song originally as the version from They Might Be Giants, on their 1990 album Flood. The original is a 1953 track by The Four Lads.

Sometimes, if I’m not in the mood for something specific, I’ll just fire up a good old fashioned shuffle play. My continuing adventures in shuffle-play recently served up the Worst Cover I’ve Ever Heard™. I do not use this label lightly. I’ll forgive a lot, with the possible exception of covers of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah- none of them get it right. Sometimes a cover misses greatness and it’s just sort of okay- this was not that. This cover is actively, horribly terrible.

I’m not making this up. And those of you who’ve known me for a while know that because I’m fond of covers. I love the hell out of all kinds of covers, even the covers that make purists run away, climb trees, and gibber.

But this… this…

It all started one night many years ago, probably in 1998 or 1999. I had gone to Respectable Street Cafe to dance and drink and hang out with my friends. When I arrived, there was a band playing.

The band was called Apocalypse Theatre, and they produced two albums between 1998 and 2002. They still have an active FaceBook presence, although I haven’t been able to find any new music by them after 2002. I remember thinking at the time that most of their music was fine, a sort of industrial-with-a-side-of-noise aesthetic. They reminded me a bit of Android Lust, only not as danceable.

I remember it very clearly- I was sitting out on the back patio happily talking with friends when they played The Cover. I didn’t even notice it at first- It was so, so bad that they were a good two minutes or so into the song before I even realized what it was. When I noticed it, I stopped, flabbergasted. Then I ran into the interior of the club to hear the rest.

It was so amazingly bad that I bought the unlabelled cassette they were selling for $8, hoping like hell that the song would be on it. By the way, this show occurred well after the compact disc was commonplace, but they were still selling tapes.

The tape did have the Worst Cover I’ve Ever Heard™. Years later, I took the time and effort involved to move it from cassette to mp3. Now I’m sharing it with you. Apocalypse Theatre’s finest work. The Worst Cover Song Ever.

I deliberately encoded this without the song title, because I want to see how long it takes each of you to figure out what the song is. ::evil grin::

Try to figure out what song this is.

If you figure it out right away, please, please, please don’t answer in the comments. I don’t want to deprive anyone of their chance to puzzle through this for the first time. If you’ve listened, and you still haven’t figured it out, I put the answer over here. Oh, and the rest of their stuff is over on Spotify, and it’s worth a listen.

Provided this one track hasn’t shaken you to your core, that is.

What’s your favorite cover song?

45/52 (and 24 of 30!)


21 thoughts on “The Worst Cover I’ve Ever Heard™

  1. Lisa c

    I figured it out right away…in the first four words. Based on this song, I’m guessing all of their music sucks. (And I listen to a lot of hard rick and metal.)
    I’ll have to think about what’s the worst cover I’ve ever heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew what song it was as soon as they sang the first word. I couldn’t even listen much past that. You are absolutely correct that that is a terrible cover. Just because you *can* do something, doesn’t mean you should…

    Also, I cannot stand Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah but really like pretty much all of the cover versions of it. Maybe because I heard the cover versions first?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GASP. But.. but.. but..

      It’s ok. Not everyone digs Leonard Cohen, and I understand that. I will still tsk-tsk at you, though, because you are clearly a heathen. 😀

      You’re probably right- if you learned the cover first, then Leonard’s version might seem slow and rough by comparison. His voice is very specific and I get why some people don’t like him as much. I don’t agree, but I get it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How would it sound if Marilyn Manson had fronted the Buggles? Now I know, and I despair for knowing!

    And thanks very much for the link to the original “Istanbul”, which I’d never heard before. I’m surprised how faithful TMBG’s version is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lorrie

    Here are a few of my favorites that took me way too long to realize were covers, not originals:

    Take Me to the River by Talking Heads
    Now That We Found Love by Heavy D and the Boyz
    As by George Michael and Mary J. Blige
    Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Santa Esmeralda

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was such a fun read. It took me about 20 seconds to get the song, I was not expecting that cover! I dare say it’s so bad, I kinda dig it lol. I feel like I should be on an Alien planet. Good for you for buying it and taking the time to upload it. Haha. Off the top of my head I’m going to say my favorite cover is, knock on Wood by Amii Stewart. But I’ll keep thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

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