In social media spaces everywhere, today is #TransformationTuesday, a time when people post pictures of them as kids, their dramatic weight loss, new hairdos, etc. But frankly, that’s just getting old, so why not take the opportunity to give the idea a little musical spin. From the mind-blowing, to those that make you say WTF, here are 5 of the most interesting song makeovers.
5. Limp Bizkit covers George Michael’s “Faith”
In 1987, after splitting from Wham!, George Michael debuted his solo album “Faith.” It won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1989 and received diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America, but it was the song that goes by the same name of the album that skyrocketed Michael’s career. This No. 1 bestselling hit was the simplest of the bunch but it had an infectious Bo Diddley beat. A decade later, nu metal band Limp Bizkit covered the pop rock tune in its own off-pitch and screaming kid of way. Needless to say, it sucked!
4. Missy Elliott, Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and Pink cover Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade”
In 1974 the all-female group Labelle, led by Patti Labelle, came out with the proto-disco smash “Lady Marmalade.” Since its release, the No.1 hit has had many covers, but none come to close to the 2001 Grammy Award winning version produced by Missy Elliott, featuring Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and Pink, for the film “Moulin Rouge!” This fantastic cover pays a tribute to the original by keeping the same melody and nearly the same lyrics, but giving it a pop and hip-hop twist. These five ladies brought a classic back and made younger generations fall in love with it.
3. Bomba Estereo covers Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam”
In 1989 Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” brought house into the mainstream market and gave us 90s kids yet another reason to do the running man. Although there have been numerous covers of the hit song, one in particular is as delicious and explosive as the original. “Ponte Bomb” is the cover version by the Colombian cumbia-electro band Bomba Estereo and it maintains true to the electro beat of the original while infusing it with Caribbean flavor and Spanglish lyrics. The song came about in 2010 when Levi’s commissioned numerous musicians to play covers of iconic songs for their “Pioneer Sessions” and Bomba chose pay tribute to the Eurodance smasher.
2. Al Green covers The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
I never thought I’d say this, but there is a Beatles cover that is better than the original. In 1969 Al Green took the band’s 1963 upbeat pop-rock hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and poured his soulful vocals into the tune creating one of the most brilliant covers ever.
1. Jimi Hendrix covers “The Star-Spangled Banner”
“The Star-Spangled Banner” was a initially a poem named “Defence of Fort McHenry” penned in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. He was inspired when he saw the American flag flying high the morning after he witnessed the British attack Fort McHenry. The lyrics were set to the tune of “The Anacreontic Song.” During a legendary 1969 performance at Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix played a distorted rendition of the American anthem which gained criticism and admiration during an already controversial time in U.S history. On “The Dick Cavett Show” Dick says that Hendrix’s version was unorthodox to which the guitarist responds “That’s not unorthodox … I thought it was beautiful. All I did was play it. I’m American, so I played it.”
Do you think there is another song that deserves to be part of the #TransformationTuesday list? Share your thoughts on the comments below.