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Terrible Classic Rock Covers

Terrible Classic Rock Covers

2013 US Open - Day 1

Lenny Kravitz, ‘American Woman’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

As someone who wears his love of classic rock on his frilly, vintage sleeve, Lenny Kravitz should have known exactly what to do with ‘American Woman.' So what happened when he covered the Guess Who’s No. 1 1970 hit in 1999?

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Sugar Ray, ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him?’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

British artist Joe Jackson’s timeless 1978 classic, ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him?,’ may be one of the greatest jilted-lover story songs of all time. It’s got that universal theme of a guy, down on his luck with women, seeing his ex-girlfriend with another man -- and actively imagining what she’s doing with him.

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Oasis, ‘I Am the Walrus’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

Britpop sensations Oasis owned the 1990s with their sneering and searing brand of Union Jack-wrapped rock 'n' roll. There was just something so cool and, like, British, about them -- sorta the way we feel about the Who and the Rolling Stones.

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Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, ‘Handle With Care’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

Jenny Lewis is one of the most talented female singer-songwriters out there in the indie rock world today. As the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, she found an adoring fan base; and when the band split, she went solo and put out this genuinely great (and well-received, critically) solo record, ‘Rabbit Fur Coat,’ with the Watson Twins (identical twin sisters singers). Everything on the debut was just fantastic -- except for her cover of the Traveling Wilburys’ classic, ‘Handle With Care.’

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Counting Crows, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

Let’s just get this out of the way: We really like the Counting Crows. In fact, the first three albums they released in the '90s still get plenty of spins around here. But sometime after the turn of the century, things took a turn for the worst.

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Robert Smith
Jo Hale, Getty Images

The Cure, ‘Purple Haze’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

Tribute albums often sound great in theory, but the problem with most of them is that they're assembled using performances from bands that happen to be popular at the moment, most of whom happen to be signed to whatever label is curating the tribute, and the results tend to be fairly random.

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Peter Steele

Type O Negative, ‘Summer Breeze’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

If heaven truly does exist, the waiting-room music directly outside the Pearly Gates is likely Seals And Crofts’ ‘Summer Breeze.’

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Uncle Kracker
Rick Diamond, GettyImages

Uncle Kracker, ‘Drift Away’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

Dobie Gray’s classic rendering of Mentor Williams’ ‘Drift Away’ back in 1973 is pretty much the epitome of a hit song, top to bottom. It’s got that great little Stephen Stills-esque guitar lick in the intro and one of the most memorable, sing-along-able choruses ever written (“Give me the beat, boys and free my soul / I wanna get lost in your rock and roll / And drift away”). It also made Gray a superstar, with the record selling over a million copies and going all the way to No. 5.

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The Lemonheads, ‘Mrs. Robinson’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

One of the brightest, catchiest albums of the alt-rock ’90s, the Lemonheads’ ‘It’s a Shame About Ray,’ came out in 1992. It spawned a pair of Modern Rock Top 10 songs in the title track (which went to No. 5) and an amped-up cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s super-popular ‘Mrs. Robinson’ (which hit No. 8).

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Mark Wahlberg
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, ‘Wildside’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers

Not for nothing, but Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch scored a No. 1 single in 1991 on the Billboard Hot 100 (‘Good Vibrations’). For those of you that don’t know, ‘Marky Mark’ was the alias of Mark Wahlberg -- who ended up recasting his career as an actor and, somewhat surprisingly, a really good one at that (see his roles in ‘The Departed’ and ‘The Fighter,’ among others).

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