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.
We feel like the song has passed the torch to bands like the Killers, who released a similar-themed song ‘Mr. Brightside’ in 2004; and Gotye, who scored an international hit and won the ‘Record of the Year’ Grammy for the like-minded (but way more passive aggressive) ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ in 2011.
One of the most underwhelming bands in the history of recorded music, Sugar Ray, who scored ’90s radio earworms like ‘Fly’ and ‘Every Morning,’ decided near the end of their career to cover the famed Joe Jackson hit. On the poor-selling 2003 album ‘In the Pursuit of Leisure,’ the band’s cover was actually one of two charters in the set. But regardless of its success, it may be one of the most lackluster renderings of an amazing song ever recorded.
Much like Smash Mouth’s throwaway Monkees cover, Sugar Ray’s ‘take’ on the song just misses the heart and soul of the original completely -- recasting it in that same, tried-and-true (and highly annoying) Sugar Ray Formula: pretty-fly-for-a-white-guy hip-hop backbeat, a DJ scritch-scratching in all the wrong places, and lead singer Mark McGrath doing his below-average karaoke thing over top of it. It’s a crying shame of a cover.
Listen to Joe Jackson’s ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him?’