Metallica covers

I’ll use my French horn icon because, well, it’s what I use for music. But given that I’m talking about Metallica, it might not be the most appropriate choice.

Or is it? You see, this post is about one of my odd collections: Weird Metallica Covers. I’m not just talking about S&M, though since we’ve brought that up let me take a moment to drool over what happens when you pair a metal band with an orchestra. (The band acquires body and the orchestra acquires teeth. Oh yeah.) No, I’m talking about piano solo, grand harp duet, cello quartet, plus Rodrigo y Gabriela tackling the odd song here and there.

(For the curious: the most frequently-covered song I’ve got is “One,” which clocks in at four and a half renditions, not counting the original. [“Half” because the Rodrigo y Gabriela version segues into “Take 5” partway through.] It’s narrowly trailed by “Enter Sandman” and “Master of Puppets,” with four apiece.)

Can anybody recommend more of this to me? Or, y’know, odd covers of things other than Metallica. I have a string quartet doing Evanescence, Richard Cheese doing lounge-singer covers of all kinds of random crap (including “Down with the Sickness,” which is freaking hilarious in lounge style), Rondellus doing early medieval covers of Black Sabbath in Latin. Techno remixes of opera, shamisen duet of Radiohead — if it’s a weird mashup of instruments or styles, I’m there*. What should I look for?

*(I haven’t actually soundtracked any of my Driftwood stories, but in the back of my head, this is what it calls for.)

0 Responses to “Metallica covers”

  1. catherinehaines

    Well, one band I have in my collection is Northern Kings, which wiki describes as “a Finnish symphonic metal cover supergroup”. Basically, it’s four guys from the symphonic metal scene and they cover songs mostly from the 80s (first album) and 90s (second).

    In a similar vein when it comes to bands, let me think… songs Nightwish have covered include Walking In The Air, Over The Hills And Far Away and Phantom of the Opera. Epica covered Memory from Cats, and their album The Classical Conspiracy has as its first disc (well, most of it) the band with the orchestra covering older instrumentals and songs from movie scores (they did the Imperial March for one).

    You mentioned you have a string quartet doing Evanescence – was it the Vitamin String Quartet by any chance? Because they do loads. I have the two Evanescence ones, Linkin Park, Flyleaf, Paramore and my latest addition is the David Bowie one.

    And maybe you can look at The Covers Project and see if you can find anything?

  2. findabair

    I second the recommendations above; Northern Kings have some excellent singers, and Epica’s The Classical Conspiracy in particular is a favourite of mine. Epica’s music in general I think is a great example of what happens when a metal band is paired with an orchestra. (As opposed to Nightwish’ latest album, which tends towards overproduced and far-too-smooth.)

    The weirdest – and one of the very best – mixes of different styles I know is the eighties album Rock Vs. Opera by Norwegian duo Dollie de Luxe (consisting of Benedicte Adrian and Ingrid BjΓΈrnov). Here is a live performance of one of the tracks from the album. Their later work, the operamusical Which Witch is also well worth looking into, though it sounds like the earlier versions are more what you’d be looking for, since the music lost its teeth a bit when they took it to London’s West End and got rid of the synths and guitars.

    The other band that springs to mind (in case you don’t know them already) is Gregorian, who cover all sorts of rock and pop songs in a weird Gregorian chant inspired style.

  3. tezmilleroz

    Leningrad Cowboys have down “Happy Together”, and I think “Yellow Submarine”. Good times! πŸ™‚

  4. la_marquise_de_

    Hong Kong pop star Alan Tam did a cover — in Cantonese — of Whitesnake’s Fool For Your Lovin’ on one of his albums c. 1995. I have it somewhere. It’s…. strange.

    • Marie Brennan

      Heh. I have a cover of the Cranberries’ “Dreams” in some Chinese language; not sure if it’s Cantonese or Mandarin or what.

      • la_marquise_de_

        If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it’s Cantonese and the singer is, I think, Wong Fay.

        • kurayami_hime

          You are correct. And if I recall correctly, it was used in the movie Chunking Express. As an extra aside, the live version sounds very different (and is called “ε€’δΈ­δΊΊ” instead of “Dreams”). The same CD with the live version also has Blondie, Burt Bacharach, and Tori Amos covers.

  5. rj_anderson

    I’m really fond of Aztec Camera’s acoustic cover of Van Halen’s “Jump”, as well as the hysterical Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain doing “Wuthering Heights”.

  6. kendokamel

    I’m quite a fan of Apocalyptica – a cello ensemble that does metal covers. (I know it’s still Metallica, but their cover of Enter Sandman is really cool.)

  7. owldaughter

    Straying from the metal covers and covers of metal for a moment, Nouvelle Vague is a project that has released two oh oh oh they have a third out now, I must buy it! Okay, three albums of bossa nova covers of new wave and punk songs. The concept sounds really odd until you listen to it, and find that it works surprisingly well. I’d never have picked it up on my own (not being a tremendous fan of punk or bossa nova) but a friend gave me the first album, and I’m hooked.

    • Marie Brennan

      Hmm — I’m not a punk or bossa nova type myself, but I’ll keep it in mind.

      I’m not just keen on metal covers or covers of metal, but it seems to be a thriving pair of subgenres at the moment. What I really want is for someone to do Celtic-influenced techno — and it sounds like there may be a possibility of that downthread.

  8. sartorias

    Lesiem, Daargaard, and a couple others do Gregorian chant to various band styles. Schandmaul and some similar German or Norski bands do heavy metal to orchestra, often using old folk songs as a base.

  9. sarcastibich

    Max Raabe. Look up his covers of “Tainted Love” and “Oops I did it again” on You Tube.

  10. laurelwen

    I realize someone already mentioned them, but Apocalyptica is freakin’ awesome.

    I consider their cover of “Nothing Else Matters” the be-all and end-all of Metallica covers. Period.

  11. shanna_s

    Have you heard The Puppini Sisters? They do covers from a variety of genres and eras, all in a 1940s girl group Andrews Sisters style. Their cover of “I Will Survive” has become my favorite version of the song (to the point that the original now sounds a little strange to me because it just fits that swing style perfectly). They also tackle some Blondie and Kate Bush, among others. I think they have a new CD out, but I don’t have it yet so I don’t know if they’ve delved into heavy metal (but it would be kind of awesome if they did).

  12. c0untmystars

    Me First and the Gimme Gimmes do covers of all sorts of things. There’s also a collection of bluegrass covers of The Shins that’s kind of fun. My favorite totally random covers are Bjork’s “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”, Radiohead’s “Nobody Does it Better” and Elvis Costello’s “Pretty in Pink”, which is acoustic and awesome.

  13. pentane

    I know I was browsing around youtube and found a large underground industry in mashups. Snoop Dog vs. Tom Petty really caught my attention, was very interesting.

  14. diatryma

    I have a mix CD including a “Scotsman Unbound Techno Remix”. It’s a very bad earworm.

    • Marie Brennan

      Dammit — looks like that’s done by the Brobdingnagian Bards, but I can’t find a recording of it. I’m annoyed because I really really want somebody to do proper Celtic techno, and that sounds like what I’m looking for.

      • findabair

        Celtic techno! That reminds me – here’s a trance cover of Clannad’s Theme from Harry’s Game, dunno if that’s along the lines you were thinking of?

        Really weird – I haven’t thought about that song for years and years, but seeing this comment suddenly reminded me of hearing it on the radio (and disliking it πŸ˜‰

        • Marie Brennan

          . . . okay, that’s funny. Because I get a lot of Google Alerts for “Chicane feat. Marie Brennan” (it should be Maire, not Marie, but you know how spelling is on the internet) — and yet, despite being a big fan of Clannad, I had never actually gone to see what the song was.

          So yes, in that vein, but it would be even more awesome if somebody would remix some actual trad.

          (“Theme from Harry’s Game” isn’t my favorite song of theirs, either.)

          • findabair

            Yeah, that would be awesome – even though I don’t usually like techno. (I love Theme from Harry’s Game though πŸ™‚

            Having more or less grown up with Clannad, I was for the longest time convinced that your name was Maire as well – until I actually read the sequence of letters in your name properly, back when I was looking for In Ashes Lie, I think it was. Funny how expectations and habit can override the actual shape of the word in that way.

          • Marie Brennan

            You might be the only person out there who turns my name into hers, rather than the other way around. πŸ™‚

  15. kchew

    Algerian-French singer Rachid Taha sings a muscially similar “Rock the Casbah” to the original by the Clash, but in Arabic. It really subverts the song and twists it around in ways that make me very happy.

    • Marie Brennan

      Oh, awesome. I approve of things like that.

      • kchew

        You should be able to find it on YouTube. Thank goodness for YouTube. I second Dolly Deluxe, and suggest their cross of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” with the Queen of the Night aria from the Magic Flute as a good place to start, if you can.

        Luther Wright and the Wrongs, a Canadian band, did a country version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall that is interesting.

        Less weird, but notable as fabulous interpretations of other people’s songs, are Fiona Apple’s live cover of Elvis Costello’s “I Want You” and Cyndi Lauper’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Carey.” Both, again (yay!) on YouTube.

        I love the weird and the variant too, and so am loving this thread. Thanks for starting it!

  16. pameladean

    I’m not sure this is weird enough for you, especially if you are not already a fan of Richard Thompson, but there’s an album called Beat the Retreat that has different artists covering some of his songs. For some reason, I am consistently boggled by R.E.M. doing “Wall of Death.” And, of course, on 1000 Years of Popular Music you can hear Thompson covering Britney Spears’s “Oops, I Did it Again,” which cracks me up just as consistently.


  17. erasmus

    Jonathan Coulton did a cover of Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back”, that really has to be heard to be believed (though fair warning, once you’ve heard it, the scars will remain for life).

  18. Anonymous

    Rodrigo y Gabriela y Robert Trujillo

    I like Rodrigo y Gabriela so much that I gathered as many of their concert videos, interviews and guest appearances as I could find and created a website, the Rodrigo y Gabriela Fan Club. Set them play with Robert Trujillo of Metallica.

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