Category Archives: Reggie’s Top 25 Cover Songs
Reggie’s (plantera7) Top 52 Bands of All-Time
Posted by RiffRaff
When we started our “best of” lists a while back, we never showed each other what our favorites were before we posted them. It wasn’t intentional nor was it a secret…it just ended up that we didn’t share our lists with anyone until it was time to post. Matt’s list of favorite albums and cover tunes was as much of a surprise to me as I am sure mine was to him. Despite being interested in many of the same bands, our musical tastes vary even though we are both huge fans of metal and everything under that umbrella. For the first time, we have actually picked the same favorite #1 on any of our lists. A few weeks ago, we both noticed that neither one of us posted this special cover that we both know each other likes a lot. Low and behold, it’s because it’s sitting at number one. -Reggie
Our thoughts after the jump.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I got some hate mail for this one, but Trivium’s cover of Master of Puppets is my #2 favorite cover song. I think this is one of those bands that has a fine dividing line between love and hate or like and dislike among metal fans. I happen to be on the “like” side and this cover is spot on, if not equal to or better than Metallica’s original version. I think this is the cover that earned them the nickname of Metallica copycats. The original version can be found on Metallica’s Master of Puppets album released in 1986. I don’t think I can say more about that album, as it is my #2 favorite album of all time.
Trivium recorded their cover of the song for Remastered: Master of Puppets Revisited distributed for free by Kerrang! You can find it on the re-release of their album Ascendancy originally released in 2005. That album shot Trivium to new levels and garnered them some serious attention. This is also the point where I first heard of them and enjoyed their music. Since then, they have been the source of contention among metal fans with many views and opinions widely varying. For me, I prefer the album Shogun above all, but still appreciated their most recent work and look forward to something new from them hopefully in the near future.
Here is Trivium performing Master of Puppets live.
Here is Metallica’s epic song also live.
Silly of me to not know this was a cover song. Believe it or not, I only discovered it was a cover when I was geeking out on Guitar Hero (Xbox 360) and the original song by Trust was on there. So, 20+ years after Anthrax’s awesome State of Euphoria album with Antisocial on it, I finally uncovered the deep, dark truth of the song’s origins. This is a classic case of my metal wingmen and women not looking out for me. It’s all good though. I have to say, I like Anthrax’s version much better. It’s a great live song; a fun song!
The original Trust version can be found on their album Répression released in 1980 which probably explains why I never knew it existed. There was an English version released not long after…which happens to be the version on Guitar Hero. Anthrax’s State of Euphoria was released in 1988 and did well for the band, though some might say it didn’t live up to expectations after Among the Living.
Here is Anthrax’s version.
Here is the original recorded by Trust in a live setting in French.
Lack of Comprehension is the song that got me to Death…the band, not the thing we all have in common. Up to that point, I thought Death Metal was a bit complex and I just wasn’t quite there yet as a metalhead. It was a bit extreme for my fragile little mind. Then I came across Human which had much more of a melodic touch than other Death Metal bands I sampled at the time. The whole Human album, actually, I thought was hard-driving, melodic, and was single-handedly responsible for all of my future endeavors in Death Metal music. This influential band released some amazing music and paved the way for the genre as a whole. I still spin Human quite regularly.
Norway’s Susperia, recorded their cover version of Lack of Comprehension in 2005. You can find it on their EP Devil May Care which also has covers from WASP and A-ha. Susperia hasn’t released a studio album since 2009, but they have released another EP, Nothing Remains, in 2011. That EP features a song that the band tried to use to get on the Eurovision Song Contest, but lost before being able to win their home country and move on to the big show.
Here is the cover of Lack of Comprehension found on the EP Devil May Care.
And, here is the awesome track from Death. You can find this song on the album Human released in 1991.
Doing a cover of Cemetery Gates is a pretty bold move. It’s one of Pantera’s most cherished and most haunting songs. It is also Pantera’s longest song and was even nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998…quite a while after it was released. I am not sure how that Grammy thing works, but whatever… If you are a Pantera fan, you probably know the words to this song and refuse to skip it when it comes on. You can find Cemetery Gates on the album Cowboys From Hell (like you didn’t know) released in 1990. I remember when I first heard it, I was floored. To this day the album it still a true metal masterpiece…even the remastered version released a year or two ago is killer!
Enter the UKs Evile…one of the bands I see today as carrying on the torch of classic thrash metal. They are a band of no compromise and no frills. They are just four dudes that shred and for that I have become a loyal follower of the band. Their cover version of Cemetery Gates is spot-on. It was originally recorded on the Metal Hammer Tribute to Dimebag Darrell album released in 2010. The song was later included on Evile’s Infected Nations re-issue.
Here is the cover from Evile. This fan video features photos of Dimebag and also Mike Alexander, Evile bassist who passed in 2009.
Of course, here is the classic track from the Cowboys From Hell album. Note, this video is actually shorter than the original cut.
This isn’t the first or the last cover from Machine Head on this list of favorite covers. Message in a Bottle was originally recorded by The Police in 1979 and can be found on their album Regatta de Blanc. Though not a huge commercial success in the States, it was a number one hit in the UK. As a child I found it difficult to get into music from The Police, but as an adult I have a much deeper appreciation for them. This song has been covered numerous times by all styles of artists, but the one found on an album called The Burning Red is the one I am talking about today.
Machine Head has developed a knack for making great cover songs. Despite the greatness of this particular cover, it comes off the most criticized album of Machine Head’s career which also happened to be their biggest selling album at the time. Due to a number of factors, including their style shift, Machine Head was released from their label after their next album, Supercharger. Needless to say, they came back from that full-force! Message in a Bottle is a great cover song in which Machine Head certainly injects their spin on a classic song.
Here is the 1999 version found on the album, The Burning Red.
Here is the original recording by The Police.
One of the most impressive sets at Sonisphere UK 2010 was seeing Apocalyptica. Not because they are so different, but hearing those cellos at rock concert volume was pretty powerful and a cool experience. The whole day was great, but this Finnish band really stood out. Fade to Black (the original) appears on the Metallica album Ride the Lightning released in 1984. It is one of their more well-known dark and gloomy songs that any old-school Metallica fan can probably sing. This is also the infamous song where pyrotechnics burnt James Hetfield in Montreal, Canada back when they toured with Guns n’ Roses.
Apocalyptica started out as a Metallica tribute band, but has since blossomed into a full-blown band. Their more recent albums contain scores of special guests including Dave Lombardo, Cristina Scabbia, Joe Duplantier, Max Cavalera, Corey Taylor, Till Lindemann, and many more. This cover of Fade to Black can be found on the album Plays Metallica by Four Cellos released in 1996.
Here is the cover version from Apocalyptica.
Below is the live version from Metallica.
I can’t say I am a fan of System of a Down, but now and then I do listen to a few of their songs. I had their self-titled album, System of a Down, but after that never really followed them. If they had something on TV or radio I would listen, but they never caught my attention for more than their most popular songs. I was familiar enough with the song Aerials to recognize it when it appeared on Amon Amarth’s latest release Surtur Rising as a cover. The original Aerials song appears on SOTD’s album Toxicity (2001) which I think was their most popular and resulted in Grammy nods and chart positions.
Amon Amarth’s version is not far removed from the original, but much more down-tuned and doomy. It’s a cool cover mainly because it came unexpected from a band like Amon Amarth to cover something from the new-ish wave of American metal. Surtur Rising is Amon Amarth’s 8th studio album and was released in Mar 2011. I am not sure if the cover of Aerials is on printed CD at this point, but when it was released it was an iTunes special edition track.
This is the cover off the album Surtur Rising (fan video).
This is the video from System of a Down found on the album Toxicity.
This is one of those unlikely songs covered by a metal-ish band. But, since Faith No More did it; it seems more fitting. It would probably be strange if Anthrax covered it. Mike Patton’s vocal range is a perfect pitch for this particular song. It was very well done and really not that much enhanced from the original Commodore’s version. Faith No More’s version was recorded in 1992 and in some instances became the band’s biggest hit outside of America.
The Commodore’s recorded this ultimate ballad in 1977 – seems like a lot of my covers originated in the 70s. It was written by the ultimate ballad composer Lionel Ritchie when he was part of this funk quartet. Interesting thing about Lionel Ritchie…when my son was a baby/toddler we used to put him down for his nap. We would put the satellite TV on the easy listening channel and sure enough something from Lionel Ritchie would come on at the same time every day and BAM! Sleepy time worked every time; out like a light. Anyway, it’s song not likely to be covered by a metal or hard rock band, but Faith No More did it justice.
Below is the cool version from Faith No More.
Here is the classic by the Commodore’s
Cars was originally recorded in 1979 by Gary Numan. The song did quite well scoring #1 chart slots in both the UK and Canada. It also scored in the top 10 in the United States. An interesting fact about this particular album is that no guitars were used. Numan created The Pleasure Principle album with synthesizers. I remember hearing this song quite often as a child and thinking it was pretty cool and futuristic sounding though I had no idea what a synthesizer was at the time. Fast forward to 1998 and Fear Factory’s Obsolete album.
Their cover version of Cars is a bit different from most covers. What I find unique about it is that Numan himself was part of both the recording and the music video. I thought that was pretty cool. Based on the video it looks like Fear Factory relied on good old-fashioned instrumentation to make this cover which sounds much like the original. The cover was released as a digipak bonus track for the Obsolete album. Fear Factory had a habit of doing this which I found irritating because I had to buy another album to get their bonus stuff. I guess that is one reason to be thankful for digital downloads. If I want just one song, I can pay for just one song. At any rate, this is a great cover; one that even features the original artist.
Here is the cover version video by Fear Factory featuring Gary Numan.
Below is the 1979 Gary Numan original found on the album The Pleasure Principle.