TOP 10 | Matt Sanchez’s Greatest Cover Versions

10. LOST PROPHETS – Cry Me a River (orig. Justin Timberlake ’02, covered ‘04)

I kinda loved the original, a massive ‘go fuck yourself’ to Britney Spears made massively public, it really dripped with the sweat of sweet revenge. The Lost Prophets’ cover still holds strong the song’s values but adds more grit and attitude as well as a solo for good measure – nice.

9. SNEAKER PIMPS – Firestarter (orig. The Prodigy ’96, covered ‘96)

A quality lounge version of Prodigy’s aggressive in-your-face super hit! Apparently the Sneaker Pimps called up Liam Howlett at 3 a.m. in the morning to apologise for the release of this promo 7” since he had heard that Liam didn’t like their version. TRUE STORY! This was also the last song that vocalist Kelli Dayton recorded with the band before she was asked to leave, apparently because Chris Corner thought they were being pigeon-holed with trip hop acts such as Portishead etc. And that was the end of that…

8. ORGY – Blue Monday (orig. New Order ’83,  covered ‘98)

This cover version became Orgy’s biggest hit and probably the biggest hit remake of the original song, triggering ANOTHER reissue in ’99. This record’s been reissued more times than a Zimbabwean bank note, and at nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, “Blue Monday” is one of the longest tracks ever to chart in the UK (behind The Orb’s 40 minute opus ‘Blue Room’, Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ and the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Private Psychedelic Reel’. It is recognized as the biggest selling 12″ single of all time, but as Factory Records were not members of the BPI, it was not eligible for an official Gold Disc. However, the Official UK Chart Company has estimated its total UK sales at well over one million.

7. KULA SHAKER – Hush (orig. Deep Purple ‘68, covered ‘97)

At the height of their fame (and more shameless promotion of their psychedelic rock album ‘K’) the Kula boys hit the chart with their great cover version of Deep Purple’s Massive US hit Hush. This was the group’s first release as Deep Purple, written and originally recorded by American country artist Joe South, the song was later covered by Billy Joe Royal as a short, snappy pop/soul number. Royal’s was the only version Deep Purple knew, and they extended it into a lengthy rock jam that included a 90-second Hammond organ solo! Hush missed the U.K. pop chart by miles. Much to the band’s astonishment, however, the song became a Top 5 smash in the United States and won them a deal over there. Kula Shakers hit version got to No. 2 in the UK charts in ’97.

6. BIS – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Orig. Joy Division ’79, covered ‘01)

Another track that has been covered many times by artists such as Paul Young, Simple Minds, The Blood Divine and such artists as Calexico, Squarepusher and Honey Root after Bis unleashed their lush 80s electroversion upon the world. A classic track in it’s own right, this Bis version has been hated on a lot, but to me makes perfect sense in the Factory records saga. Go and watch ’24 Hour Party People’, once decribed by Tony Wilson as “A film about the biggest cunt in Manchester player by the second biggest cunt in Manchester”

5. MUSE – Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You (orig. Frankie Valli ’67, covered ‘02)

A classic track that everyone knows, and possibly one of the most covered tracks in pop history. Muse’s version is sleazy and bipolar as well as being musically subversive and outright slap-happy at times. A lot of people at the time latched on to Muse’s version of Feeling Good, and this (and in my opinion, superior) cover was overlooked. It was originally feature as a b-side to their criminally underrated single ‘Dead Star’. Other big names to have covered this track include: Bad Manners, Pet Shop Boy’s, Manic Street Preachers, Lauryn Hill, Cake, Barry Manilow and Heath Ledger (for the film ’10 Things I Hate About You)

4. HAPPY MONDAYS – Step On (orig. John Kongos ’71, covered ’90)

The Happy Mondays covered the original song titled ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’, re-titling it “Step On” in 1990. It was originally intended as a contribution for a compilation CD for their US label Elektra, but they decided to release it as a single, and instead covered Kongos’ ‘Tokoloshe Man’ for the compilation. It really is twisting my Melon man!

3. JIMI HENDRIX – All Along the Watch Tower (orig. Bob Dylan ’67, covered ‘68)

The ultimate cover, as Hendrix made this small, spooky song from the John Wesley Harding album into the raging, epic, iconic soundtrack to the turmoil of 1968. I know this always tops best covers list, but there’s a good reason for that in that it’s awesome. Weird also that whenever Bob Dylan plays this live he does it more like Hendrix’s version!

2. TRICKY – Black Steel (orig. Public Enemy ’88, covered ‘95)

‘Black Steel’ is a cover of the legendary Public Enemy track ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos’. Featuring the vocals of his young lover of that time, Martina Topley-Bird. Tricky claimed that Public Enemy’s Chuck D was ‘my Shakespeare’. His tribute replaced the low-end, funky militancy of the hip-hop original with a hyper-agitated mesh of distorted electronica, asthmatic growls and, most daringly, Martina on lead vocals. Taken from the genius album Maxinquaye, this track really stands out from the crowd.

1. VOMITRON – Ghostbusters Theme (orig. Ray Parker Jr. ’84, covered ‘02)

Vomitron may not be a household name, but this experimental metal band have produced an epic cover of the classic ‘Ghostbusters Theme’, mixing in 80s synths, slap bass and multi-layered granite thrash riffs along with a unique vocal juxtaposition that I’m pretty sure was influenced by Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ and jacked up a couple of billion notches. This 2002 download–only single is a must hear – actually, fuck it, you may as well click here and hear it yourself. Ghostbusters was originally written and performed by Ray Parker Jr. sparking the catchphrases “Who you gonna call?” and “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost”. The song was a huge hit, staying #1 for three weeks in the US Billboard 100. The song earned Parker an Oscar nomination for “Best Original Song”.

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