11 weirdest cover versions on YouTube

Coldplay covering the Beastie Boys? We got weirder!

While Jay-Z's No Sleep Till Brooklyn Beastie Boys cover at All Points West was timely, apt and 'the shizzle', Coldplay's Fight For Your Right' tribute on the same weekend was, let's face it, a little bit odd. But then so was THAT cover of Billie Jean.

Regardless, this week we're celebrating the cover version with the 11 weirdest we could find. Thanks for all your suggestions via Twitter, one or two are included. Enjoy. Or don't enjoy. If you're not a fan of sacrilege…

Ol' Dirty Bastard - Sussudio

"This recording is dirty and a-stinkin'/Pukier than Pepe' le Peu" The Wu's glass-gargling basket case illustrates once again that there was always a few slates missing from his roof with this take on Phil Collins's finest recorded moment. Well, ish.

Robert Plant's driving music: Dread Zeppelin

Dread Zeppelin do reggae covers of Led Zeppelin, fronted by an Elvis impersonator in a shiny turquoise suit. Here's their off-beat take on Immigrant Song, interspersed with Edwin Starr's War – which, if you really think about it, is hilarious. As mental as these people may appear, they've done something right; when asked about Zep cover bands Robert Plant once said: "My favourite right now is Dread Zeppelin; I've got the CD in the car."

Next page: If I Were A Carpenter and The Rolling Plantpots?

Sonic Youth cover The Carpenters' Superstar

The Carpenters' melancholy ballad, written from the perspective of a groupie, was given the Sonic Youth treatment for the 1994 If I Were A Carpenter tribute album. A discussion about its merits in the 2007 movie Juno brought it back from relative obscurity, and here it is being used as the soundtrack to a purple lava lamp. We think it's a rather wonderful reworking.

Devo - Satisfaction

Suggested by @molebomb and @fdrake via Twitter and, even ignoring the standard yellow overalls and the plantpots, it's easy to see why. The video (and performance) is a little gem from Chorus TV in 1978.

Next page: A Crazy Theremin and lounge jazz Born Slippy

Theremin plays Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

One of the best covers we've ever heard – and the lead vocal is played entirely on a Theremin. Randy George is a true Theremin master – check the vibrato, the tremolo, the pinpoint-accurate intonation – and that's before we even mention the scarily-human timbre of the thing. The rest of the band are pretty handy, too…

Barefoot - Born Slippy

The Underworld Edition of iDrum was released for the iPhone this week, but although it enables you to remix Born Slippy, we doubt any of its users will be able to throw a musical ball as curved as this lounge jazz version.

Next page: Zappa and Skins

Frank Zappa - Stairway To Heaven (live)

Another sacred cow duly slaughtered (and then reversed over and slaughtered again) by the true mother of invention, this time with added Looney Tunes sound effects and a, erm, "thrusting" horn section. Fact: lots of people really like this.

Wild World by the cast of Skins

For the Skins uninitiated: it's Channel 4's ground-breaking, drug-taking teen drama that spawned the career of Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel. Season one's finale came to a suitably abrupt/bizarre end with the young cast choking their way through Cat Stevens' Wild World. The kid from About A Boy even manages a one liner while lying unconscious in the road after being hit by a bus. Unfortunately the videos have been removed, hence the American(?!) remake here.

Next page: The Eagles in French, Covering In The Name and Purple Haze

The Cat Empire play Hotel California... in French

L'Hotel de Californie to be precise. A Latino dub take on The Eagles' ode to hedonism and the flipside of the American Dream, sung in French, by a band from Melbourne, Australia. We like it, but there's something very sinister about it indeed. Check out more studio footage here.

The Apples - Killing In The Name

Israeli jazz-funk group The Apples have a stab at Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name. Horn section madness, live drums and turntablism adds up to an homage that captures the energy of the original (unlike some other efforts), whilst making it completely their own - It does everything a good cover should do. Check out the mash up with the Shimmy Shimmy Ya and Root Down acapellas at 4:30!

The Cure - Purple Haze

Suggested by @GuitarTricks via Twitter, cheers. Thanks to you, we also stumbled across this classic Jimi Hendrix cover by the yellow Teletubby Lala. For such a fat-fingered little fellow, he's actually pretty nimble.


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