Since the dawn of rock and roll, no one has really run short on a steady supply of cover songs. As long as people have known the 12 bar blues, they’ve been covering each other's material for years and getting great success with it. Every now and again though, you have a cover song that feels like the polar opposite of what the original was supposed to do.
Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing. In a lot of these examples, the rerun of these songs makes you see the track in a whole new light that the original artist probably couldn't have reached on their own. When you look at this version compared to the original though, it's like night and day, with most of these acts just taking the skeleton of the original song and doing whatever the hell they wanted to with the rest of the track.
In some cases, you're getting to see less of a message and more like a reimagining of what the original did, almost like it needed to be updated to suit the times that they were living in. In that respect, these songs aren’t just clever ways to switch up an old song. These are artists giving their own take about what these songs mean to them, and kick major ass in the process.
10. They're Red Hot - Red Hot Chili Peppers
With 3 decades under their belt, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had more than a few genres that they've explored as a band. Starting from the weird rock mix of funk and rock to the more emotional stuff in their later catalog, you can practically see them dipping their toes into any genre and walking away with something worthwhile. Of all the words to be associated with the Peppers though, the blues doesn't come up all that often.
Right at the tail end of their magnum opus Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the record logically is over after Sir Psycho Sexy before we get one last blast of energy on They're Red Hot. This cover of an old Robert Johnson tune just sounds like the guys got ahold of an old blues record from the '40s and then did a few too many hits of acid before actually deciding to play the song. From the sound of Anthony Kiedis' vocals alone, this was definitely a change of pace, almost sounding like a weird cartoon character as he struggles to keep up with the speed of the rest of the band.
Granted, this is one of the few times where the cover is probably being played entirely for jokes. Since the Peppers already gave us some of their greatest hits like Under the Bridge and Give It Away on this record, this isn't even remotely trying to reach those heights and is just the guys getting together and having a good time. It's like watching someone like Nick Cave trying to cover a Paul McCartney song. You know something isn't right, but there's still something endearing about it.