Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Nominee For Worst Cover Song Of 2004

"My Generation" by Hilary Duff - I know, I know. You're thinking, "Any idiot could have picked that one without even listening to it." Well, this idiot did listen to it, and it was even worse than I imagined. This version manages to slight every member of The Who. The synthetic dance beat is laughable compared to Keith Moon's antics. Duff's tepid singing is the antithesis of Roger Daltrey's powerful voice. The classic bass solo was emasculated; it was as if Duff's bassist jumped up and down Pete Townshend-style on John Entwistle's grave.

But songwriter Townshend got slighted worst of all. Duff destroyed the whole meaning of "My Generation" with a simple lyric change. Disney corporate product that she is, Duff couldn't dare sing "Hope I die before I get old." People might think she was suicidal, or a bunch of 14-year-old girls might jump off a bridge singing it. Instead, she says, yep, "Hope I don't die before I get old." Wasn't Daltrey singing that he didn't want to get old and become part of the Establishment? I guess Duff already is a part of the Establishment, so she just hopes she doesn't die and keeps on raking in the bucks for tripe like this. That's the most destructive lyric rewrite I've heard since Keb' Mo' changed "Folsom Prison Blues" from "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" to "they say I shot a man in Reno but that was just a lie" (isn't the singer's guilt and paying his debt to society a critical element to that song?).

I'm being hard on the girl, but all she had to do was perform a different song. "My Generation" is a monument of rock 'n' roll, the sixties, and indeed, a generation. When it comes to covers, she should stick to stuff like "Our Lips Are Sealed." While her version of that song isn't exactly groundbreaking, at least it isn't offensively corrupted.

I hereby nominate "My Generation" for this year's "Landslide" award, named for the awful butchering of the Fleetwood Mac classic rendered by the Dixie Chicks a few years ago (the Smashing Pumpkins did it much better, by the way). One can only hope that Duff's mistake doesn't become a new trend. What's next, Britney Spears singing "Behind Brown Eyes?"


swisslet said...

Hm. My vote for worst cover this year goes to Hundred Reasons for their cover of The Smiths classic "How Soon is Now?"


(even Russian girlies Tatu did a better cover than this)

Just awful.

On the plus side though, Morrissey has started playing this again in his live set. Hurray!

As for "Hope I die before I get old"... well, he didn't really did he, townshend I mean. He just got old and got arrested for looking at paedophile sites on the web. For my money "Substitute" is their best song....

just passing through using the "next blog" button...


Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with you on pop stars wrecking very good rock songs. I hate pop stars and I always will. Just recently, Britney Spears wrecked Joan Jett's "I Love Rock N Roll". First of all, the bitch can't sing at all and she has no talent. Recently, I was watching TV and there was this commercial of Macy Gray covering Aerosmith's "Walk This Way". She wrecked a perfectly good song! I hope next time Aerosmith will make sure no other pop star covers their songs ever again. My advice to anyone who covers a great song: sing and perform it AS IS!!!!

swisslet said...

I've thought of another dreadful cover!

Stand by your beds - William Shatner is about to cover Pulp.


Listen to "A Different Class" again now, before Shatner ruins it forever.

Altogether now: "You. Want. To. Live. Like. Common. People...."

Anonymous said...

i found another awesomely bad cover song...

a couple years ago, britney spears decided to cover the rolling stones (i cant get no) staisfaction. quite sad.