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20 WORST DANCE MUSIC COVERS



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Submitted by Clubsguide on December 1st 2006

Dance music culture has always thrived on reinterpreting, adapting, recycling and downright stealing other people’s ideas, whether via the sampler, the bootleg or the ‘cheeky homage’. Which is no bad thing: dance music has demystified and democratised the process of music creation to the extent that pretty much anyone can knock out a tune if they put their minds to it.

But sometimes this ‘talent borrows, genius steals’ approach to intellectual property rights can misfire horribly, as anyone who’s ever been subjected to a DJ Otzi record will attest. Allow us, then, to present the 20 worst dance music cover versions of all time...

Deep cover - Sound Of Eden (Attitude, 2001)
“It’s every time I see her/It’s every time I see the girl…”. Mere words can’t describe the spine-tingling joyfulness of Shades Of Rhythm’s 1991 rave classic. Similarly, mere words can’t describe the toe-curling dismalness of this piss weak cover. Deep Cover, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Mad’House - Like A Prayer (Serious, 2002)
French/Turkish trio Mad’house scored a Top 3 hit with this Euro-tastic cover of Madonna’s pop classic. Proving they were no one-trick ponies, they went on to follow it up with… a cover of ‘Holiday’. Mad’house have since fallen off the radar; whether they were actually shot by outraged Madge fans is unclear, but let’s hope.

Jan Wayne - Because The Night (Product, 2002)
We’re not saying you can’t cover Patti Smith songs – we’ll cough to owning a Euro/handbag cover of the same song from the mid-’90s that’s not actually that bad. Just don’t do it in bollocks trance-lite fashion. We’ll let Jan off for his follow-up cover of ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’, though, cos that was shite in the first place.

I.N. Fused - Paranoid (Dialectic, 2005)
We’re not sure what Ozzy would have to say about this appallingly camp electro-pop version of Black Sabbath’s raucous metal classic, but we’re willing to bet it would be X-rated. French label Dialectic have been one of the on-form labels of 2005, but there’s simply no excuse for this abomination.

Cabin Crew - Star To Fall (Data, 2005)
With Mylo’s ‘Waiting For A Star To Fall’-sampling ‘In Your Arms’ riding high in club charts, chancers Cabin Crew decided to do their own ‘homage’ to the MOR ’80s hit. Thus, they cleared huge chunks of the original vocal, ratcheted on a cheesy house backing and watched the money roll in. Unforgivable tripe.

Dario G - Heaven Is Closer (Feels Like Heaven) (Serious, 2003)
Dario G was not, as many believe, an Italian DJ, but in fact three blokes from Crewe. No strangers to iffy ’80s covers (breakthrough hit ‘Sunchyme’ massacred Dream Academy’s ‘Life In A Northern Town’), they plumbed fresh depths with this mutilation of the Fiction Factory’s solitary hit.

Yomanda - You’re Free (Incentive, 2003)
“You’re free to do what you want to do,” sang the mighty Ultra Nate. “Great, then what I’ll do is make a completely soulless cheesed-out version of your tune, have a Top 40 hit and reinforce the general public’s perception of dance music as mindless trash,” said Paul Masterson. Cheers for that, Paul.

Flatpack - Sweet Child O’ Mine (Breastfed, 2005)
Opinion in the iDJ office is divided regarding the Guns N’ Roses original – classic rock killer or abysmal ’80s hair metal cringe-athon? – but there’s still no excuse for this utterly atrocious ‘funky house’ cover. And it’s on Breastfed as well! What on earth were Miles and chums thinking?

Bulletproof - Tainted Love (white label, 2005)
Gloria Jones’ northern soul classic is no stranger to being covered, Soft Cell taking it to No 1 in 1980. While that was a loving tribute, this is a butchering, as Bulletproof turn it into a ten-minute pop-trance behemoth to make grown men weep. There’s a shocking version of ‘Blue Monday’ on the flip, too. So wrong.

Snake River Conspiracy - How Soon Is Now? (Reprise, 2000)
Before this awful dance-rock version of the Smiths classic, few had heard of SRC. Butchering one of the best indie anthems of the ’80s – and getting Jason Nevins to provide ‘progressive’ club mixes – probably wasn’t the best way to increase their profile, either – they disappeared without a trace. Thankfully.

Eclipse - Take Me Down (Azuli, 2003)
As Eclipse, Ital duo Bini & Martini produced a cover of Sister Sledge’s ‘Thinking Of You’ called ‘Makes Me Love You’ that was actually fairly acceptable. When they tried the same trick with ‘Six Underground’ by Sneaker Pimps, however, the results were far less satisfactory. Cheesy ‘funky house’ at its worst.

Discovery - Missing (Nebula, 2003)
Everything But The Girl’s ‘Missing’ (as remixed by Todd ‘The God’) was one of the most haunting, fragile and beautiful pieces of music ever to rock a main room house floor. Dutch hard housers Discovery then went on to prove it is indeed possible to make an unlistenable sow’s ear out of a sonic silk purse…

DJ Sammy - Boys Of Summer (Data, 2003)
The popularity of Spain’s DJ Sammy worldwide is frankly baffling, but in a world that countenances Aqua and Blue, anything can happen. That still doesn’t excuse this absolute travesty of a record, which took Don Henley’s ’80s drivetime classic and turned it into a big steaming heap of particularly rancid doggy-doos.

Product.01 - Heart Of Glass (Compost, 2005)
No doubt Berlin scenesters and silly haircut types will be up in arms about the inclusion of /Product.01’s much-played version of Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’ in this feature, but frankly, we don’t care. It’s harsh, irritating and totally unnecessary. If they loved the original that much, why didn’t they just leave it alone?

The System feat Kerri B - If You Leave Me Now (All Around The World, 2003)
This one’s doubly wrong: not only do they massacre the Chicago original (something of a comedown classic in iDJ’s book), they do so over a backing that shamelessly plunders Strike’s loveable vintage cheese slice ‘U Sure Do’. A truly heinous record.

Revelation - Dub Be Good To Me (Multiply, 2003)
The SOS Band’s ’80s soul weekender classic has been covered successfully in the past – most famously, of course, by Beats International in 1990, and there was a pretty good bassline house take last year. But there’s no excuse for this god-awful trance remake. Just horrid.

DJ Destiny Vs Organ Donors - What’s Up (Nukleuz, 2003)
Loveable grunge classic destroyed in bouncy hard dance rompathon shocker! To make matters worse, unlike all-girl US band 4 Non-Blondes (who did the original), DJ Destiny and Organ Donors didn’t even have the decency to flash their muff on national TV…

Disco 2000 - Uptight (KLF Communications, 1988)
The KLF had some brilliant ideas, but forming their own girl group and covering this classic Stevie Wonder Motown stomper wasn’t one of them. The resulting lurid day-glo fusion of Stock, Aitken & Waterman pop, edit-heavy ’80s house and dodgy female rap was possibly one of the worst records in the history of the world.

The Black Neon - You’re So Vain (Memphis Industries, 2001)
This isn’t the worst cover in this list by any stretch, but it is a bit silly. Made before the world and his dog jumped on the electro bandwagon, there’s something oddly charming about its mix of wonky electro and deadpan computer vocals. That said, it’s still a bit rubbish.

Tina Cousins - Wonderful life (All Around The World, 2005)
Hot off the press, this one, but it’s definitely already proved itself worthy of a place in this list. In fact, this pop-trance reworking of Black’s classic ’80s tear-jerker is the very epitome of wrongness. Can we just stop it now people please?

Russell Deeks & Matt Anniss


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