Discussion: When Bad Things Happen to Good Songs


December 13, 2008

Every once in a while, bad things happen to good songs.

Exhibit A: Taylor Swift, “I’m Sorry”, at the Grammy Nominations Special:

What is your most painful example of  When Bad Things Happen to Good Songs?

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28 Comments so far

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  1. JCHNo Gravatar says:

    The original country mix of Faith Hill’s “Piece Of My Heart”.

  2. vpNo Gravatar says:

    Taylor’s last four major TV appearances were very hard to watch and hard on the ears. 2008 was not a good live tv year for her, particulary the CMA’s Disney production, just a ridiculous mess, and the Grammy nonms as mentioned above, every artist sung other people songs, in part to the opening of the Grammy Museum and she was the only on to manage to get her own song in there somehow. (all horrible)

  3. J.R. JourneyNo Gravatar says:

    Blake Shelton singing ‘Goodbye Time’. And I usually like Blake’s voice and even defend him when he records songs like ‘Some Beach’, but when a song has already been recorded definitively by an artist like Conway Twitty, it should be left alone.

  4. Chris D.No Gravatar says:

    Rascal Flatts singing Christmas songs. Today, 3 out of the 4 country stations on the radio were playing 3 different Rascal Flatts Christmas songs, while the 4th was on commercial. Luckily the pop station was playing “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”. xD

  5. AaronNo Gravatar says:

    Kellie Pickler’s version of “Santa Baby.” I kinda like that song, it’s unfortunate I hear a version of it everyday at work, but Kellie’s version is just awful. I thought her voice would suit it but it doesn’t. I hate, hate, hate it!

  6. Greg MNo Gravatar says:

    Big and Rich doing covers of famous classic rock songs. I’m a fan of Big and Rich to an extent (I liked Horse of a Different Color) but they absolutely sucked on “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

  7. FelipeNo Gravatar says:

    Kristy Lee Cook doing “Anyway”, by Martina…

    Jessica Simspon doing “Remember That”, by Rachel Proctor… hahaha

  8. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar says:

    Greg M..

    I pretty much agree with you completely about B$R..

    Loved the first album, and I consider myself a fan because of it, but I hated their version of “You Shook Me All Night Long” as well…Wasn’t that the song they did for the Imus Ranch Record?

    Certainly a low point on an otherwise great compilation.

  9. RainbowNo Gravatar says:

    Tom, a contestant in an Austrian show called Starmania, covering Faith Hill’s “When The Lights Go Down”:


  10. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar says:

    “You Shook Me…” was on Between Raising Hell & Amazing Grace. The Imus record had them murdering “You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party.”

  11. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Kevin, now I remember…that was even worse, lol. Someone ought to press charges for that one!

  12. RainbowNo Gravatar says:

    Tom, a contestant in an Austrian show called Starmania, covering Faith Hill’s “When The Lights Go Down”.

  13. ZachNo Gravatar says:

    Kellie Pickler’s version of “Fancy” when she was on Idol…. I will never see what Simon saw in her over Underwood. x.x

  14. RainbowNo Gravatar says:

    Kellie’s version of “Fancy” wasn’t that bad, but certainly not very good either.

  15. AcesNo Gravatar says:

    Taylor Swift doing Silent Night on 2007′s Rockefeller Center tree lighting show. As much as I dislike her current repertoire of holiday songs, I consider it an early gift from Santa that this out-of-tune abomination has not resurfaced.

  16. vpNo Gravatar says:

    I second TS and Christmas songs they keep playing them on our local country stations and I have to change it. It hurts my ears.

  17. DebraNo Gravatar says:

    Zach, simon said in an interview that he only said that because carrie performed the week before and it wasnt that great, he said it was the heat of the moment

  18. DiamondNo Gravatar says:

    Keb’ Mo’ does what I guess is supposed to be a very cool version of “Folsum Prison Blues,” but not for me. He changed the line “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die,” which is kind of an important line in the song, to, “They said I shot a man down in Reno, but that was just a lie.” Hate hate hate it.

  19. steveNo Gravatar says:

    i think this one kind of takes the cake. ahah

  20. ZachNo Gravatar says:

    yeah, I guess we all make mistakes. :)

  21. GailNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll have to agree on all the TS songs I’ve heard her sing live!! Not just live, I forgot about the Christmas songs they are playing on radio….OMG..talk about fingers down a chalkboard! And what’s so sad…Billboard just named her Top Country Artist of 2008!! Now that is pretty sad too!!

  22. dudleyNo Gravatar says:

    What I want to know is who thought it was a good idea for Taylor Swift to sing “I’m Sorry”? She comes off as completely emotionally unequipped for it. It’s not simply because of her voice that I don’t think Taylor is a good singer; it’s actually more because I don’t think she is a good interpretive singer, either. To Taylor’s credit, the studio version of “White Horse” is probably the first good interpretive job I think that Taylor has done. But I’ve found her two live performances of that song to be colorless and (surprisingly) personality-free.

    Anyway, to answer the question, here is one from an artist I don’t care for, and one from an artist that I otherwise adore.

    Rascal Flatts’ version of “Revolution” was every kind of sanitized, glib wrong imaginable. No character in the vocal whatsoever and they made it sing-songy.

    I love the Dixie Chicks and am repeating myself here, but feel they completely overcooked the simple poignancy of “Landslide” with their cover. The “uh-uh”s are completely unjustifiable from an interpretive standpoint, in my view, and the harmonies destroy the delicacy of the lyric. I was shocked at how much I hated their cover of this song…the original (or rather, the more recently popularized live version of it) ranks as one of my favorite songs ever.

  23. Hard TimesNo Gravatar says:

    Rascal Flatts murdered another Christmas carol on the “Live from Rockefeller Center” NBC special a couple of weeks ago. It was a very bad night for country music.

  24. SantaNo Gravatar says:

    Aaron, Kellie’s Santa Baby is the best vocal of the song ever recorded in the 55 year history of the song and it’s been covered countless times. She totally blows Madonna’s version and all others away. You hear it every day because it’s one of the most played Christmas songs on all radio because it’s one of the best, and flawless! All the DJs said they love it and she nailed it. This live audience loved it too!


  25. GailNo Gravatar says:

    Yes they did Hard Times! I was going to listen and give them another chance and they messed it up again. Sorry, but it’s evident, Gary cannot sing live!

  26. Erik NorthNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll probably take heat for this, but I really didn’t think much of Terri Clark’s version of “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me.” That twang of hers was absolutely inappropriate for this grisly Warren Zevon-penned tale of urban madness, rape, and suicide that had been done far better, and with a certain amount of nastiness, by Linda Ronstadt back in 1977.

  27. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t even like the original of the ACDC song, but B&R really did do bad things to the Beastie Boys song. They made an otherwise fun song both boring and dumb.

  28. this is painfully bad. like, earsplitting bad. This is so bad that good singers who watch this might actually get worse, just for having seen this.

    Shame on country music for not being like “Taylor, you’re very cute, and we like your songs, but you can’t perform live, you’re embarrassing all of us”

    of course, as has been established time and time and time and time again for the past oh, 15 years or so, Country Music has absolutely no shame.

    Even the one big collective decision country music made, “There will be no more Billy Ray Cyrus, that was a regrettable mistake and we’re sorry”, has been overturned recently.


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