Every now and then a commenter will rise from the ranks of the internet comments toilet bowl after demonstrating that he’s one of the biggest, baddest turds around, a floater that simply can’t be flushed, and attention must be paid. PFT Commenter is such an unflushable turd. You’ve probably read his scorching HOT TAKES at places like Kissing Suzy Kolber and SB Nation; he also hosts an OpieRadio podcast called “The Steam Room.” And while he usually reserves his white-hot commentary for football, there are times when he simply cannot not weigh in with an opinion on something. Smash Mouth’s cover of David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” is such a time.
This afternoon I was made aware of quite possibly, the best cover song of all time. Some might point to Joe Cocker covering the Beatles or Jimmy Hendrixes pre-hip-hop take on Bob Dylans “All Along the Watchtower,” but for my money it just dosent get any better then this Smash Mouth version of David Bowies “Under Pressure,” released just this week in honor of his passing.
Its great to see Smash Mouth getting back to there roots of covering other peoples music instead of just basicaly rerecording 5 versions of Astrolounge every two years. But it’s the internet and we cant have nice things without some taste police stopping by and getting upset that the guy who looks like if you inflated David Bowie with a bycyle pump and made him the music equivilant of Shawn Bradley in Space Jam would have the balls to cover such a iconic song.
People have been jumping out of the woodwork saying that Smash Mouth covering David Bowie is like reading Rick Reilly editing a rewrite of Civil Disobedence. It made me think that even though I disgree on the qualty of this particular song, there should be some tunes that I would like to see get put on a “uncoverable” list, songs that bands are in no circumstances allowed to ever perform or record.
That said, here’s the top 5 songs in the entire history of music that should never be covered by anyone at any time ever. This list is final:
5. “Tutti Frutti” by Pat Boone
The song that invented rhythm & blues, and drove parents up the wall. Boone’s transcendent abilty as a artist to appeal to both black and white audiences through his colorful songwriting and infectious dance moves gave birth to the r&b genre, and spawned a generaton of copycats and souless wannabes from Ray Charles, to Robert Johnson. Heres a tip- if James Brown cant perform it half as well as the orignal then neither can you.
4. Beethovens 9th Symphony
The original deaf jam. Someone with 20/20 hearing playing this song is extremely ableist and incredibly problematic. The only people aloud to cover this song should be deaf themselves otherwise its like if you just won the gold medal in the Special Olympics for the mile run and then American Pharoah walks up, pisses on your good leg, and calls “next”. Beethoven was so deaf that when this song was orignally performed, the leader of the orchestra pulled a Lebron James/David Blatt scenario and told the rest of the musicans not to even bother following along with what there oblivous leader was doing because he was so out of rhythm. In fact they allways say that you should listen to music in the way the composer intended which is why hipsters buy Zepplin records and Grateful Dead only sounds good if your too stoned to turn it off- so technically only deaf people are the only ones who can truly apprecate this song anyways.
3. The Birthday Song
Aside from being a song that was basicaly invented so parents could brag to there friends about the time they had sex, this song is off limits for legal reasons. As anyone whose ever worked in a restauraunt can tell you, the hardass old bluehair piano dames that wrote this song dont fuck around with their BMI royalties. One time I worked as a bustboy at Chili’s and I slipped up and sang the Birthday song by accident instead of “Happy Happy Birthday Birthday” and the next day my grandma just happened to die in her sleep. She was absoluteley shaken to her core when she woke up.
2. “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock
First of all its allready probably the perfect song. Secondly it is a combination of the holy trinity of songwirting legends Lynyrd Skynyd, Warren Zevon, and Kid Rock. You dont just “cover” the New Testament, you have to be a King or running for President in order to be able to offer selective interpretations. Its a cover of two songs in one, and if you covered it yourself it would basicaly be a infinity mirror of Michigan southern rock music that you’d get lost in.
Also a challenge to get the lyrics “we were tyring funny things/ we were smokin funny things” out without a detactched sense of irony if your not someone who hasnt had the practice of singing the words “bawitdaba” thousands of times without laughing.
And the number one song of all time that no one should ever cover at any time is…
1. “Die Fahne Hoch,” the National Anthem of Nazi Germany
Kind of a no brainer, In My Opinon. The only time its approprate to EVER even considering performing this song is if you have Jewish friends. Full stop. Period. No exceptions.
Forget about the Marshall plan, one of the most effective things Germany did to rebuild& make people forget about that whole holocaust snafu thingamajig was banning their citizens from reading Mein Kampf or singing the old Anthem. Stopped common law Nazism dead in its tracks, and we need to remember all the sacrificies they’ve made to keep it buried. If not being aloud to sing this song at my works holloween party just as a joke to the accounting department is my cross to bear, then so be it. I will bear it with grace.
This is a work of satire, obviously.