This summer an all-star cast (well, Tom Cruise and the beautiful Malin Akerman) will take a tourist-friendly, fast food Broadway musical and turn it into a movie — subjecting you to lip-synched versions of bad cover songs in the process. About the best thing you can say in the movie’s defense is that….well, they aren’t the first to manhandle the hits of the 80s…
11. Alien Ant Farm, "Smooth Criminal"
Not only does replacing the original’s Michael Jackson dance beat with a generic pop-punk rhythm make the song just sound like the words “Annie are you OK?” repeated on an infinite, sped-up loop, but the video tries to convince us that three chubby SoCal homeboys backed-up by a seven year-old asthmatic dancer qualifies as an “awesome” party.
10. Orgy, "Blue Monday"
In the 80s, New Order took the disco beats of the previous decade and melded and reimagined them into the sound that would eventually define New Wave. In 1998, a band called Orgy said, “That’s great and all, but can we add a heaping dose of androgynous techno drag queen cyborg on an ecstasy binge? Great. Thanks!”
9. Big & Rich, "You Shook Me All Night Long"
It’s unforgivable to take a growling pure rock anthem that AC/DC recorded for the sole purpose of proving that Marshall speakers could actually blow panties off and reduce it to something you’d hear in the waiting room of a dentist’s office in Appalachia...if such things existed.
8. Traci Lords, "Walking in L.A."
The original (by Missing Persons) would hardly be considered a musical high point for anyone (even Missing Persons), but it had that kind of bouncy, plastic rhythm that fit the decade to a T. Lords’ version, recorded during her “maybe a musical career will make people forget that I was an underage porn star” period basically slowed the tempo to a non-existent crawl and redid the original’s high-pitched singing with a breathy, talk-sing that would definitively answer that whole “will people forget my porn past” question. (No.)
7. Ataris, "Boys of Summer"
“Out on the road today/I saw a Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac.” Aaaaaaaaand…we’re done here.
6. Sheryl Crow, "Sweet Child O'Mine"
1. Kelly Osbourne, "Papa Don't Preach"