Heavy metal covers of pop hits? Let’s face it, that idea is usually perceived as comedy. The extremity of metal (volume, performance, roaring vocals, rebellion) meeting the realm of pop (hooky, safe, feel-good, compliant) is some fire and water shizz, right there. But look, you went ahead and clicked on it anyway. We’re not out to bait you, swear.
We admit there is something gleefully perverse about heavy metal bands covering pop songs. You can’t deny a pop hook, but maybe deep down inside, you want to see someone pump it full of octane booster and light it up. That happens a lot on this list. We’re thinking that a lot of these bands are actually fans of the artists they covered. (Well, except for GWAR. They hate everybody.)
You know what’s even cooler? Once you get past the shock/humor aspects of some of these tracks, you may find yourself truly embracing the alternate takes. In the mid-to-late ’70s, not a whole lot of people were talking about the Kinks. But they were ready to buy Van Halen shirts. Not to say that the Kinks were a pop band (that came later). It’s just that these versions hold up on their own merits. Spoiler alert: The ’60s song your grandparents listened to on this list is a total and complete firebomb. (Thanks, Dave.)
So we hope you like what we uncovered in this list of metal covers of pop songs. Their awesomeness will not be denied, and you’re gonna build your own playlists to celebrate them. We also know you’ve got some favorites of your own. And we were thinking you might want to share them with us in the comments below. Now adjust your sunglasses and rage…