Today, a friend of mine sent me a supposedly funny coversong by some weirdo comedy band of Bonnie Tylor’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart“. It was horrendous. I hate it when comedic bands don’t give credit to vocalist grandeur and yes, it’s cheese all over the place but heck, it’s a great song, don’t hate on the classics.
I am always very suspicious of “Funny” coversongs because most of the time they are like those people that say about themselves that they are “hilarious and cray-zey” – essentially, they are everything but.
My experience is this: to make a truly awesome “funny” cover, you have to take the original seriously for its composition, catchiness and/or stylistical innovation. If you don’t, you spend about 5 minutes mucking about and hurl out some half-assed interpretation that is only funny in case you’re drunk. If you do, however, take the song seriously, you can create something that makes the receiver wonder whether you do mock the original or not and this ambivalence is what makes it so darn good*. It’s the same with all kinds of comedy, actually…
Here are the Bee Gees with “I started a joke”
And here is the amazing coverversion of Faith No More including one of my most favourite music videos of all times (the ‘singer’, by the way, is David Divine, who has done some very disturbing comedy during the 90s which you might check out – but not when you’re high – I mean it!)
*All this doesn’t apply to any (original) Punk cover because it’s in the essence of Punk to not give a shit about the f***ing song you ruin by creating an interpretation of noise.