Lists

Don't Play It Again, Sam: More Terrible Remakes Of Great Songs (By The Original Artists)

Rocks Off covered Eric Clapton's "Layla" and several other awful updates in January.

Sometimes an artist hits it big with one great song. Real big, real fast. Before they know it, they're the hot-button item, on the lips of the hip and influential across the world.

Of course, a sudden rise to fame is usually followed by a meteoric collapse, and if not that then a much more gradual but no less saddening decline. Just taking an example from this very list: Nobody in their right mind could say that Motley Crue was a one-hit wonder. Yet once grunge killed the hair-metal excess of the '80s, the Crue tried everything they could do recapture the heat they had in their heyday. Quite unsuccessfully, might I add.

Now, obviously they're still hugely successful and can pack a stadium full of nostalgic suburbanites, but do you even know if the Crue are still writing and recording new music? Do you care? I had to look it up, and it's kind of my job to know that shit. (Yeah, I know, Craiggers: you're eagerly awaiting Saints of Los Angeles Part 2. Yes, I'm sure the 2008 album is underrated. Just go with the premise here.)

So what do you do when the natural cycle of rise and decline has you yearning for the days of relevance? Why, you go back to the well, of course. You dig up a big hit, hopefully your biggest, and update it for a modern age. Hey, people loved it once, why wouldn't they love it again?

Here are several reasons why they wouldn't.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Seaborn Gray