Today is Halloween! A night of ghouls, goblin, tricks, treats and genuine spooktacular mystery! While tonight will be full of the joys of pretending that we're someone we're not, why not let the thrill of imitation runneth over into our Halloween playlists? We all love a good cover, but sometimes the wrong cover can be scarier than the last haunted house on the left of Elm Street. But in the tradition of true trick or treating, we've assembled five great cover songs from the unlikeliest of sources. Here are five unexpectedly great covers to make sure your monster mash is a certified graveyard smash!
Dope – “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” 2000
The 2000 film adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho combined the gut-wreching horror of callous murder with the spine-tingling scares of 1980s yuppie excess. While the soundtrack is perhaps most known for the film's trademark Huey Lewis and the News scene, the soundtrack boasted a cover of Dead or Alive's “You Spin Me Around (Like a Record)” by turn-of-the-century nu-metal outfit Dope. The reptilian vocals make the sleek sloshing '80s shine an absolutely addicting listen.
Don Ho – “Shock the Monkey” 2002
Peter Gabriel's one of pop music's all time more enjoyable weirdos whose music is fulfilling on several enriching levels. While we were treated to a fun albeit unorthodox cover already in the 2000s by Coal Chamber and Ozzy Osbourne, why not crank up the weirdness with a cover by “Tiny Bubbles” Hawaiian legend and Hoku's father Don Ho? Yes, a Don Ho cover of “Shock the Monkey” exists, and it is glorious. Revel in the sleepy sleaziness that somehow absolutely excels.
t.A.T.u. – “How Soon is Now?” 2002
Who could forget where they were in the early 2000s when Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. took the world by storm. While they were propelled by the pop magic that was “All The Things She Said” and its hyper-kinetic follow up “Not Gonna Get Us,” the American release of the album contained a surprisingly haunting cover of The Smith's sacred anthem “How Soon is Now.” Legend has it, when asked his thoughts on the cover, Morrissey said he found it “Magnificent.” When he was then told it was made by teenage Russian lesbians, he responded “Well, aren't we all?”
KoRN – “Word Up!” 2004
KoRN pioneered the nu-metal/rap metal phenomenon in the '90s by connecting to listeners through tapping into their visceral anguish and channeling their feelings of alienation into abrasive pulsating rock tantrums. So, of course they would market their Greatest Hits album on the strength of their cover of Cameo's “Word Up!” A surprisingly fun cover, you can really tell lead singer Jonathan Davis had a genuine good time making it, or as least as much fun as he's had publicly since KoRN's appearance on the 1999 “South Park” Halloween special.
Contestzo – “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” 2009
It's rare a YouTube cover is tolerable, let alone good, and when you add a ukelele, the odds of something listenable becomes even more unlikely. That said, perhaps the single best cover on the entire popular video uploading website is Contestzo's entry into a ukelele hip-hop covers contest with her take on Beastie Boys' “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun.” While the song was covered about sixteen years prior by Anthrax, Contestzo's interpretation is a more-than-worthy follow-up, being faithful to the original and adding her own sultry take on it, something infinitely more challenging when you factor that it's performed on a ukelele.