Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” might be the closest thing the thrash-metal titans have to a soft-rock hit. The song was a shock to longtime fans upon its release on their self-titled 1991 album (aka The Black Album) because the arrangement included, gasp, strings. Written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, “Nothing Else Matters” has become the band’s most covered track, according to secondhandsongs.com. The latest to tackle it is pop empress Miley Cyrus who sang a cover during her performance at the Glastonbury Festival on June 30.
Ashley O [Miley Cyrus] – Right Where I Belong (Nine Inch Nails cover)
The second-most-bonkers cover of the month (just wait ’til we get to “Spicy”) comes from – who else – Miley Cyrus. On a new episode of Black Mirror, she covers/parodies angsty Nine Inch Nails songs as the most insipid of pop jams. Trent Reznor, for one, says he is very much on board (given the lyric changes, these covers required his legal approval). Miley’s songs in character as Ashley O are outrageous and borderline offensive, which is kind of the point. “On a Roll” (FKA “Head Like a Hole”) has gotten most of the attention, but “Right Where I Belong” is more listenable. Marginally.
Watching the Swedish band Europe’s epic 1986 video for “The Final Countdown” is like going through a checklist of all the cliches of ‘80s hair metal. Perfectly styled hair (check); pretty-faced lead singer (check); massive double bass drum kit (check); revealing leather pants (hell yeah); pyrotechnics (check); guitarists swaying back and forth in perfect unison (check); young girls reaching out for the band (check), etc., etc. etc. Now for those of you old enough to actually remember the ‘80s, you’ll recall that Metallica was supposed to be the antidote for all of these excesses. Fist-pumping, kick-ass metal written to piss off your parents and teachers and give the proverbial middle finger to authority. God, it was beautiful.
On their new single, Danish trio Baby in Vain gives a nod to their countryman Lars Ulrich with an updated version of the Metallica concert staple “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.
It’s a tall order to improve the stiff-upper-lip head-bobbing classic Metallica pumped out on 1984’s Ride the Lightning. Any self-respecting rocker instantly knows the guitar riff that anchors the original. Even when your mom hears this infectious tune, she gets the metal snarl while sporting the devil horns as she weaves through the carpool line.
Today we continue the tradition we started way back one month ago. Since we’re still new at this, I’ll reiterate that our picks are unranked and semi-impulsive. Even the un-blurbed “Honorable Mentions” at the bottom aren’t necessarily worse than the rest; in many cases, we’ve just already written about them at length and have little else to say.
Okay, disclaimers behind us, let’s dive in.
We’ve seen this story before: A new trailer is released for a comic-book movie or a franchise reboot. Playing in the background is a slow, atmospheric cover of some tune that came out 20 to 40 years before the film’s target demographic was born. It’s often a cover created just for the trailer, and doesn’t exist anywhere beyond that 30-second clip (it almost never even appears in the actual movie).
Kelly Hoppenjans’ creepy cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” could be the perfect song to appear alongside the next installment of A Nightmare on Elm Street or the Suicide Squad series. But the Nashville-based indie-pop singer forgoes that part of the equation, releasing the track on its own as a single.