The original: The Knack (1979)
34 years old last month, but still as fresh as the day it was released. With its rock-solid rhythm, passionately spat vocals and anthemic yet simple riff, “My Sharona” has become the go-to style sheet for countless bands including The White Stripes, The Kooks, The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys. It’s a gig staple played by function and college bands alike all over the world, but not many big-players in modern Rock have released covers of it. That’s maybe because – by doing so – they’d be revealing that there hasn’t been any interesting, original contribution to Rock music for almost 4 decades.
The cover: Polysics (2002)
Step in Polysics: Japan’s insanely high-energy Electro-punk menagerie. They took this classic track, reworked the riff, fed it through vocoders, chopped up the structure and made it their own. Admittedly not everybody’s cup of green tea, but an incredible cover in every respect.
The OTHER cover: HammerFall (2009)
Proving my other point perfectly. Squeezing more gain out of your amp, squeezing in to tighter leather pants and squeezing some pinched harmonics in the solo is on the same levels of ‘trite’ and ‘inane’ as the American version of Red Dwarf.
HammerFall: D- / please see me / must try harder.
In truth though, the measure of any great song must be whether or not the Chipmunks have squee’d all over it.
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