Originals vs Covers: My Sharona

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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Guy Perchard

Digital editor & recording specialist at Red Dog Music
As well as being the marketing man-about-town at Red Dog Music, Guy is a busy, award winning record producer and mixing engineer. He is also partial to a chorizo stromboli for elevenses.

13 Responses to “Originals vs Covers: My Sharona”

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  1. Mind doing Phantom of the Opera next?

  2. How did you go without mentioning "Pull my Strings" by the Dead Kennedys?

  3. Seriously, the Hammerfall one is the best of all, the point of this track is to rock your ass out of your pants. Therefore the more brutal the amp gain, the more thighter the riffs – the more rocking you get.

  4. If you seriously think there's nothing interesting in the last 40 years… yea, it's a waste of time to read your articles.

  5. "[…] there hasn’t been any interesting, original contribution to Rock music for almost 4 decades."

    You're kidding right?

  6. Marcelo Rabelo Coutinho says:

    Hammerfall the best one by far.

  7. Jeff Hallene says:

    you mentioned hammerfall but you forgot one band pink cream 69. they do a awesome version of my sharona.

  8. Maybe he felt that would say too much about the bands he's fawning over

  9. Luke Suridge says:

    Bottom line is, if you don't like high gain and pinch harmonics, you probably don't like Hammerfall. If you don't like Hammerfall wont probably wont like one of their covers. Doesn't mean the cover of a song they obviously enjoy themselves and played in their own style is a bad cover.

  10. You've got to be trolling, here. The alternative is too laughable to even give a nod to.

  11. I bet this guy sports a fedora.

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