Top 10 of the worst French covers of American hits

Covering songs is a difficult art. The proof with all these missed recoveries which abound in the history of the zic. It’s complicated to take a work and make it your own without making it scary or embarrassing for everyone. It’s even more so when you go from an English song to a French song. Between all the difficulties already mentioned and the risk of translating the lyrics like a pig, the danger is disproportionate. Many have broken their teeth there. And broke our ears.

1. Ringo – Who is this big black crow (cover of Video killed the radio stars – The Buggles)

The total change of lyrics is already a scandal in itself, but there is even more scandalous in the clip: Ringo plays the keyboards in playback on a guitar. Damn, who came up with this genius idea? If the art is made to shock then this is probably the greatest piece of art I have ever seen.

And the original which feels good:

2. Bad Deal – Hey Max, Don’t Panic (Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood)

Frankly, it is enough to see that the legendary “Relax, don’t do it” has been transformed into “Hey Max, don’t panic” to guess that we are dealing with an interplanetary dung. After a few seconds of listening, the presentiment becomes certainty: it’s shit. But kind of hard to hear shit, even for fun. It personally made me want to jump out the window, but I have a top to finish.

And the original which feels good:

3. Sylvie Vartan – Do Something (cover of The Eye of The Tiger – Survivor)

On the production side, nothing changes, but the switch to French hurts a lot. We go from one of the best songs for exercising to an old motivational song that would find its place in the worst LinkedIn posts. We like Sylvie, but seriously, claiming: “Nothing is insurmountable when you are the cause, With love we can always do something” it’s an infinite level of silliness.

And the original which feels good:

4. Richard Anthony – The Promised Land (California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas)

Here’s how to twist the meaning of a song in one lesson. The Mamas & The Papas song is about a guy who gets cold in the winter and walks into a church to get warm. Richard Anthony, he simply decided to keep the “church” side and make it a religious song about the promised land. A real hit to pass in all the communions of France, or to burn forever, I hesitate.

And the original which feels good:

5. Joe Dassin – If you think of me (cover of No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley & The Wailers)

As much as it sometimes happens to me to type completely free on reggae, as much there Joe Dassin went too far by transforming a cult Bob Marley into a big ballad with incomparable heaviness. And let’s add a little sax solo to it so that people will slow dance while looking into each other’s eyes and wondering if, in the end, they wouldn’t adopt a dog.

And the original which feels good:

6. Stephend – You still live (Queen cover of Show must go on)

I feel a mixture of anger and pity towards this Stephend. Anger for having sullied one of the best bands in history with this horrible cover. Pity for having imagined for a single second that she could cover Freddie Mercury with such an average voice and charisma. Yes, it’s harsh, but fair.

And the original which feels good:

7. M – Close to me (cover of Close to me – The Cure)

And yet, M, it’s normally very good. But there, between the choice of instrumentals which sucks (this synth makes me want to break things) and the replacement of Robert Smith’s tortured voice by Chedid’s not always right mews, it’s too much. There is a time when everyone should stay in their register.

And the original which feels good:

8. Richard Anthony – Get Out, Jacques (cover of Hit the road Jack – Ray Charles)

We find our good old Richard for another droppings and this time he tries to imitate the great Ray Charles. Well, there, it is very clear, the translation does not pass: “Leave the camp, Jacques” it sounds immediately worse than in English. And then will try to have a voice as cool as that of Ray: it is quite simply impossible. But we can rejoice: the recovery at least has the good taste of being short.

And the original which feels good:

9. Jeanne Mas – I love you so (cover of All by myself – Eric Carmen)

If Celine Dion had succeeded in her cover of the title, in particular because she had had the good taste not to change the lyrics, it was a failure for Jeanne Mas. And then, please, stop changing the meaning of songs. It sucks.

And the original which feels good:

10. Mireille Mathieu – Hello (cover of Hello – Lionel Richie)

Even if in his clip Lionel Richie looks like a very unhealthy predator, Hello remains one of the most beautiful songs this Earth has worn (no, I’m not exaggerating). Oddly, when you transpose it into French with the rolling “r”s of our good old Mireille, it immediately takes on a much more cheesy turn. It could still have been worse, so I give it tenth place with the mention “passable”.

And the original which feels good:

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