Musician Steve Cruickshank likes to take classic songs and change them up a bit by replacing the original harmonies with their mirror image. The resulting music is at once familiar and pleasant to the ear but also completely different from what we’re used to. Let’s kick the playlist off with his version of The Sound of Silence.
Some songs lend themselves particularly well to being played on brass instruments. Musician Seb Skelly shows us just that with his wonderful arrangement and performance of the Tears for Fears track Everybody Wants to Rule the World, another track which reminds us just how great a decade the 1980s were for music.
There’s no escape; I can’t wait. The exceptional electromechanical Device Orchestra is back to perform another pop music hit. This time, the band of electric toothbrushes, credit card terminals, and typewriters were joined by an Epilator hair remover which added a spinny new sound to the Britney Spears track Toxic.
Musician Luke Million has an awesome collection of vintage synthesizers – and he knows how to get the most out of them. In the first video clip, he performs a series of classic 1980s jams with spot-on sounds, then does the same for movies and TV shows in the second video. His recreation of Running Up That Hill is perfect too.
There’s no question that Jack White’s music features a heavy blues influence. Musician Justin Johnson took things to their logical conclusion by performing The White Stripes’ anthemic Seven Nation Army on a steel guitar with a slide, giving it that classic Mississippi Delta Blues sound. (Thanks, Jennifer!)
Barcelona’s Maestros de la Guitarra stole a gimmick from the 2012 viral hit version of Somebody I Used to Know, performing with multiple musicians on a single acoustic guitar. Their four-person cover of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean is our new favorite version of the track.
The 1974 Lynyrd Skynrd track Sweet Home Alabama is a southern rock classic. Pianist Alexandra Kuznetsova aka Gamazda may hail from halfway around the globe, but her energetic piano cover of the track and down-home setting seems like she could be performing in a Birmingham backyard.
Musician Grégoire Blanc busted out his musical saw and bow to perform a cover version of the song Hawaiian Theremin from the SpongeBob SquarePants episode Love That Squid. It sounds just right played on the saw, but it’s ironic that Grégoire actually knows how to play the theremin.
It’s no Floppotron 3.0, but DJthefirst’s self-playing electromechanical dulcimer has got some serious soul. Put your headphones on, crank up the volume, hit play, and enjoy this soothing rendition of the Kate Bush track Running up That Hill (A Deal with God).
Musician Leo Moracchioli has always had a thing for puppets, so it’s only natural that he’d expand his repertoire to include a song from a puppet show. His heavy metal cover of the theme from Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock will have you dancing your cares away and saving your worries for another day.
Musician Scott Bradlee has proven that just about anything can be a Ragtime song with the proper arrangement. His 1920s cover version of Radiohead’s 1997 classic Paranoid Android sounds fantastic, and we can totally imagine it being played in the speakeasy in Westworld’s Golden Age.
Now that Stranger Things 4 is complete, we were finally starting to get Running Up That Hill out of our heads. But the Kate Bush earworm is back since we heard this version by KestrelTapes in which he played the track on a 30-pound keyboard while actually running up a hill. As far as we know, no deals were made with God.
If AC/DC came from China instead of Australia and Scotland, their music might sound something like this guzheng cover by musician Moyun. If it sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because her arrangement of Thunderstruck was inspired by Luca Stricagnoli’s version of the song.
Despite having come out more than 20 years ago, we still get chills every time the theme music from Halo starts playing on our Xbox Series X. But does it sound as good without the violins and choir? Beyond The Guitar proves that the track is still spectacular even stripped down on solo acoustic guitar.
Guitarist Bloxsy imagines what The Beatles might have sounded like achieved fame in the 1990s and recorded in Seattle alongside Soundgarden and Nirvana. The grunge tracks include clever titles like Flowman, Oregon Wood, and Lucy in the Hole. Be sure to listen to Part 2 here.
Thanks to its prominent placement in the storyline of Stranger Things 4, the Kate Bush song Running up That Hill (A Deal with God) is enjoying a major comeback. Korean group Maytree unleashed their vocal talents with this a cappella version that had us feeling those emotions from the Dear Billy episode all over again.
With its strange textures and haunting lyrics and vocals, Radiohead’s OK Computer is a classic. But you’ve never heard it like this. Shonkywonkydonkey re-recorded the entire album with nary a musical instrument, replicating every sound with his voice. It quickly escalates from silly to awesome.
Eminem achieved most of his popularity in the early 21st century. But what if he started making hits back in medieval times? Beedle The Bardcore has the answer with this hour-long, 13th-century performance of Slim Shady’s greatest hits including Lose Yourself, Without Me, Stan, Smack That, and Ass Like That.
Composer Joe Hisaishi’s score from Howl’s Moving Castle is beautiful and emotive. While it sounds great on piano and violin, we’re absolutely smitten with this ethereal cover version of the track Merry Go Round of Life, performed by Grégoire Blanc on the theremin and Anna and Arek of GlassDuo on the glass harp.
Radiohead is one of our favorite bands of all time. While some of their music can be a bit esoteric, they’ve produced an equal number of sharp and memorable guitar-driven melodies. Guitarist Bloxsy claims he’s no Radiohead expert, but we think he sells himself short with this excellent medley of classic riffs.
From 2010 to 2017, The Onion’s A.V. Club invited musicians to cover songs from a list of diminishing choices as the season went on. This amazing collection vanished a few years back, but has resurfaced on the YouTube channel Alvin Untercover. Bands include TMBG, GWAR, Punch Brothers, and more. Watch ’em before they’re gone again!
The last time we checked in with German oompah band The Heimatdamisch, they were playing G N’ R’s Sweet Child ‘O Mine. This time, they turned the AC/DC track Highway to Hell into a festive polka, but not before trying to convince us that it was a regular rock cover.
It might not have 512 floppy drives, but the Device Orchestra has plenty of heart (and googly eyes). So crank up the volume, and get your day started right with a performance of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now that will have you buzzing like an electric toothbrush.