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5 Sappy Songs That Deserve Heavy Metal Makeovers

#2. "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac

Stick with me, kids. I have a 21st century song on the list, too, but this is a music list and Fleetwood Mac is still one of the best-selling bands of all time. Also, even if you're all young and cool, you know Fleetwood Mac songs. It's inescapable. Their 1977 album, Rumours, is still all over classic rock and easy listening radio, and countless movies and shows. Following that commercial success, they released the more experimental Tusk, where Lindsey Buckingham flexed some musical insanity muscles. Like Paul McCartney, Sting and Prince, Buckingham is a music phenom, equally gifted as a composer, singer and multi-instrumental musician. And like those musicians, sometimes he goes a little off, producing half-baked messes. The title track is that mess, featuring dark, angry lyrics, dark, angry vocals, powerful drums and, of course, the USC Trojan Marching Band. Oh right. That's another reason you might know the Mac -- they sometimes play this song at sporting events.


The Song's Heavy Metal Elements: All of it. Lyrically, it sounds like it's sung by a guy who's super suspicious that his lover is cheating on him. Buckingham convincingly spews venom about that other man on the phone. And he's not interested in love or being friends at this point. "Just tell me that you want me," is what he sings, but doesn't quite scream. And then the fucking marching band comes in and it all goes to hell.

The Band to Bring Out the Metal: Death From Above 1979 I have to give Adam Tod Brown the credit for suggesting these guys. According to Wikipedia, they are a "Canadian alternative rock/noise rock duo," but that's a stupid definition. Much more telling would be to say that they sound like this and this. They're the boys to take that whisper snarl in the verse into a scream. They'd replace those horns with filthy angry distorted bass, while still staying true to Mick Fleetwood's monster drums.

#1. "Lights" by Ellie Goulding

Hey, remember in the intro when I said I liked all the songs on this list? I lied. "Lights" by Ellie Goulding sucks an awful lot, and I've been dying to HBN it for every week it's been riding the Billboard charts this summer, but it's such a big pile of nothing, there wasn't even enough to make fun of. So anyway, in this song, Ellie Goulding combines her completely uninspiring, frail tiny thing of a voice with utterly unimaginative and predictable production.

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"Stand back, everyone. I'm about to start sucking right at you."

So, here you go. A recent song in the old man's article. Happy now? Yeah, suck on this:


The Song's Heavy Metal Elements: This song's lyrics -- while not resembling anything good -- are pretty dark and sad. Kind of consumed with death. Something bad has happened. Perhaps a broken heart, but seemingly worse:

And I'm not sleeping now, the dark is too hard to beat
And I'm not keeping now, the strength I need to push me
You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine it when I'm alone
And so I tell myself that I'll be strong
And dreaming when they're gone
'Cause they're calling, calling, calling me home
Calling, calling, calling me home
You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine it when I'm alone
Noises, I play within my head
Touch my own skin and hope that I'm still breathing
And I think back to when my brother and my sister slept
In an unlocked place the only time I feel safe

Of course, none of that really comes out over the awful pop techno beats and Goulding's tiny delivery. But what if a band just as death-obsessed and dark as this song hints at being performed it?

The Band to Bring Out the Metal: Slipknot Slipknot. Y'know, Slipknot. These guys:

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Pictured above: Members of Slipknot on their way to Burning Man (to disembowel some pathetic hippies).

Take Goulding's voice (best suited for a movie about a fairy dying from some wasting disease) and replace it with a real death-metal growl. Remove the canned simple beats and replace them with a barrage of snare attacks. And fill up the whole thing with a guitar distortion sound forged beneath the bowels of hell in Satan's personal torture chamber, and then maybe this song might not suck.

Also not sucking? The latest episode of HATE BY NUMBERS. Also, be sure to follow Gladstone on Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest regarding Notes from the Internet Apocalypse. And then there's his website and Tumblr, too.

For more from Gladstone, check out 5 Satirists Attacked by People Who Totally Missed the Point and 5 Famous Songs Everyone Thinks Are by the Wrong Artist.

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