Every few years a song comes along that is so insanely catchy, so brain-buzzingly sharp that in addition to blanketing the pop radio waves it becomes a cultural touchstone for artists of all stripes who can’t resist giving it their own spin.
Back in 2003, it was Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” the inescapable hip-pop megasmash from Andre 3000 that was covered by everyone from Razorlight to Pennywise, from Supersuckers to the Drive-By Truckers.
A year later, Kelly Clarkson’s sugar pop breakthrough “Since U Been Gone” was so cheesy it crossed back over into being cool, with takes by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Butch Walker, screamo act A Day to Remember, F—ed Up, the Aquabats, Keri Hilson, Jenny Owens Young, the Gossip, Robyn and a sample treatment on Girl Talk’s Feed the Animals.
This year’s model is Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance,” which continues to be a monster at radio and brings new iterations every day. The latest is the solo piano reverie by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, which joins a dark dip from 30 Seconds to Mars, this guy and Perez Hilton faves Alphabeat, who mashed it up with “Telephone” for a disco-rific dance explosion. There’s an alt country take from singer/songwriter Lissie Maurus, a rocking version from members of hard rock bands Fatality and Razorwire and, of course, the Demonstration, who brought the double kick drum and cookie monster mash to the tune.
Don’t even get us started on the next Gaga tune that is starting to gain cover traction, “Telephone,” because then we’ll have to sic Pomplamoose on you.
Who did it best? Who would you like to see cover Lady Gaga?