For those about to rock, steer clear of Celine Dion

By Jerome Taylor
Sunday 23 October 2011 07:22

She may have only played it once but to those who like their rock unadulterated it was nothing short of sacrilege. Celine Dion's cover of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" has officially been voted the worst cover song of all time by a panel of experts from Total Guitar magazine.

At a show in Las Vegas six years ago the French-Canadian singer – who is usually admired for her sweeping ballads rather than her ability to mosh – committed the ultimate musical faux pas. Dion came on stage playing air-guitar and (depending on your view) proceeded to belt out or destroy a rendition of the classic AC/DC track.

So appalling was the cover that experts have decided to award her the ignominious title from what must have surely been a rather long list of potential winners. "Cover versions have never been bigger but the number one worst cover song – Celine Dion covering AC/DC – is sacrilege", said Total Guitar's editor Stephen Lawson.

Not that UK acts have avoided the scorn of the magazine's panel. In close second place was a joint effort by Sugababes and Girls Aloud who also made the same mistake of being a pop act trying to cover a legendary rock track – this time Aerosmith and Run DMC's "Walk This Way".

Westlife's 1999 cover of the ballad "More Than Words" by Extreme was third while Will Young's cover of The Doors' "Light My Fire" , which topped the charts in 2002, came fourth. In fifth place was a retro version of Oasis's track "Wonderwall" by The Mike Flowers Pops.

The title of best cover song of all time went to Jimi Hendrix for his version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower". The Beatles' rendition of "Twist and Shout", first recorded by the Top Notes, came second, with Guns N' Roses' version of Paul McCartney and Wings' "Live and Let Die" third.

"Mark Ronson became a household name on the back of his quirky covers album, with Amy Winehouse's version of 'Valerie' outselling The Zutons' original," said Mr Lawson.

"It's good to see that Hendrix still is No 1. The first time you hear 'All Along The Watchtower', with that heavy vibe, it sounds like it's from another planet. The best covers are unlikely choices and they do something radical."

Cover your ears

1 Celine Dion, You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)

2 Girls Aloud/Sugababes, Walk This Way (Run DMC and Aerosmith)

3 Westlife, More Than Words (Extreme)

4 Will Young, Light My Fire (The Doors)

5 The Mike Flowers Pops, Wonderwall (Oasis)

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