Childish Gambino's "This Is America" is one of 2018's most powerful songs - and one that ranks among my personal favorites of the year thus far. It's success has already lead to dozens of covers, parodies and appropriations, so it was only a matter of time until someone gave it a proper metal treatment... and now that's happened. Norwegian producer and multi-instrumentalist Leo Moracchioli has long-been one of my favorite cover artists (a fellow "Rock Father" as well), having built a global following for expertly-produced reworkings of countless genre-spanning hits. Through his Frog Leap Studios, "This Is America" hit Spotify and YouTube this weekend, quickly moving to the top of my personal playlist. Crank this up...
Fellow "Rock Father" and long goatee enthusiast Leo Moracchioli can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. The owner of Norway's Frog Leap Studios continues to crank out the creatively-crafted metal covers and accompanying videos each week, and this week he's come upon something very important to me... The Muppet Show. Heard at the beginning of The Muppet Show during its original run from 1976-1981, The Muppet Show Theme Song is an iconic piece of the Jim Henson legacy, and 40+ years later it's still finding new life. While Ok Go's version might be the most famous cover thus far, Leo's version brings the heavy to the scene. Watch the video and crank it up!
On August 24, 2017, Taylor Swift unleashed "Look What You Made Me Do," the divisive first single from her forthcoming album, Reputation (out November 10 via Big Machine Records). Three days later, the music video arrived, and somewhat surprisingly, the cover versions did, too. In the age of YouTube & Spotify, there's a cottage industry for artists that have made names for themselves based on well-produced cover versions - not sound-alike knockoffs, but unique takes on popular music that have gained steam in recent years. What's incredible is the quick turnaround on these - not just learning someone else's song in a matter of days, but also deconstructing it, rebuilding it, recording it, getting the mixing/mastering done, and in some cases shooting a video for it all in under a week. For Swift's single, one of the most impressive versions arrived just a week later (August 31) via Scott Bradlee's Post Modern Jukebox, followed by the September 12 release of Our Last Night's rocked-up version. In just under two months, there have been dozens of covers that have arrived, and another great one hit this weekend via Frog Leap Studios and Leo Moracchioli. Check out five versions below of what may be 2017's most-covered new song, "Look What You Made Me Do."
I've featured the metallic covers of Leo Moracchioli here on the site before, and with each one, I tend to feel that the Norwegian musician is a kindred spirit on the other side of the world. Aside from being a fellow "Rock Father" (he has a daughter as well), his musical inclinations tend to head in a similar direction, with frequent metallic covers of songs that run the gamut from pop to soundtracks and beyond. His latest really hits home as it's a song that I've actually covered myself - Danny Elfman's iconic theme to The Simpsons. The Frog Leap Studios version is admittedly much better than my own Saturday Action Theatre edition (from the 2004 Remakes & Sequels EP), but I'm including both for your listening enjoyment below along with Green Day's 2007 punk version and Powerglove's 2010 metal take!