Rock Songs on Alternate Instruments
May 21, 2007 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Van Halen's Eruption on Violin | Elton John's Rocket Man on Banjo | Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody for solo classical guitar | Foggy Mountain Breakdown arranged for electric slap bass | Toto's Africa for Acoustic Guitar | The Postal Service's Such Great Heights for Voice
posted by jonson (51 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, where's YYZ on an accordion? Smoke on the water on the bagpipes?
posted by eriko at 7:12 AM on May 21, 2007


Don't forget Nina Gordon's folk cover of Straight Outta Compton (mp3 link, NSFW lyrics).
posted by slogger at 7:20 AM on May 21, 2007


Hamm at NAMM!
posted by sourwookie at 7:27 AM on May 21, 2007


Here's a respectable version of the Simpson's theme for acoustic guitar.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:30 AM on May 21, 2007


There seems to be no end of music video theme songs on alterna-instruments, but not as many rock/pop tunes arranged for solo instruments as I would have liked. Even including Foggy Mountain Breakdown was a stretch, which I only included because Stu Hamm is so freakin' incredible.
posted by jonson at 7:34 AM on May 21, 2007


I really liked the Eruption on Violin one.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:41 AM on May 21, 2007


I can't let this thread go by without linking to the acoustic version of Hey Ya.
posted by lubujackson at 7:44 AM on May 21, 2007


Toto's Africa for Acoustic Guitar

For the love of GOD... WHY? Great post, tho'
posted by psmealey at 7:47 AM on May 21, 2007


Stairway to Heaven on accordion, didgeridoo and wobble-board.
posted by flabdablet at 7:48 AM on May 21, 2007


"Slayer Angel" (who- or what-ever that is) as 8 bit video game (I chose this one for the contrast, but there are many others). Also, I can't find a YouTube link, but a couple years ago I heard Xmas songs played on power tools.
posted by DU at 7:53 AM on May 21, 2007


For the love of GOD... WHY is youtube blocked at work!?!?

Ok, fine... I'll wait to check it at home.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 7:56 AM on May 21, 2007


I really liked the Eruption on Violin one.

Me too EB. Athough it sounded like the cat he was kicking off screen didn't enjoy it as much.
posted by three blind mice at 7:58 AM on May 21, 2007


To drunk to fuck by Nouvelle Vague
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:00 AM on May 21, 2007


The ways that I love this sort of thing comprise an uncountable set.
posted by cortex at 8:01 AM on May 21, 2007


http://www.sabbatum.com
is an excellent reworking of Black Sabbath classics as medieval chants, in Latin, of course. Rather beautiful.
posted by mdoar at 8:05 AM on May 21, 2007


BHANGRA BLOODY BHANGRA
posted by The Straightener at 8:09 AM on May 21, 2007


This post has reminded me how awesome classical guitar is.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:19 AM on May 21, 2007


here's a great arrangement of California Dreaming for solo acoustic guitar.
posted by eightball at 8:27 AM on May 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Livin La Vida Loca
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:37 AM on May 21, 2007


Nice post...the classical guitar one was by far the best, and the "voice" one the worst. I wonder, is it mandatory to have freakishly long fingernails to play classical guitar, or to take your shoes off before singing in an acapella group?
posted by jckll at 8:43 AM on May 21, 2007


is it mandatory to have freakishly long fingernails to play classical guitar

They don't need to be freakishly long, but they definitely should be long-ish. Long enough to use as finger-plectra. I have seen classical guitarists use the nylon/plastic variety, but by and large, purists insist on the real thing.
posted by psmealey at 8:46 AM on May 21, 2007


The acapella one, while a little amateurish, was interesting to me in that mimicing of the Postal Services electronic beeps & buzzes. Also in that they seemed to be having a goofy time with it. I wish I had thought to include more non-instruments in the original post, like this version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow played on a saw.
posted by jonson at 8:54 AM on May 21, 2007


the classical guitarToto one was by far the best

Fixed that for ya.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:01 AM on May 21, 2007


Also, Aphex Twin.
posted by dvdgee at 9:04 AM on May 21, 2007


If you want to hear some amazing acoustic guitar arrangements of songs, check out Steven King. I've got an MP3 of his guitar cover of The Rocky and Bullwinkle theme (link to original, not King's version) that is pretty amazing.

Here is an example of King's playing.
posted by chipr at 9:26 AM on May 21, 2007


Ha i just hit the "Eruption" link and got a "Who's Watching Now" box with mathowie listed. hilarious.
posted by casconed at 9:42 AM on May 21, 2007


The ways that I love this sort of thing comprise an uncountable set.

Oh, yeah? I'd like to see you prove that, Georg.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:44 AM on May 21, 2007


I have a marvelous proof, but the sidebar is too narrow to contain it.
posted by cortex at 10:08 AM on May 21, 2007


God Only Knows on plectrum banjo. (Also, Girl From Impanema) Black & white filter for I Will Survive on ukelele-banjo.
posted by Martin E. at 10:08 AM on May 21, 2007


"Imagine Pink Floyd's The Wall reconstructed from bales of hay." Sadly, I could not find video of this.

And no discussion about interesting covers can be complete without mention of the Gypsy Kings' rendition of Hotel California.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:16 AM on May 21, 2007


Let us not forget Hayseed Dixie, whose first album A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC is a friggin bona fide metalgrass classic. Highway to Hell (with random anime video). Hells Bells. And hell, why not - War Pigs.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:22 AM on May 21, 2007


Yuck..... the only alts I could get through were the ones on acustic guitar. The rest I would have been hard-pressed to identify them if no one told me what they were, especially the slap bass thing.

I guess I'm just not a music snob.
posted by Doohickie at 11:14 AM on May 21, 2007


Such Great Heights is such an amazing song. I've heard like 5 or 6 different versions of it, and it seems to shine no matter how its performed.
posted by empath at 11:20 AM on May 21, 2007


While My Guitar Gently Weeps on ukelele.

I happen to find this stunning.
posted by flarbuse at 12:04 PM on May 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have to chime in to this thread to second dvdgee's recommendation for the Alarm Will Sound Aphex Twin album. It's awesome!

Also, all this other stuff is cool too. Thanks for the post. Long live alternate instruments!
posted by malthas at 12:35 PM on May 21, 2007


Man, that guy from Hayseed Dixie has terrible delivery. Listenable bluegrass covers of AC/DC and Sabbath would rule. Until someone does it right, I'll stick with Luther Wright & the Wrongs' Rebuild the Wall.
posted by dvdgee at 1:12 PM on May 21, 2007


"Slayer Angel" (who- or what-ever that is)

Not a metal fan, areya? That would be Angel of Death off Slayer's quintessential Reign in Blood, only one of their most well known songs and possibly one of the greatest and most liked speed/thrash tracks of all time.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:58 PM on May 21, 2007


While My Guitar Gently Weeps on Eukulele
posted by baphomet at 4:27 PM on May 21, 2007


I've seen Edgar Cruz (the guy playing Bohemian Rhapsody) in concert a couple of times. He's amazing. If you're ever near Oklahoma or Texas you might look up his schedule and try to catch a show. It was fantastic.
posted by soonertbone at 4:56 PM on May 21, 2007


Ya have to think this is why the RIAA is in full-blown panic mode these days. It's suddenly clear that there's an unimaginable number of incredibly talented, utterly unrecognized artists out there... and now they have a venue.

And the RIAA doesn't own it.
posted by deCadmus at 6:37 PM on May 21, 2007


baphomet: Your "Guitar Gently Weeps" ukulele link was linked to only 4 comments earlier by flarbuse. Minus points for you. HOWEVER... his linked to an absurdly low-res (umpteenth generation) copy, so you're even. BUT... you misspelled 'ukulele', so you're minus points again.

BTW, the player's name is Jake Shimabukuro, and he's shown up here at MeFi a few times.

and deCadmus, wrong thread...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:39 PM on May 21, 2007


Glad you're here to keep score.
posted by baphomet at 8:25 PM on May 21, 2007


Nope. Just the thread I intended. Thanks just the same, flapjax.

P.S. Poor assumption on your part. Minus points for you. ;)
posted by deCadmus at 8:30 PM on May 21, 2007


Minus points for you. ;)

Hey man, I been down so long it looks like up to me.

But the "wrong thread" bit was a joke, just the same... what with the RIAA thread now underway and all. But that's even more minus points for me, for making such dumb and inscrutable 'jokes'!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:15 PM on May 21, 2007


Is there a collection of more of these out there somewhere? I eat this stuff up. If you liked Hayseed Dixie, check out Fade to Bluegrass: The Bluegrass Tribute to Metallica.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:11 PM on May 21, 2007


SteveInMaine writes 'And no discussion about interesting covers can be complete without mention of the Gypsy Kings' rendition of Hotel California.'

I prefer the Alabama 3's version myself.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:26 AM on May 22, 2007


And is it just me, or does Todd Taylor (the banjo player in the Rocket Man cover) look like a grown-up version of Billy Redden -- the in-bred banjo-playing kid in Deliverance?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:29 AM on May 22, 2007


I wonder, is it mandatory to have freakishly long fingernails to play classical guitar...?

Nope.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:44 AM on May 22, 2007


Todd Taylor's version of El Cumbachero is pretty awesome.
posted by schleppo at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2007


Late to the party...but Owner of a Lonely Heart on violin.
posted by vito90 at 3:14 PM on May 22, 2007


These violin covers really bring home how versatile and expressive the violin can be.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:01 PM on May 22, 2007


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