Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Musical Interlude: Smooth Criminal (2001)

Michael Jackson wrote & recorded "Smooth Criminal" for his 1987 CD, "Bad", and it was released as a single a year later to coincide with "Moonwalker".

In 2001, Alien Ant Farm hit #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart here in the US, and topped the charts in New Zealand and Australia, with their cover, which peaked at #23 on the Hot 100, while Jackson's original hit the top 10.

If you were a regular MTV viewer back then, this was getting enough airplay such that an excerpt would be used between shows.

Now, how many Jackson homages can you find?


Silverstar said...

Alien Ant Farm's rendition of "Smooth Criminal" is one of those rare instances where I prefer the cover to the original; this is also the case with The Art of Noise's cover of Prince's "Kiss" and Dread Zeppelin's covers of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker", "The Song Remains the Same", "Your Time is Gonna Come" and yes, "Stairway to Heaven".

Unfortunately for AAF, this was their debut breakout hit, and they had no others. When your breakout single is a cover, it's almost a guarantee that you'll be stuck in One-Hit Wonderland for the duration of your career.

hobbyfan said...

So true.