10 Times Hard Rock Bands Covered Surprisingly Soft Songs  

Sean Kelly
82 votes 26 voters 1.4k views 10 items

List Rules Vote up the most surprising cover songs.

Behind the feedback and distortion, even the hardest band appreciates a good power ballad or 80s pop hit. Case in point: When Disturbed released their cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence" in 2015, mainstream music audiences were stunned by their arrangement and performance of the 60s hit.

They're not the only ones to take on some unexpected music - other hard rock and metal bands have come up with strange covers of their own. From Metallica to Marilyn Manson, it's not uncommon for heavy bands to wear some of their less obvious influences on their sleeve for a moment and tip their hat to the music they love. 

Here are some of the most surprising cover songs by hard rock bands.


Photo: Samantha L. Quigly/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
1 15 VOTES
"The Sound Of Silence" By Disturbed

Disturbed is best known for their intense hard rock hit "Down with the Sickness" but emerged in 2015 with an unexpected cover of a folk music classic - Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence."

Singer David Draiman said in an interview with NPR that he'd been wanting to sing something as soft as "Silence" for years, and it was their drummer who suggested covering the iconic piece of music. Paul Simon, the songwriter, ultimately endorsed the song after it became a massive hit and a viral sensation.

"Really powerful performance on Conan the other day. First time I’d seen you do it live. Nice. Thanks," Simon wrote in an email to Draiman.

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Photo: Bad Wolves/Amazon/Fair Use
2 10 VOTES
"Zombie" By Bad Wolves

In January of 2018, Dolores O'Riordan, singer of The Cranberries, traveled to London to record vocals for a cover of her iconic hit "Zombie." The band covering the song, Bad Wolves, were reportedly elated that O'Riordan not only endorsed the song but wanted to contribute to their updated version. The day she was due in the studio, however, O'Riordan was found dead in her hotel room.

The band soldiered on with their cover, releasing it to critical acclaim the following month and donated proceeds to the singer's family. 

"It was the greatest honor to know she liked our version and wanted to sing on it," singer Tommy Vext said in a statement. "We’re deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Dolores and by the fact that she’s leaving behind three children so we are donating the proceeds from the song to her kids."

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Photo: Andreas Lawen/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
"Wicked Game" By Three Days Grace

Three Days Grace covering Chris Isaak might seem incredibly odd, but it happened. The band included an acoustic take on the classic Isaak song "Wicked Game" on the deluxe edition of their album One-X in 2006. 

Surprisingly, Three Days Grace isn't the only rock band to have covered "Wicked Game." Finnish band HIM also recorded and released a version of the song in 1998. 

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Photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
4 15 VOTES
"Sweet Dreams" By Marilyn Manson

In 1995, Marilyn Manson released an intense cover of the Eurythmics' hit song "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" and just like that the song was a major hit for a second time. Produced by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, the track went to number 26 on the Billboard chart and the video proved to be an MTV mainstay for some time. 

Manson most recently performed the song at Coachella with hugely-successful Japanese band X Japan.

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