It’s easy to guess what might motivate an artist to create an entirely new version of a hit song, often many years later. Maybe they didn’t feel like they got it right the first time. Maybe, like Def Leppard, it’s about sticking it to your publishing company. But nine times out of 10, these re-creations smell like desperate grabs at past glory. It’s a seemingly surefire plan, right? Just take the thing that people loved the first time around and do it again, maybe even giving it a bit of a modern update.
Canadian reggae-rapper Snow surely knows what it’s
like to watch fame slip away. He had just one hit, but it was a doozy: “Informer”
spent weeks atop the charts in 1993, and 12 Inches of Snow, his debut
album, sold millions of copies worldwide. A quarter century and a handful of
not-as-successful (to put it mildly) albums later, Snow just dropped “Informer
2018,” a thoroughly unnecessary update that swaps out the original’s
loping hip-hop beat for something slightly more modern, and removes the guest
verse from MC Shan that originally ended the song. He’s just the latest onetime
hitmaker to reach into the past and rewrite history, but who ended up just
scribbling some new notes on pages that would have been better left alone. In
his honor, here are seven more songs that were unnecessarily and/or poorly
remade by the original artists.