Original Song: Eddie Cochran "Summertime Blues" (1958)


In 1958, Eddie Cochran sang this ticking time-bomb of suburban teen angst like a frustrated juvenile delinquent with an oil change in his hair and a steak knife up his sleeve. A decade later, Blue Cheer sang it like the kind of criminals who beat up juvenile delinquents, and invented heavy metal in the process.

Then in 1994, Alan Jackson sang it like he was strolling to Sunday school, being very careful not to mess up his freshly ironed trousers. It's hard to believe he even understood the words, but he topped the country chart with it regardless.

As respectable mayonnaise-personality namby-pamby Nashville white-hats go, Jackson's not the worst—he's had a handful of okay hits. But the guy really needs to stay away from cover songs, especially ones with “blues” in the title: His “Mercury Blues” is almost as bluesless.