Do you think you can handle these 10 Huge Rock Hits 'Kidz Bop' Completely Ruined? For the bold and the daring, we warn you, you'll never be whole again after hearing them!
We at Loudwire take a lot of pride in bringing you an endless stream of lists for over a decade and this one in particular required a lot of personal sacrifice. If you think you've got it bad being challenged to take a listen to these 10 covers that appeared on the infamous comps in the 21st century, rest assured we've spared you from dozens of others you need not concern yourself with.
But that's part of the fun here as we dive into the rock end of the covers littered across nearly 20 years worth of Kidz Bop releases, which more commonly filled each title with watered down versions of pop songs with some grown up shmo singing alongside groups of children to recreate, what they perceived at least, to be more kid-friendly versions of the popular tracks.
READ MORE: 12 Times Pop Artists Covered Rock + Metal Songs
The whole thing was masterminded by Cliff Chenfeld and Craig Balsam, co-founders of the record label Razor & Tie, which is one that should definitely be familiar to fans of heavy music. In 2018 it was acquired by Concord Music and is now an imprint of Concord's Fearless Records. Previously, however, Razor & Tie was home to artists such as Hatebreed, Brand New, Chiodos, Norma Jean, P.O.D., Proest the Hero and so many more.
The first-ever Kidz Bop compilation came out in October of 2001 and the run came to an end in 2019 with Kidz Bop 40. There's been other releases outside of those numbered comps, including a whole record of big-time hair metal ballads — proof the music industry is as wild as everyone says it is.
IMPORTANT: To fully grasp what lies ahead, you're going to want to actually check out these covers. You don't have to make it through them from start to finish, but as torturous as it sounds, you'll be rewarded with the sound of your own laughter. And don't worry — we're not out to just dunk on kids having fun with music. It's those dreaded grown-ups that really bring the cringe when they should've brought skill of any measure.
And here we go...
Blink-182, "All the Small Things"
Released as the second single from Blink-182's pivotal 1999 record, Enema of the State, "All the Small Things" is a lighthearted... wait for it... bop, that remains one of the most popular songs ever contributed to the pop-punk genre.
As featured on the first-ever Kidz Bop comp, however, it's reduced to one of the worst cover songs you'll ever hear.
They either had no budget and, instead, had some great "exposure" opportunities for no-name musicians or made it their mission to find the most day-drunk karaoke singer within a 100-mile radius.
That's right, the kids are not at all the worst part of this cover. Whoever that adult singer is was so bad that the Kidz Bop braintrust contracted a redo.
Hinder, "Lips of an Angel"
What. The. Fuck.
Proof that parents don't at all apply an age-appropriate filter to their children's mainstream media consumption, we have a Hinder's raunchy ballad "Lips of An Angel," which is about irresistible infidelity and trying to get a lover off the phone to go have a romp with another women next door.
Sometimes, Kidz Bop changes the lyrics to naughty songs they decide must be included in their, until recently, torturous annual comps. Not here, though.
What's worse, is there's a call and response pattern between an adult singer and the choir of children. And then they sing the chorus together.
I just ordered some pearls to clutch. Sometimes mom brigades are right to be worried.
Skid Row, "I Remember You"
Even in an era oversaturated by power ballads from metal bands, Skid Row's "I Remember You" is still among best in class. It features, arguably, Sebastian Bach's most visceral, dynamic vocal performance of his career, which can only mean one thing for our purpose here...
This cover sucks!
I wish I could un-remember it — a pun as terrible as that gobbledygook English grammar.
Nobody is subjected to some talentless adult singing this time, but the lyrics just don't make sense for a bunch of kids. You spent the summer in the sandbox, not cruising in your convertible "with the top rolled down."
Evanescence, "Bring Me to Life"
It's true — Evanescence didn't want the small rap-like part on "Bring Me to Life," the enduring hit off the band's 2003 debut. And if it sounded the way it does on the Kidz Bop version, they probably never would've let it fly and instead opted to sink the massive career they didn't even have yet.
Credit where it's due — the Kidz Bop team at least made a conscious effort to match the mood of the original recording. It's a lot more than can be said for a lot of the rock covers we poured through, dozens of which didn't even make the cut for this list.
Again, it's an adult who ruins everything — an experience all kids can relate to, so there's a sneaky, subtle level of authenticity here, despite the bootleg nu-metal vocal take.
The song you all pretend to hate, but know every word to and subconsciously start mouthing the lyrics whenever it comes on.
Sometimes, Nickelback's "Photograph" rattles around in your head for days. It might be a frustrating predicament, but just imagine that same situation only it's the "Kars-4-Kids" jingle, Nickelback style.
Go ahead, tweet at us about how much you hate us now for getting that stuck in your head. We can take it.
Fall Out Boy, "Centuries"
The title track to Fall Out Boy's 2014 album was built to be played in stadiums, an unexpected sports hype track from the scene darlings.
Quite a lot of power is sapped from this track, even if it's a pretty spot-on cover, the kids' voices working quite well to match Patrick Stump's high pitch.
It's pretty damn goofy though when the ones singing it are talking about an everlasting legacy, even if kids are the ones who should be dreaming the biggest.
Look no further than this verse:
Mummified my teenage dreams
No, it's nothing wrong with me
The kids are all wrong
The stories are off
Heavy metal broke my heart
Creed's "Higher" is a lot like Nickelback's "Photograph" — you just know it through and through no matter who you are. Of course, nobody would expect a child to deliver the peanut-butter-stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth timbre of one Scott Stapp, which provided ample opportunity for another adult to embarrass themself.
You can go to any club in Los Angeles on any weekend, identify the worst singer of all the bands and they'd annihilate what was put to tape (more likely a cheaper version of Pro-Tools) on this recording.
It's a heck of a thing to take a Christian rock song and butcher it so bad anyone listening must be convinced there is no god.
Good Charlotte, "The Anthem"
Don't get mad at us, but doesn't "The Anthem," the 2003 hit by Good Charlotte, sound a lot like what you would expect from a kid-oriented rock group made up of people in dinosaur costumes or something?
Whether it's a sugar high or... we won't go there..., party music is party music and "The Anthem" fits that bill.
This was big time teenager music when it was released, but when oriented to an audience just a tad younger than that... well, what a difference three to five years makes.
Here's a foreshadowing of what life will be like taking your future kid to that dino-rock concert.
Lenny Kravitz, "Fly Away"
Lenny Kravitz's 1998 mega radio hit, the propulsive "Fly Away," gets watered down on the first edition of Kidz Bop where the singer (ugh, another adult) sounds more like an uber whiny Bono (U2) rather than the soulful, expressive Kravitz.
The breakdown in the mid-section is where this bumpy road meets the cliff's edge and instead of flying, we all just crash and burn.
It's truly amazing this was popular enough to warrant a second installment, much less two decades more of them.
"So Far Away" comes off Staind's multi-platinum fourth album, 14th Shade of Gray, and, after Kidz Bop 5 dropped, we're pretty sure we've found a 15th shade of life's gloomiest color.
For a campfire singer, this fella isn't all that bad. But I don't see a fire, nor kindling of any sort and, instead, someone should've just lit a match to this.