Just Say No: 10 Songs That Should Never Be Remade

July 28, 2017  |  
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There are plenty of things to be horrified by in our world today. We have an abusive, self-absorbed man-child for a president whose minions are wreaking havoc on the world. And we have a seemingly endless stream of ignorance and stupidity being tossed in our faces every day. The last thing we need is to inflict terrible music on each other too. A couple of weeks ago, Sisqo served up a thoroughly unnecessary and completely unwanted remake of his 90s hit “Thong Song.” Yes, it’s as terrible as you’d imagine it would be, but it did get us thinking about what other songs should never, ever be remade. From hits so flawless no one could ever come close to doing them justce to horrendous one-hit wonders we should pretend never made it into a recording studio, MadameNoire takes a look at 10 hits that should just be enjoyed (or loathed) in their original form.

I Wanna Sex You Up

Say what you will about the loud suits and questionable hairstyles, but Color Me Badd was one of our favorites in the early ’90s. Their smooth sounds may not have reached the timelessness of Boyz II Men, but they did their thing in bringing R&B harmonies to a mainstream audience. But despite that, there is no way on God’s green earth that we could ever sanction a remake of their biggest hit, “I Wanna Sex You Up.” It’s so campy and so ridiculous that it should stay firmly planted in the past to enjoy when you need a throwback fix.

On The Hotline

Oh Pretty Ricky. Do you remember when these shirtless, sexy-time crazed boys were all the rage? We’d be lying if we said we weren’t picking up what this Miami group was putting down back in the day, but that doesn’t mean it was a good thing. In all honesty, the music was mediocre at best and shared the same kind of corny and campy lyrics that we just harpooned Color Me Badd for. With that in mind, Pretty Ricky’s “On The Hotline” is the type of song that delivers in the moment (that moment being, of course, in the club in the 2000s wearing a top from Forever 21 and trying to pick up hot college classmates) and then should be shelved for all eternity.

How Will I Know

Though we’ve delivered several examples of songs that are just not the greatest and don’t deserve a remake, we’d be remiss to not include some selections that are so good, so incredible, so triumphant that any artist who attempts a remake it bound to fail miserably. While we could have literally picked any song out of Whitney Houston’s canon (“I Will Always Love You,” “Saving All My Love,” etc.) we went with one of her biggest upbeat hits: “How Will I Know.” It really comes down to one simple question: Can you possibly, under any circumstances, imagine a voice that could deliver the same amount of joy you experience when that track gets played? I think for most of us, the answer is a resounding no.


While it might be a little tricky to zero-in on which Beyonce numbers should really be left to Queen Bey and Queen Bey, we are fairly confident that “Halo” is one of them. Everything about this song from the track itself to the video is perfect, sweet and soulful and shouldn’t be duplicated.

Cupid Shuffle

A handy rule of thumb for songs that shouldn’t be remade is this: Anything accompanied by a coordinated dance should be left in the rearview mirror and never revisited again. Case in point: “Cupid Shuffle.” Yes, were we moving “to the left, to the left, to the right, to the right?” You damn right we were. But after a few months the novelty wore off and the song has slipped out of the clubs and into the rotations of 90 percent of wedding playlists these days. Let’s leave this one alone guys and just pull it out when we need a little organized dancing fun.

And I Am Telling You

OK, so admittedly, this is a tricky one as its already been remade by Jennifer Hudson for the “Dreamgirls” movie remake. However, we’ll let that slide as Hudson delivered an Oscar-winning, amazing performance as Effie White. But in the annals of untouchable performances, Jennifer Holiday’s rendition of “And I Am Telling You” is one of the most amazing performances you’ll ever hear. Both the recorded version, as well as her Tony Awards appearance were inspired, with soaring vocals and gave us all kinds of feels. Some will come close, but no one will ever top that … so why bother trying.

Anything By Bieber

When our kids look back at the music of our youth, we can only hope that they never stumble across the walking hotmess and annoying little twerp that is Justin Bieber. Let’s not make it easier to remember these musical dark days by remaking one of his songs decades from now.

Country Grammar

When Nelly hit the scene as a solo artist in 2000, we knew we were going to get some St. Louis-style rhymes. He certainly delivered with “Country Grammar.” The song, let’s be frank, isn’t very good, but it’s catchy as all hell. Because of that, its a prime candidate to be subjected to a remake. We strongly advise against it. “Country Grammar” worked at a particular place in time and we’re not very hopeful that lightening would strike twice for a song with lyrics like: “I’m going down down baby your street in a Range Rover, Street sweeper baby, cocked ready to let it go.”

My Humps

Do you remember a time when the Black Eyed Peas weren’t a joke. Yeah, it’s getting fuzzy for us too. So it’s not surprising that on a list of songs that should never, ever be remade, BEP is falling on the side of “so bad, we should forget the song existed.” While there were certainly several painfully pop-y songs to choose from, we had to go with “My Humps.” It was kitschy and gloriously bad and as such should only be viewed as the sort of throwback tune we go to when we need to relive our misspent younger days.

The Prince Catalog

Prince was one of the most iconic musicians in all of history. Any attempt to remake one of his classics is destined to fall terribly, terribly short. Just don’t do it. Though shout out to Mariah Carey and Dru Hill for “The Beautiful Ones” remake.

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