So Bad It Hurts: Classic Hits By Microsoft Songsmith

When we first came across Microsoft Songsmith, it was the promo video that made us cringe. But the song-making software is inspiring a whole new genre on YouTube where people alter famous music videos and concert footage by stripping out the original instruments and replace them with tinny keyboards or folk banjos, and keep the vocals. The results are a twisted breed of classic hits that are fascinating in the same way that terrible automobile accidents are. Once you start watching, it is hard to look away.

These songs as sung through Songsmith have become a popular meme. Music from the Beatles to “Nirvana to Radiohead have all gotten the Songsmith treatment. There is even a heavy metal version of the Rickroll. Youtube member azz100c, who also appears to be the author of the Journeys of Jack Tripper blog, is particularly obsessed (and adept) at making these Songsmith classics.

Below I present some of the best of the worst.

“White Wedding,” Billy Idol

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlCWo1qdTdE&hl=en&fs=1]

“Roxanne,” The Police

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypycpKQxXR0&hl=en&fs=1]

“Wonderwall,” Oasis

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1e_h1OJfS4&hl=en&fs=1]

“Just What I Needed,” The Cars

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRcFcNSTZLw&hl=en&fs=1]

“Beat It,” Michael Jackson

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHQiIKbZ2XY&hl=en&fs=1]