Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” has become one of the most iconic rock songs in the 24 years since its release. It is the sixth-most performed song in the band’s library, behind other classics that were all written years earlier. It has been on countless “Greatest x-number of songs of whatever time period or genre history” list. It is also one of the most covered songs of all time by both professionals and amateurs on YouTube in a variety of different styles. Here are 11 of the most unusual but most awesome.
The Mini Band
In October 2011, this video of a group of 8 to 10-year-olds from the UK went viral and presently has 8.6 million views on YouTube. The Mini Band is still performing four years later and even met Metallica themselves. You can find them online at www.facebook.com/TheMiniBand
Another group of underage rockers making huge waves in the last year are The Warning, three sisters from Mexico – 14-year-old guitarist Daniela, 12-year-old drummer Paulina and 9-year-old bassist Aleajndra – who can just flat out play. If I ever have a daughter, I want them to be friends with these girls. Other covers on their YouTube channel include “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Back in Black” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Find out more about them at www.thewarningband.com.
Another talented young lady with skills on the axe is London-born Jess Greenberg. Her acoustic version of “Enter Sandman” is just one of many outstanding performances which can be found at her website www.jessgreenbergmusic.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jessgreenberg1.
You didn’t know you needed a bluegrass version of “Enter Sandman” because you didn’t know it existed, but now that you know, you know you need it. Fortunately for you, there’s Iron Horse from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Do yourself a favor and also listen to their rendition of “Rocketman.” Check them out at www.ironhorsebluegrass.com.
Banjo Guy Ollie
If you’ve already listened to Iron Horse, and thought “Yeah, that was awesome, but I just haven’t gotten by banjo/heavy metal fix yet” then Banjo Guy Ollie is the guy for you. Also on his YouTube channel are covers for video games including Super Smash Brothers and Megaman as well as covers of “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurhtmics and the Game of Thrones theme.
Remember when Metallica lost the 1989 Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance to Jethro Tull, the band with the flute? Well maybe that wouldn’t have happened if they did thought the way Mister Tim does and included a little kazoo in their ensemble. Check him out at www.mistertimdotcom.com.
Tone Deaf Rob
Let’s say you’re out on a date with a special lady and you take her home and you want that perfect mood music. Can’t go wrong with saxophones, right? Obviously your go-to song is going to be “Sandman.” If that doesn’t do it for her, Rob also features covers of “Stairway to Heaven” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
According to his YouTube channel, Andy Rehfeldt chose not to become a rock star but perform in bars instead. While his version of “Sandman” is in the style of smooth jazz, he has playlists for metal, funk, reggae, polka, country and Radio Disney. Don’t know what that is, but I’m intrigued. Check him out at www.facebook.com/andyrehfeldtmusic.
Little known fact about me: despite having no Scottish or Celtic ancestry in me, I love bagpipe rock. I can’t get enough of it. So it delighted me to discover Russia-based Dudeldrum when I searched for a bagpipe version of “Enter Sandman.” You can find their music on Amazon or iTunes.
This one is a little different. Rather than simply cover “Enter Sandman” in a polka style, he incorporates it and “You Shook Me All Night Long” into his song, “Heavy Metal Polka.” The video of the performance is as entertaining as the music itself. Check Jeff out at www.jeffloven.com.
After a full day of entertaining your child and expanding their musical appreciation, there’s only one way to wrap things up, and that’s with a lullaby. And of course you’d pick a song based on the concept of a child’s nightmares. Don’t question it. It makes perfect sense. Rockabye Baby has 70 albums full of rock music with the volume turned from 11 to 2 to keep your young one quietly rocking all night long including full albums of songs from everyone from Metallica, AC/DC, the Beatles, Aerosmith, The Clash, and Def Leppard to Nine Inch Nails, Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West (yeah, seriously). You can find it all at www.rockabyebabymusic.com.
The great thing about music is that there’s so much of it in so many different styles and it encourages experimentation and creativity. Genres are fluid and easily transposed. At the end of the day, good music is good music no matter how you play it.
And yeah, if you still like the boring old original version, here that is too.