Why Limp Bizkit's Cover Of Faith Was One Of The Worst Ever

Let's be honest: it's a bit creeptastic to hear Fred Durst quaveringly croon, "Well, I wish it would be nice if I could touch your body." Shockingly, though, that isn't even the worst part of Limp Bizkit's cover of George Michael's class track, "Faith." The worst part of the track would be, well ... everything. And anything good about it? All the things that were good about the original.

It was all there in the name, folks. Limp. Biz. Kit. Three senseless syllables foretelling the rise and demise of one of nu-metal's premiere rock-rap hybrid acts. Riding on the back of fellow groove-rockers Korn, Limp Bizkit's crunchy chords and staccato flow successfully appealed to disaffected youth, and for the rest of us they appealed as well as ... $3 bills, ya'lls. And the choice of George Michael's "Faith" — the ninth track on Limp Bizkit's 1997 Three Dollar Bill, Ya'll$ – fits into the band's wheelhouse just about as well as their music fits into posterity.

A trashy punk song over halfway through the album, wedged into a soundscape utterly at odds with it? An emotionally tone-deaf, talentless, slash-the-fretboard chorus? An angry-sounding "faaaaaaaaith" shout that sounds antagonistic rather than optimistic, and doesn't fit with the lyrics? A music video, watchable at your own risk on YouTube, lauding the band's popularity and life on tour, which also doesn't sync with the theme of George Michael's original, also viewable on YouTube? Why, oh universe? Why?

'I need some time off from that emotion'

So yeah, Limp Bizkit's cover is awful. Cosmically awful. Some covers, like Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" take on Dolly Parton's 1974 original, are astounding pieces of work that honor their origin. And in some, as the Evening Standard stated of Limp Bizkit's "Faith," "any nuance or sensitivity in the original is utterly obliterated." What Culture added the track to their top worst covers of all time, saying that Fred Durst had a reputation for "butchering music," and numerous other wikis and sites have cited the track as simply being awful. 

And George Michael's opinion of the track? Grantland quotes Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland as saying Michael "hates us for doing it." For his part, Fred Durst, as stated on SmoothRadio, said that the choice to do "Faith" was purely for fun, adding, "We like to do really aggressive versions of cheesy pop hits." We have to wonder if any future human will ever do an even cheesier version of "Nookie."

The worst part of the cover of "Faith" is that it gained traction in part due to a 1998 scandal involving George Michael in a public Beverly Hills restroom, as described on the Independent. The scandal is what led Michael to come out as gay, in his mid-30s — a wonderful but tragic fact, which makes it doubly tragic that George Michael's personal trauma is what gave Limp Bizkit a shot in the arm for their cover.