Saturday was, according to some, the day the music died. That’s the fateful day that Miley Cyrus—a pop star who’s danced with giant bears and rode a giant hotdog—posted to her SoundCloud a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.”
This isn’t the first time that the Bangerz singer has covered what some consider an untouchable song. (See her cover of “Hey Ya!” or of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” with pal Wayne Coyne.) But for many rock’n’roll purists and diehard Zeppelin fans, she had crossed the line when she took on the group’s 1969 track — which, we should remember, was also a cover, of the Anne Bredon-penned classic first made popular by Joan Baez.
One listener wrote wrote, “This is a sad day for rock’n’roll and it’s history.” “I want to kill myself now,” someone wrote, later threatening, “And if she touches Stairway to Heaven…” Another added, “Congratulations, you just butchered a great song. Were you on drugs when you decided to record this or when you actually recorded it? I can look past the quality but the guitar parts are not even right in places.”
Well, no matter how much these music traditionalists hate to admit it, she kind of killed it. After all, when you strip out all glitz and giant tongues surrounding the pop phenomenon that is Miley, she is, at her core, a girl with one hell of a voice and an abundance of emotion to put into it. And that fact is on powerful display on “Baby I’m Gonna Leave You,” which she uses as a depository for pent-up pain. Its gritty, decidedly non-“We Can’t Stop” production makes it all that much more raw.
Take a listen below.