This original post (with links to the songs) can be found on MusicBrackets.com.
Last week, I wrote about cover songs and compiled a list of the best ones out there, with the help of some loyal MusicBrackets readers. As I wrote, however, I realized that I left out something major. The last song on my list was STRFKR’s version of Girls Just Want To Have Fun, originally by Robert Hazard and made popular by Cindy Lauper. Yep, you read that right. The song was originally written from a male point of view and not intended for a woman to sing at all. With Hazard’s permission, Lauper changed the lyrics and it became her breakthrough hit. With this one fresh in my mind, I wondered which other popular songs were actually covers.
Would you ever guess when Aretha Franklin is belting out Respect that it wasn’t originally her song? Sure enough, the song was written and first recorded by Otis Redding. What about Joan Jett and the Blackhearts singing I Love Rock and Roll? That too is a cover, originally by Arrows. And Soft Cell’s Tainted Love was claimed first by Gloria Jones. Some more famous songs that were made popular by their cover versions include:
- It’s My Life – No Doubt (originally Talk Talk)
- Hound Dog – Elvis Presley (originally Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton)
- Twist and Shout – The Beatles (originally The Isley Brothers)
- I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (originally Dolly Parton)
- The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel (originally The Magnetic Fields)
- Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls (originally Tori Alamaze)
- House of the Rising Sun – The Animals (original unknown, traditional blues song)
- Don’t Turn Around – Ace of Base (originally Tina Turner)
- Year 3000 – The Jonas Brothers (originally Busted)
- Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’ Connor (originally Prince, The Family)
- Blinded By The Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (originally Bruce Springsteen)
Your next favorite song may feasibly be something that has already been written and recorded, but not necessarily by the right artist yet. There is a whole world of amazing cover songs, some are better than the original and others are yet to be discovered. If you delve deep enough, you can find appreciation for any song you’ve never loved by finding a truly incredible cover. Did any of your favorite songs make this list? Did you know that they were covers of an original tune? Let us know in the comments and suggest any songs that we may have missed. Keep finding your favorite songs (covers or originals) on MusicBrackets!