You know the cover but do you know the original?


Selection of artists who have made the covers better known than originals

The music, the originals, the covers, it is not uncommon to confuse them. Many artists succeeded in creating a well good cover that they managed to put the original in the shadow.
Often standards of yesteryear or unknown songs, some artists of a certain renown have put them up to date with their own style. We made a small selection of covers followed by the originals. Successful covers and sometimes surprising originals!

Covers that were thought to be originals

Soft Cell – Tainted love

This great classic of Soft Cell from the early 80s of is a tune that no-one can contest. But it’s a cover! The original is none other than the version of Gloria Jones released in 1964.

UB40 – Red red wine

Yet another UB40 classic. Their version was released in 1983. The original is interpreted by Neil Diamond in 1986.

Jimi Hendrix – All along the Watchtower

All along the Watchtower is an excellent cover of Jimi Hendrix released in 1968. The original is a standard of Bob Dylan composed in 1967. Hendrix would have said about this song:

All those people who don’t like Bob Dylan’s songs should read his lyrics. They are filled with the joys and sadness of life. I am as Dylan, none of us can sing normally. Sometimes, I play Dylan’s songs and they are so much like me that it seems to me that I wrote them. I have the feeling that Watchtower is a song I could have come up with, but I’m sure I would never have finished it. Thinking about Dylan, I often consider that I’d never be able to write the words he manages to come up with, but I’d like him to help me, because I have loads of songs I can’t finish. I just lay a few words on the paper, and I just can’t go forward. But now things are getting better, I’m a bit more self-confident.

Source Wikipedia

Whitney Houston – I will always love you

Who does not know this classic interpreted by Whitney Houston in 1992 for the soundtrack of Bodyguard? The original is from 1974 and was composed, written and interpreted by Dolly Parton.

Iggy Pop – Louie Louie

Iggy Pop is not the only one to have covered this standard of the history of the rock but it is probably him who made it the most famous cover with The Kinks. The original is from 1956. It is composed by Richard Berry.

Salt’n’Peppa – Whatta man

We probably all danced on this Salt’n’Peppa tune released in 1993. But the original is by Linda Lyndell released in 1968.

Amy Winehouse – Valerie

Amy Winehouse did a sublime version of the title Valerie in 2007. The original is a title of the British band The Zutons, released 1 year earlier in 2006.

Björk – It’s Oh so quiet

I never get tired of the voice and the universe of Björk. Its version of It’s Oh so quiet from 1995 is simply magnificent. The original is a German title Und jetzt ist es still performed in 1948 by Harry (Horst) Winter. This song will be interpreted for the first time in English in 1951 by Betty Hutton.

Beyonce – If I were a boy

This song is a huge hit of the talented Beyoncé. She interprets her cover in 2008. For the story, the original is written and interpreted by BC Jean. She was working with Toby Gad. She could not release her album at the time. The producer would then have taken the song without the agreement of the young singer to give it to Beyoncé. This was followed by legal action by BC Jean.

Joan Jett – I love Rock’n’roll

A great tune done by Joan Jett who performed this song in 1981, with her band The Blackhearts. The original was released in 1975 and performed by The Arrows.

Avril Lavigne – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

This cover makes me laugh so much because it is not so great. I could not help it, I had to put on the list since a few days ago, I still heard young people discuss it in the bus and proclaiming that it was indeed an original of Avril Lavigne. So young people, for your musical culture the original is Bob Dylan in 1973!!!

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana has excelled in covering this song and in making it its own in 1993 for the live MTV Unplugged. The original is obviously signed by David Bowie who interpreted it in 1970.