You Probably Didn’t Realize These Songs Were Actually Covers

There are a lot of famous songs that everyone thinks they know, but really there is a whole other level to them. You might think that the songs you love are so original and new, but it turns out that a lot of them are just covers of older songs that you don’t remember.

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Sometimes they songs were recorded by popular groups or artists, and others they were sung by people you have never heard of. Let’s see if you knew if any of these popular songs were covers.

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Respect by Aretha Franklin – Originally by Otis Redding

Otis Redding first recorded this popular song in 1965, but Aretha is really the only person you associate with this powerful song.

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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndy Lauper – Originally by Robert Hazard

Hazard never released the song officially, but the country-western star had actually used that some on his demo in 1979, a few years before Lauper released it in 1983.

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Tainted Love by Soft Cell – Originally by Gloria Jones

There were decades in between this cover, but the version you are used to it not the original. Gloria Jones released the song as the B-side to her sing “My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home” back in 1965.

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I Love Rock n’ Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Originally by Arrows

This song has had A LOT of covers over the years, but the most famous is Joan Jett’s version. She got the song from the band Arrows who released it in 1975.

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Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor – Originally by The Family

She was one of the most notable singers of the 90s, but one of her most famous sons was a cover. Nothing Compares 2 U was done by The Family in 1985, five years before O’Connor released her version.

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There are even more songs that you didn’t realize were covers, click to the next page to see the rest!

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I Swear by All-4-One – Originally by John Michael Montgomery

All-4-One might have been one of those forgettable boy bands of the 90s, but if you attended a wedding in the year 1994 or 1995 chances are the DJ played this song. Apparently it was actually done by a country singer a year earlier and it reached the top spot on the country music charts before doing the same thing on the pop music charts!

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Manic Monday by The Bangles – Originally by Apollonia 6

Did you know this song was written by Prince? He wrote it for Apollonia 6 but eventually offered it to The Bangles who made it to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list.

Hound Dog by Elvis Presley – Originally by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thorton

The King of Rock and Roll had a lot of huge songs, but Hound Dog is one of the best. The song originally came out in 1953, three years before Elvis released it and made it what it is.

Torn by Natalie Imbruglia – Originally by Ednaswap

Two years before Natalie Imbruglia would hit number one with this song, the L.A. band Ednaswap would release it. Imbruglia went on to get nominated for a Grammy for this song.

I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow – The Strangeloves

Everyone knows the song I Want Candy, but have you ever heard the original? Back in 1965 The Strangeloves released the song of them singing this classic pop song nearly 20 years before Bow Wow Wow would make it popular again.

Did you know any of these original versions existed? Share your favorite covers in the comments!

Emma C
Freelance Writer