Hit Songs You Probably Didn’t Know Were Covers

Some songs are just so catchy (or annoying) that they stick with us forever and are forever linked with the artists who sing them. But sometimes an artist’s best known song was actually performed by someone else first.

This roundup comes to us courtesy A.V. Club. It’s a pretty extensive list so we just picked a handful. Check out the full list HERE.

1. Joan Jett – ‘I Love Rock ‘N Roll’

This one was originally a 1975 single by the British band The Arrows. Joan Jett’s 1981 version blasted to the top of the charts and helped launch her solo career.

2. Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’

This song was originally recorded by American soul singer Gloria Jones in 1964. Soft Cell put its synthesizer spin on it it 1981 and has forever been linked with ‘Tainted Love.’

3. Aretha Franklin – ‘Respect’

Aretha Franklin made this song her own even though it was originally recorded by Otis Redding in 1965.

4. Sinead O’Connor – ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

Prince wrote this song for a side project called The Family but it was never released as a single. It would become Sinead O’Connor’s biggest hit when she covered it in 1990.

5. Los Lobos – ‘La Bamba’

This song became a hit in the mid-50s when Richie Valens sang it, then again when Los Lobos covered it for the 1987 Valens biopic. But it’s actually a Mexican folk song that’s typically sung (and danced to) at weddings.

6. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – ‘Blinded By The Light’.

Bruce Springsteen certainly had plenty of hits, but this wasn’t one of them. It was the first single back in 1973. It wasn’t until 1976 when Manfred Mann’s Earth Band recorded it, changed the chorus and turned it into a hit.

7. Three Dog Night – ‘One’

Three Dog Night covered (and made famous) ‘One’ just two years after it was written by Harry Nilsson.


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