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10 songs that you had no idea were actually covers

  • By Art. Author Avatar
  • 29 September 2014

10 songs that you had no idea were actually covers

Y'know when you're getting all spiky-throated when you're listening to that song and that voice that is spiralling in your subconscious, and you're thinking 'this is straight from the soul'... Then a few years later, you catch wind of the fact that it was actually Micky Fuck & the Bumsplitters that wrote it in 1958 about Father Christmas, and you feel like eating your own face? Yeah. It's happened to all of us.

Well, we're here to save you that embarrassment. 10 Tracks that you had no idea were actually covers:

10. 'Nothing Compares 2 U' by Sinead O'Connor...


Prince actually wrote the song for Sinead.

9. Neil Young 'Oh Lonesome Me'

This wonderful piece is responsible for one my guiltiest 'cover' moments; I once had an drunken argument with a friend over who originally penned the hit... Turns out it wasn't Uncle Neil, nope, but actually Don Gibson. Oh well... Neil went on to write some of the best tracks of our time.

8. The Rolling Stones 'Time Is On My Side'

Yup, this belter was actually written by Irma Thomas in 1963, a year before Mick and co tracked it in 1964.

7. Cyndi Lauper 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'

If you've heard Cyndi Lauper sing 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun', the notion of hearing a man sing it will seem a little strange. Well, a man didn't just sing it originally, he wrote it. Ladies and Gentleman, Mr Robert Hazard *applause*.

6. Stevie Wonder 'Superstition'

Fascinatingly, the song was initially written by Stevie "to order" for Jeff Beck. The two collaborated on the track, with Beck writing the drum beat. It is featured on 1972′s Beck, Bogert & Appice, but Motown head Berry Gordy insisted Stevie take it back...

5. Led Zeppelin 'Dazed & Confused'

Ok, this is a controversial one, but there has been a long legal dispute over Jake Holmes' track above. Holmes was seen by Zeppelin's guitarist, Jimmy Page when he was supporting the Yardbirds in 1967 -  a year later he formed one of the most influential rock groups of all time. They still don't credit Holmes.

4. Aretha Franklin 'Respect'

Otis Redding wrote and recorded 'Respect' in 1965, for Aretha Franklin to go and make it a mega-hit in 1967.

3. Jimi Hendrix 'Hey Joe'

It's not actually known who originally penned 'Hey Joe', but the first recorded version of it surfaced in 1965 and was sang by The Leaves. Hendrix took it to another level a year later, and the song that has since become a rock standard.

2. Elvis Presley 'Hound dog'

Elvis Presley sold 10 million copies of a song that was originally recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton. In no way are we poking at The King, but yeah..

1. The Beatles 'Twist and Shout'

One of the big players in Beatlemania, 'Twist and Shout' was actually written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns in 1961, before it was first made a hit by the Isley Brothers in 1962. The Beatles ran with it in 1963 and it is arguably one of the songs that taught them the foundations of how to write their own material.