[Another useful list by resident listmeister Brent Chittenden. – AC]
Despite the fact that I spend a majority of my writing time reviewing and seeking out new music by new artists, I must admit, I love a good cover song. An artist you wouldn’t expect covering another artist like The Revolting Cock’s cover of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” for example.
But what I also find intriguing are covers that the general public don’t realise are covers. Below is our list of Top Ten Covers You May Not Have Known Were Covers!
10) Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Original: Richard Hazard / Cover: Cyndi Lauper)
Yes, this song was originally written and performed by a man… and it comes off as just plain creepy. Lauper’s version was way more successful and far less weird.
9) I Want Candy (Original: The Strangeloves / Cover: Bow Wow Wow)
The Strangeloves were a fake band supposedly consisting of a bunch ex-sheepherders. Bow Wow Wow covered the single to one hit wonder success.
8) Cum On Feel The Noize (Original: Slade / Cover: Quiet Riot)
Having such success with covering “Cum On Feel The Noize” in 1983, Quiet Riot cover Slade again in 1984 with “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”. This must have lead to the questioning of both bands’ abilities to spell.
7) Nothing Compares 2 U (Original: The Family [Prince] / Cover: Sinead O’Connor)
Written by Prince for one of his many side creative outlets, The Family never really did anything with this song where for O’Connor, the track became a very important part of her mainstream success.
6) I Fought The Law (Original: The Crickets / Cover: The Clash)
Written by Sonny Curtis (who replaced Buddy Holly on guitar in The Crickets) and was covered twice with some success. First by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965 and then in 1979 by The Clash.
5) Real Wild Child aka The Wild One (by Johnny O’Keefe; best known from Iggy Pop)
A hit for Iggy during the 80’s and a solid track for Jerry Lee Lewis in the 70’s, the original “The Wild One” comes to us from Australia and singer Johnny O’Keefe who passed away in the 70’s due to a heart attack caused by a prescription drug overdose.
4) The Man Who Sold The World (Original: David Bowie / Cover: Nirvana)
Nirvana covered The Man Who Sold The World for their Unplugged special, a song from David Bowie’s album of the same name. The Nirvana version became so popular that Bowie had to sometimes explain to younger fans that it was his song first. [Let’s not even talk about the Meat Puppets covers on the MTV album. – AC]
3) Tainted Love (Original: Gloria Jones / Cover: Soft Cell)
Originally recorded by Motown artist Gloria Jones (who later went on to be Marc Bolan’s girlfriend) this is truly a case of the cover doing better than the original. Jones’ failed to chart at all where Soft Cell’s went to #1 in the UK and became a song closely associated with 80’s synth pop.
2) Downtown Train (Original: Tom Waits / Cover: Rod Stewart)
Talk about left turns, I don’t think Waits ever thought that Stewart would cover any of his songs. Not that Waits would care mind you. I don’t think Stewart’s version is horrible but it’s amazing how the same song can change under to radically different artists.
1) Istanbul (Original: The Four Lads / Cover: They Might Be Giants)
The Four Lads were from Canada and recorded their version of what is possibly the most recognised of all of They Might Be Giant’s catalogue in 1953.