10 Classic Songs You Didn’t Know Were Actually Covers



It isn’t unusual for an artist to re-record another musician’s song to include on their record. However, these are usually just bonus tracks that are put on an album as an extra for fans or as a dedication to a band or singer who is particularly important to the artist. In some cases though, an album will include a cover that goes on to be a huge hit, proving to be even better than the original. In these instances, fans may not even realize that the hit song they are listening to is actually an old recycled tune.

Jimi Hendrix – “All Along The Watchtower”

Jimi Hendrix’s release of “All Along The Watchtower” proved to be a huge success even though it was actually a cover of a Bob Dylan song. The cover was so good that even Dylan admitted it was better than his original version and he now plays it the Hendrix way in concert.

Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now”

Tiffany went to the top of the charts around the world for several weeks after releasing “I Think We’re Alone Now”, a song that almost everyone knows and can sing along to. Yet it wasn’t an original song as it was released almost 15 years earlier by Tommy James and the Shondells.

Elvis Presley – “Hound Dog”

Elvis Presley had many hits during his long career, but one of the greatest was the single “Hound Dog”. The tune was originally released three years before Presley’s version by Willie Mae Thornton to little acclaim.

Santana – “Black Magic Woman”

“Black Magic Woman” is without a doubt the most famous song released by Santana and it has largely overshadowed the original Fleetwood Mac version that many people have forgotten even exists.

Whitney Houston – “I Will Always Love You”

“I Will Always Love You” is probably the most famous song ever released by Whitney Houston, after it featured on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard. The song was originally released by Dolly Parton in 1974.

Eric Clapton – “Cocaine”

“Cocaine” is pretty much the typical Eric Clapton song and is considered by many to be one of his best songs. Yet it was one of several songs that Clapton took from disco inspired artist J.J Cale, all of which turned out to be bigger hits with the rock star.

Aretha Franklin – “Respect”

“Respect” is probably the definitive Aretha Franklin song and yet even that was actually a cover. It was written by Otis Redding and was little known outside of his hardcore fans, giving Franklin the chance to tweak it slightly and release it to a wider audience.

Animals – “House of the Rising Sun”

It is actually unknown who really first performed or even wrote “House of the Rising Sun” as it is a traditional folk song that has been covered hundreds of times. Undoubtedly though, it was made famous by the Animals, who pretty much made the tune their own when they released it during the 1960s.

The Beatles – “Twist and Shout”

“Twist and Shout” was one of the songs that launched The Beatles into super stardom. It featured a superb vocal performance by John Lennon that set the tone for the rest of his career. Originally, the song was little known release by the Top Notes before it was covered by The Isley Brothers and brought to the attention of the public.

Jimi Hendrix – “Hey Joe”

Despite the fact that the Jimi Hendrix of “Hey Joe” is arguably the most popular and distinguished that has been released, it is actually a song that has been covered by hundreds of artists since it was first released in the 1960s. It is actually unknown who actually wrote it however, with several people claiming to have contributed.