Original Song

Covers that Turned Out to Be More Popular than the Original Song

When it comes to the music industry, miracles are main-stream. Dreams turn into reality and once-unknown musicians become pop sensations for an entire generation. All of this takes immense skill and dedication to the art.

There’s also lots of technical stuff involved like actually doing the composition on your own. Making original music is less cumbersome today, thanks to tools like music notation software and MIDI music. But becoming an icon does not necessarily mean that an individual has to write and compose music from scratch.

Many celebrities that we now adore had once sung a cover that blew the original out of the water. Let’s take a moment to remember some legendary moments in music and how their cover versions shot to fame.

1. All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix

This rowdy rock ballad was initially written and composed by Bob Dylan in 1968. However, if you were to search the name of this song on Google, it’s going to list the Hendrix version. And we’re not complaining. The guitar riffs were fantastic.

2. Respect by Aretha Franklin

No disrespect, but sometimes when a cover is this good people forget the original ever existed. Miss Franklin did, however make subtle changes to the song. The iconic spell out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the moment when the song truly shines with Franklin’s name on the banner. The original was sung by Otis Redding in 1965.

3. The Man Who Sold the World by Nirvana

Performed by one of the most emblematic acts of the 1990s, Kurt Cobain truly shined in this rendition of a song originally sung by another icon of the 1970s—David Bowie.

4. I Love Rock N Roll by Joan Jett

If you’re still wondering why this number is on the list, you should prepare to catch your breath. American rockstar and style icon Joan Jett’s cover was actually composed by a lesser known British band called The Arrows.  Joan managed to make the song her own and her version flung to the top of the charts for about seven weeks in 1981.

5.  I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston

This song was known as the soundtrack for 1992’s biggest blockbuster, The Bodyguard. Whitney’s powerful vocals morphed the song into the best selling single by a female artist. The original was done by pop-country crooner Dolly Parton who although may not be remembered for this song, had plenty of other hits to her name.

6. So Into You by Childish Gambino

Everything Donald Glover touches turns to gold. Just like the high notes in this song. The change in key and the sky high falsetto turned this 90’s RnB bop by Tamia into a testament to Glover’s vocal prowess.

7. Dirty Diana by The Weeknd

This may be the most controversial one on our list but it’s not the first time The Weeknd has been compared to Michael Jackson. Guess he is a fan, just like us!

There are plenty more cover songs where that came from. Do you think you can create a cover song better than the original? You can also try your luck with some music editing and mixing. Check out free music production software here. Who knows, maybe you’ll be featured on any one of our lists in the future.

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