Less famous covers that you knew before the more famous originals

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The Braids - "Bohemian Rhapsody"

My dad told me that this was a rock song when he was a kid. I couldn't see it.

Def Squad - "Rapper's Delight"

Lol at Redman's shit-eating grin in the video.

The Reverend, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:28 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm pretty sure I've related this on ILM before, but Joan Jett's cover of Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner" - heard it at Wolf Camera and was hypnotized.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:36 (thirteen years ago) link

The first time I heard Led Zeppelin's Rock & Roll was Cyndi Lauper doing a cover of it on some Channel 4 chat show. Might've been The Last Resort. I thought it was brilliant, my dad sat me down and said, "Son, you've got a lot to learn."

nate woolls, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:38 (thirteen years ago) link

I haven't heard that Cyndi Lauper version but if she changed it into an 80s synth pop song then HELL YES I want to hear it.

filthy dylan, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Sunshine by Paul Westerberg

Type O Negative's cover of "Angry Inch"

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:40 (thirteen years ago) link

No, I don't think she did. It was pretty faithful, IIRC.

nate woolls, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:42 (thirteen years ago) link

If we can count Weird Al then I knew "My Bologna" long before I knew "My Sharona". I still way prefer the Weird Al version though.

Euler, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Papa M's cover of the Misfits' "Last Caress".

Neil S, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Luna's cover of Season of the Witch

...Metallica's cover of Last Caress

Billy Pilgrim, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:43 (thirteen years ago) link

Ha! The Fugees "No Woman, No Cry"

The Reverend, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:44 (thirteen years ago) link

...Metallica's cover of Last Caress

Was the original "Last Caress" ever that famous to start with?

Ned Raggett, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:46 (thirteen years ago) link

that's why I didn't list it either...nothing the Misfits did ever really made it big.

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:50 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah that's fair. More people probably know the Metallica version than know the Misfits version. And definitely more than know the Papa M version!

Billy Pilgrim, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:51 (thirteen years ago) link

all the covers on This Mortal Coil's "It'll End In Tears".

Lydia Lunch's "Some Velvet Morning".

Jazz Butcher covering John Cale's "Leaving It Up To You"

and probably lots more.

sleeve, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:52 (thirteen years ago) link

I heard Frankie Goes to Hollywood's version of "Born to Run" years before the Springsteen original, and I still like it more.

Tuomas, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:54 (thirteen years ago) link

First head VU's "Rock n Roll" done by Jane's Addiction

sexyDancer, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Metallica's lame version of BOC's Astronomy

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Here's a good one. Candy Flip's cover of Strawberry Fields Forever. I'm sure I had heard the original before but it wasn't until the cover that I really got to know the song

Billy Pilgrim, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:55 (thirteen years ago) link

"(i can't get no) satisfaction" otis redding

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:55 (thirteen years ago) link

Camper Van Beethoven's "Insterstallar Overdrive"

sexyDancer, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Phil Collins's cover of "You can't hurry love" is still probably less famous than the Supremes right? That one

Billy Pilgrim, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:57 (thirteen years ago) link

rod stewart - forever young

jhøshea, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:57 (thirteen years ago) link

I knew the Dead Kennedys' Pull My Strings before I'd heard My Sharona.

Also yeah Lydia Lunch's Some Velvet Morning.

Colonel Poo, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:57 (thirteen years ago) link

Van Halen--You Really Got Me

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Monday, 12 November 2007 16:59 (thirteen years ago) link

futureheads "hounds of love"

J0rdan S., Monday, 12 November 2007 17:00 (thirteen years ago) link

last 2 posts = also for me

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:01 (thirteen years ago) link

TWO examples from Fine Young Cannibals "Ever Fallen In Love With Someone" and "Suspicious Minds" before the Buzzcocks and Elvis versions.

Grandpont Genie, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Bryan Ferry -

What Goes On
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall
Let's Stick/Work together

and various others, at the time.

Mark G, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:05 (thirteen years ago) link

Goo Goo Dolls "I could never take the place of your man". fun cover....though it doesn't beat Prince at all.

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:05 (thirteen years ago) link

# Less famous covers that you knew before the more famous originals [Started by The Reverend, last updated 6 minutes ago] 29 new answers
# i don't want to listen to massive attack anymore [Started by ethan, last updated 7 minutes ago] 30 new answers

Tracer Hand, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:13 (thirteen years ago) link

Two by Faith No More! "War Pigs" and "Easy".

Neil S, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:14 (thirteen years ago) link

R.E.M., "Femme Fatale"

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 12 November 2007 17:15 (thirteen years ago) link

greenhorn - "50 ways to leave your lover"

Tracer Hand, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:16 (thirteen years ago) link

la bamba soundtrack, pretty much.

tremendoid, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:22 (thirteen years ago) link

me too...I remember thinking the Los Lobos version was the original when I was a kid

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:23 (thirteen years ago) link

I heard the Blues Magoos version of "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" before I heard the original by The Move. Not a very famous song, either version. but still...

Trip Maker, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:41 (thirteen years ago) link

I just had a friend ask me if I had a copy of "this really great R.E.M. song, 'All I Have To Do Is Dream.'"

Billy Pilgrim, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Various songs appearing on The Residents Present the Third Reich 'n' Roll including "Double Shot of My Baby's Love"

eatandoph, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:00 (thirteen years ago) link

anybody that grew up in the 80s will be shortly naming a Bananarama song

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:03 (thirteen years ago) link

Psuedo Echo's cover of "Funky Town", originally by Lipps Inc.

snoball, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Several Beatles' covers of mainly Chuck Berry numbers.

snoball, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Beatles cover >>>>>>more famous>>>>>>> Chuck Berry original

Billy Pilgrim, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:46 (thirteen years ago) link

Embarassingly (because based on Chairs Missing and Pink Flag and even the Dome albums I always considered myself a huge Wire fan) I heard the Fisherspooner version of "The 15th" first

Also Souled American's version of Little Feat's "Six Feet Of Snow," which by the way is one of the best cover songs ever

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 12 November 2007 19:54 (thirteen years ago) link

REM's cover o' "Superman"
Nazareth's cover of "This Flight Tonight" (it took fukken decades before I heard the 'riginal:)

t**t, Monday, 12 November 2007 21:00 (thirteen years ago) link

I know the Monroe recording is not the "original", but it's certainly at least one of the best versions of the song:

I heard my parents and various friends and relatives sing "Happy Birthday" to me & my sister long before I heard the recording of Marilyn Monroe singing to JFK.

Herb Levy, Monday, 12 November 2007 21:18 (thirteen years ago) link

Uh, make that best known

Herb Levy, Monday, 12 November 2007 21:19 (thirteen years ago) link

loads of Spacemen 3 covers - "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", "Che", "MaryAnne", "Rollercoaster", "Starship"

altho I guess most of those aren't "famous" really

Shakey Mo Collier, Monday, 12 November 2007 21:19 (thirteen years ago) link

Bill Medley: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"

Geir Hongro, Monday, 12 November 2007 21:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Love & Rockets - "Ball of Confusion"

o. nate, Monday, 12 November 2007 21:52 (thirteen years ago) link

Elton John "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" before The Beatles

Hall & Oates' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" before The Righteous Brothers

Joe, Monday, 12 November 2007 21:57 (thirteen years ago) link

bauhaus - third uncle
the dickies - eve of destruction

massaman gai (front tea for two), Thursday, 4 March 2021 09:23 (one month ago) link

yeah Third Uncle I think I heard on taht mini lp collecting the singles that I bought in 1983. THought it really good, was probably years before I heard Eno rock. I have Taking Tiger Mountain among the printout images i have on my wall right now.

Stevolende, Thursday, 4 March 2021 11:51 (one month ago) link

I don’t think I’ve even heard the Eno original. I think I always knew it was a cover but I can’t recall hearing the original one. Let me amend that right away.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 4 March 2021 15:32 (one month ago) link

I love the Eno song but it's not particularly famous, is it?

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Thursday, 4 March 2021 15:35 (one month ago) link

Oh wait I have actually heard it. I wouldn’t call the original as more popular than the cover though... I mean neither are chart hits but I think the Bauhaus one is the most popular one. At least on spotify and youtube it’s true.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 4 March 2021 15:36 (one month ago) link

I love the Eno song but it's not particularly famous, is it?

That's true of a few of the suggestions in the thread.

Wrote For Lunch (Tom D.), Thursday, 4 March 2021 15:42 (one month ago) link

For me this is all Beatles songs (which I mostly heard as jazz versions or other covers).

Also a ton of '70s funk and soul and '80s r&b, which I heard as New Orleans brass band backgrounds and quotes. Then I'd either ask somebody or randomly hear the original at some point and be like "ohhhh." Also true for a ton of samples obv.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 4 March 2021 15:53 (one month ago) link

Nazareth's cover of "This Flight Tonight" (it took fukken decades before I heard the 'riginal:)

This was true for me too but I don't consider the original more famous, I don't think. At least when I was growing up, Nazareth's version was a classic rock radio staple around here.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Thursday, 4 March 2021 16:33 (one month ago) link

"Secret" classic rock Canadian Content! Just like "Born to Be Wild" (written by Edmonton's Mars Bonfire) and Alice Cooper's "Hello Hooray" (written by Toronto's Rolf Kempf).

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 4 March 2021 16:56 (one month ago) link

Sinéad's version is definitely more famous than the original.

LeRooLeRoo, Thursday, 4 March 2021 17:28 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I had assumed that post was somehow positioning Prince’s version as the “cover”

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Thursday, 4 March 2021 17:51 (one month ago) link

The "Prince" version was released in 2018, two years after he died, so it'd be quite a surprise if anyone knew his demo before the Sinead cover released in 1990.

The original was released by The Family in 1985, which had Prince playing keys, St. Paul Peterson and Susannah Melvoin singing, and regular Prince horny guy Eric Leeds on sax. It's the only song on the album that Prince didn't falsely credit as being written by other people.

grab bag cum trash bag (sic), Thursday, 4 March 2021 22:12 (one month ago) link

(I assume all xzanfar's embed spams itt are trolling)

grab bag cum trash bag (sic), Thursday, 4 March 2021 22:13 (one month ago) link

When She's So Unusual came out, I was a kid and not familiar w/Dirty Mind (I didn't hear the original version of the song until much later). Lauper's album sold many more copies than Dirty Mind, which I suppose makes her version more "famous" by default... though given the profile of the Prince album (and song), it sort of feels like a toss-up today.

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Thursday, 4 March 2021 23:50 (one month ago) link

^This is a really good one! I can't remember if it was "much" later that I heard or owned the original, but it definitely was somewhat later, although I'm sure I knew who wrote the song and knew that album existed, but it didn't have the big hits like 1999 and Purple Rain.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:06 (one month ago) link

Yeah - I remember knowing it was a Prince cover, but our family’s Prince collection started with 1999.

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:15 (one month ago) link

(I’ve still never heard the original “Money Changes Everything”!)

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:16 (one month ago) link

Sinead and Prince is like the exact opposite concept of this thread.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:33 (one month ago) link

(xp)
Heh. B-b-but have you heard the Rogue Wave cover of it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz3MtoAmXYQ

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:34 (one month ago) link

Or The Smiths song with the same title?

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:45 (one month ago) link

or the Bryan Ferry cover of the Smiths song, but with a different title?

grab bag cum trash bag (sic), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:55 (one month ago) link

are you a bot y/n

Red Nerussi (Neanderthal), Friday, 5 March 2021 02:17 (one month ago) link

Speaking of The Smiths, I knew TATU’s cover or “How Soon is Now” before knowing who The Smiths were. I’m not that certain that The Smiths one is more popular... they seem to cater to a different audience.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:05 (one month ago) link

I’ll assume it is and that it fits the concept of the thread.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:08 (one month ago) link

How do we stand on covers that reached #1 of original songs that also reached #1? Like eg: Venus (Shocking Blue/Bananarama) or Lady Marmalade (Labelle/Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil Kim & Pink).

In those cases I heard the cover first, and they reached top of the charts but the originals were also #1 hits in their respective years.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:14 (one month ago) link

Earlier in the thread I posted Puff Daddy’s interpolation of The Police, they were both #1 hits but I wouldn’t think for a second that Puff Daddy’s version is more popular. Maybe in the late 90’s it was but I don’t think I’ve overheard it anywhere in the past 20 years.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:18 (one month ago) link

Lol, Neanderthal.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:20 (one month ago) link

What audience does TATU cater to (actual question)? Fwiw, the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?' has over 128M plays on Spotify (their third-highest, which is mind-blowing to me). TATU's cover has a little over 10M plays.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:21 (one month ago) link

or the Bryan Ferry cover of the Smiths song, but with a different title?

Had to look this up, interesting.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:35 (one month ago) link

Now that I look at the Apple Music list more closely, though, "How Soon Is Now" is listed three separate times since it appears on multiple releases, so that probably makes a difference.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:41 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDS6i3j11jU
heard a demo version of this: pretty good!
played the game much later: pretty bad!
finally saw the movie even later than that: pretty bad!
then found the lauper/captain lou video: pretty good!

Philip Nunez, Friday, 5 March 2021 04:49 (one month ago) link

What audience does TATU cater to (actual question)?

― to party with our demons (Sund4r)

Compared to The Smiths? I’d say rockist vs popist. Nowadays the lines are blurred but it didn’t feel that way in the early 00s.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 04:52 (one month ago) link

As I said, I suspected The Smiths original was the most popular version but in my experience I don’t know many Smiths or TATU fans, I’m just going by the reaction whenever that song is played. Usually friends born 88-onwards know it by the cover.

I don’t care about that song in particular, but I do get frustrated when I play “Running up that hill” in a social gathering and I hear someone telling me “oh good one! The Placebo song!”

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:02 (one month ago) link

Interesting. The Smiths song was even used in car commercials here in the early 00s. The only TATU song I've heard (and the only one that charted in Canada, based on Wikipedia) is "All The Things She Said". If I expected people to know a cover of "How Soon Is Now", it would probably the one that was used for Charmed (Love Spit Love?).

However, the first version of "How Soon Is Now" that I heard was the Meatmen's, which is definitely a candidate for this thread.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:10 (one month ago) link

Anyhoo to expand on the TATU vs The Smiths audience: I think people who were listening to TATU were very most likely not into indie/jangle rock from the 80’s or even aware of who The Smiths were.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:13 (one month ago) link

Maybe in England the experience was different, maybe the Smiths were still a popular band in the teenage demographic in the early 00s.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:15 (one month ago) link

I thought they were big in Mexico?

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:17 (one month ago) link

They are, but they’re actually more popular in the mexican communities in California, not in Mexico per se. Also not for my particular demographic. Everyone I’ve spoken to born after 1990 don’t seem to be aware or have a strong opinion on them.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:23 (one month ago) link

Yeah, they're not a band I find cross over that great with younger people here either ime. I've never known a non-ilxor who listens to TATU, though.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:33 (one month ago) link

Again, this is pretty much my isolated experience so take it with a grain of salt. In the late 90s/early 00s internet was pretty much a luxury in Mexico and there wasn’t much outsider influence. Older, legacy bands were only shared either by older siblings and friends or via MTV or VH1 and I don’t think I ever watched a The Smiths video on either. I think I became aware of The Smiths until my mid 20’s and it was via internet. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I actually overheard them in a social context - via “This Charming Man” - and it was actually in Spain not in Mexico.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:40 (one month ago) link

Yeah, they're not a band I find cross over that great with younger people here either ime. I've never known a non-ilxor who listens to TATU, though.

― to party with our demons (Sund4r)

I don’t know anyone who still listens to TATU but “all the things she said” and “how is soon is now?” were extremely popular in my demographic when they came out. Nowadays they’re more of a “hey remember this band?” sort of thing.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:44 (one month ago) link

I can see “all the things she said” was pretty much a top 10 hit everywhere except the US: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_Things_She_Said

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:47 (one month ago) link

The cover of “How soon is now” was only a top 10 hit in Chile, Mexico, Sweden, Russia and Greece. Might explain why I perceive it as a more popular song than what it actually was.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 5 March 2021 05:53 (one month ago) link

The Residents, "Good Lovin'" / The Rascals, "Good Lovin'".

There's bound to be other Residents' tracks because they often covered songs that were 60s US hits but did nothing in the UK.

Wrote For Lunch (Tom D.), Friday, 5 March 2021 09:25 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtuUpoiKQtQ

Stevolende, Friday, 5 March 2021 12:04 (one month ago) link

Great, didn't look at th evideo playing since it started with a record label picture.
Oh well .
mainly posted because it would be teh opposite of the thread.
Covers of odd choices by artists well known for other stuff
THihk this should be sharable
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QV8KN9fDaE.

Stevolende, Friday, 5 March 2021 12:07 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

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