Reckon you know your pop history? Well, we bet you'll still be shocked to discover these classics were actually cover versions!
1. The Isley Brothers – Summer Breeze
It’s the quintessential summer song, but though we adore The Isley Brothers’ version it isn’t the original. The song was written by American soft rock duo Seals and Crofts. Take a listen and see what you think.
LDP verdict: The original is good, but the Isley Brothers’ version is better!
2. Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone
This new wave classic wasn’t written by Debbie Harry and co at all, but by an American band called The Nerves back in 1976. Though they never hit the big time themselves, their tale of thwarted love became a huge top 5 hit for Blondie in 1978.
LDP verdict: The original is actually a bit of a belter!
3. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
When the romantic blockbuster The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, hit cinemas in 1992, the world went totally crazy for Whitney’s version of I Will Always Love You which appeared on the soundtrack. What most of the world didn’t know was that the song had been written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton some 18 years earlier. While many love Dolly’s version, Whitney’s version has gone on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time, winning a slew of awards along the way and no doubt making Dolly a pretty penny too!
LDP verdict: While Dolly’s original is undoubtedly beautiful, for full power ballad heartbreak it’s got to be Whitney!
4. Soft Cell – Tainted Love
The best-selling single in the UK in 1981, Soft Cell’s Tainted Love was a staple at school discos, family weddings and nightclubs throughout the 80s. But what most people didn’t realise is that it was actually a cover version of a northern soul classic originally recorded by singer Gloria Jones in 1964.
LDP verdict: While Gloria’s original is a soul classic, Soft Cell’s quirky electro version still sounds truly exciting today!
5. Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
When Alexandra won the X-Factor in December 2008, she immediately bagged the chart top spot with her cover version of Hallelujah. Jeff Buckley fans were outraged. His beautiful version of the song had won plaudits across the world and many felt Alexandra’s cover of the song was a pale imitation of Buckley’s ‘original’. But what some Buckley fans didn’t realise, was that his version was not the original. The song had in fact been written and recorded by legendary misery guts Leonard Cohen back in 1984. Take a listen to Cohen’s original and you’ll see it’s very different to both Alexandra Burke and Jeff Buckley’s version. But which is your favourite?
LDP verdict: Absolutely no two ways about it – Jeff Buckley’s version is unbeatable!
6. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Sorry to break it to you as this song feels like it just HAD to be written by Cyndi, but in fact the original was written by an American musician called Robert Hazard in 1979. While Robert never hit the big time, Cyndi made the song a worldwide smash hit in 1983.
LDP verdict: Gotta be Cyndi – one of the best cover versions ever!
7. Tina Turner – Simply the Best
Yep, we didn’t know this was a cover either but the original was actually recorded by gravelly voiced Welsh rocker Bonnie Tyler back in 1988. The song was covered by Tina Turner only a year later and became a worldwide hit reaching number 5 in the UK charts.
LDP verdict: Tina wins it for us easily (and does anyone remember the cringe making scene in The Office where David Brent uses it as a backing track for a ‘motivational’ speech?)
8. Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes
With its distinctive synthesizer intro and Kim Carne’s raspy vocals, her version of Bette Davis Eyes is instantly recognisable. But it’s not the original! First recorded in 1974 by American singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon, the song started life as a country and western tune!
LDP verdict: The honky tonkin’ country version is just a bit too cheesily upbeat for those of us used to the slightly sinister 80s version. So for us at LDP it’s team Carnes all the way!
9. The Monkees – I’m A Believer
A staple at any wedding reception worth its salt, this 60s classic has been the cause of much ‘dad dancing’ (and subsequent hilarity!) up and down the country. But hang on Dad, did you know the famous Monkees version isn’t the original? Yep, that other great ‘dad rocker’ Neil Diamond actually wrote the song in 1966 – the same year the Monkees covered it and took it straight to number one!
LDP verdict: Sorry Neil, but those cheeky Monkees do it better!