Hit Records You Didn’t Realize Were Cover Songs

JimiWhat do Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Black Crowes, Marilyn Manson and The White Stripes all have in common?  Some of their biggest hits were cover songs and most of their fans thought they were originals.


This infographic from the free ebook Making It As A DIY Musician offers a great list of cover songs that became big hits.

click on image to enlarge

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  1. Although Gladys Knight had the first RELEASE of Grapevine, Smokey Robinson recorded it first, then Marvin Gaye, neither of which Berry Gordy chose to release for reasons known only to him. Sometime later, after the success of the Gladys verision, he agreed to release Gaye’s version – which is now regarded as the best version of the song (Creedence notwithstanding).
    Although the Top Notes (or Topnotes) had the first recorded release of Twist and Shout (produced by Phil Spector), the song’s writers (Medley and Berns) felt that Spector had “murdered” the song and soon did their own production of it with the Isley’s. The Spector version is terrible and sounds NOTHING like the Isley’s version which, again, is regarded as the best version of the song and, in fact, most people have never heard the Top Notes version anyway, it was that bad.
    Larry Butler
    Los Angeles

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