This is the second part of a continuing series. Part One can be found HERE.
Recently a friend hipped me to a song that I had NO IDEA existed, having thought for decades that the COVER of it by an ‘80s one-hit-wonder band was the original and only version that was ever recorded. This led to a conversation about hit songs that we didn’t at first realize were covers—sometimes not discovering the original versions until many years after the fact. A few friends joined in and at the end of the conversation I had a list of nearly 50 songs that were “surprise” cover versions.
As a public service to Dangerous Minds readers, I’m sharing this list so that you can wow your friends at parties with your vast musical knowledge. Granted, our readership is a smart and savvy bunch, so undoubtedly you’ll come across songs on this list and say “I already knew about that.” Of course you did, but indulge the rest of us. Hopefully, though, something here will surprise you.
We’ll be rolling this list out in parts over the next few weeks. In no particular order, this is Part Two of Dangerous Minds’ list of hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs.
The song: “Cum On Feel The Noize”
You know it from: Quiet Riot
But it was done first by: Slade
Quiet Riot’s massive 1983 hit was a cover of a 1973 number one UK single by Slade. Quiet Riot’s cover took their Metal Health LP to the top of Billboard album chart, making it the first American heavy metal debut album to ever reach number one in the United States. It also helped to belatedly “break” Slade in the U.S. where they had some minor success with their single “Run Runaway.” Quiet Riot’s good fortune with “Cum on Feel the Noize” led to them doing a second Slade cover, “Mama Weer All Crazee Now,” on their follow-up album. The second dip into the Slade song-pool did not prove as successful.
The song: “Bette Davis Eyes”
You know it from: Kim Carnes
But it was done first by: Jackie DeShannon
Kim Carnes’ 1981 recording of “Bette Davis Eyes” spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Billboard ’s biggest hit of that year. It was originally recorded in 1974 on Jackie DeShannon’s album New Arrangement. The original version is drastically different from Carnes’ new-wavey cover. DeShannon’s recording is straight up honky-tonk.
Many more after the jump…