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 over 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 Three of Dangerous Minds’ list of hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs.
The song: “Girls Just Want to Have fun”
You know it from: Cyndi Lauper
But it was done first by: Robert Hazard
Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 smash-hit feminist anthem was originally written and recorded by a man in 1979. The song was originally a demo track from Robert Hazard who later had a minor MTV hit with the song “Escalator of Life.” Some readers who have been following this series on Dangerous Minds may cry “foul” in that Robert Hazard’s original version of the song was a demo and not available as a consumer release. Fair enough, but Hazard’s little-heard version is so remarkable that the urge to share it couldn’t be resisted.
The song: “Hello Hooray”
You know it from: Alice Cooper
But it was done first by: Judy Collins
One of the most-memorable tracks from Alice Cooper’s 1973 platinum-selling Billion Dollar Babies album is “Hello Hooray.” The song was actually written by Rolf Kempf and was recorded five years earlier by Judy Collins. There’s certainly no confusing Alice’s and Judy’s versions:
Continues after the jump…