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8 Covers that Became More Famous than the Original


Sometimes a cover version can bring a fresh feeling to an old song making the new version even more popular than the original. Today we’re going to share with you our 7 favourite cover songs that became more famous than the original. Let’s begin…

  1. Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

Originally written and performed by Robert Hazard and released on a self-titled EP in 1982, Girl Just Want to Have Fun didn’t achieve mainstream success until Cyndi Lauper’s cover version was released a year later. Lauper’s version of the song went on to be considered a feminist anthem and the accompanying music video won her a Grammy.

  1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra

I’ve Got You Under My Skin was written by Cole Porter and first performed by Virginia Bruce in the 1936 musical film Born to Dance. These days however, most people know Sinatra’s dreamy version of the song, which he first performed live on the radio in 1964.

3. It’s My Life by No Doubt

 While Talk Talk’s version wasn’t a complete flop – the track reached 46 on the UK charts and 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 – it wasn’t until No Doubt’s 2003 cover that it became a real hit. No Doubt’s version entered the top 10 in the US and the top 20 in the UK.

  1. Cocaine by Eric Clapton

Few people know that Eric Clapton’s classic tune, Cocaine, was actually written by J.J. Cale in 1976. One reviewer described the song as “among Clapton’s best work”, failing to note the original composer. This ambiguous song is, Clapton continues to assure people, actually anti-drugs…which is perhaps surprising if you know anything about Clapton’s personal history.

  1. Tainted Love by Soft Cell

 Of course, for some, Tainted Love is best known as a song by Marilyn Manson, but we are pretty sure that Soft Cell’s version is still more widely known and certainly more commercially successful. Originally performed by Gloria Jones in 1964 as the b-side of her single My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home, the song didn’t become a hit until it was released by Soft Cell in 1981. Soft Cell’s version of Tainted Love became the best selling single of the year and has now sold over 1.3 million copies.

  1. I Love Rock & Roll by The Blackhearts

 Originally written by the frustrated frontman of The Arrows in response to The Rolling Stones song, It’s Only Rock and Roll, it wasn’t until Joan Jett heard the song and performed it with her band, The Blackhearts, that it achieved its legendary status. In 1981, The Blackhearts achieved a no.1 hit with the song forever cementing it into the rock and roll history books.

  1. Walk This Way by Run D.M.C.

This one might cause some controversy among our readers. We are aware that Walk This Way was already a hit song by Aerosmith, but clearly Run D.M.C.’s version took Walk This Way to new heights. Aerosmith achieved a hit with the song in the US, but Run D.M.C.’s version became a global phenomena that brought an entire genre – rap music – into the mainstream with it.

8. All Along The Watchtower by Jimmy Hendrix

Even Bob Dylan is quoted as saying the song belongs to Hendrix now. The original was created by a legend and improved on by another legend. Let’s just not talk about the Ed Sheeran version.

We want to know your favourite cover song that became more famous than the original! Share the cover and the original in the comments section below.


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