Face it, all your favorite songs are covers

Buckle up, it’s “omg-is-that-really-a-cover” time!

Remember how you used to relate with musical artists because of the deep meaning of their songs? Remember the ginormous respect you had for their all-mighty lyric writing skills? How you were certain you would never be creative enough to compose a piece of music that could touch the human soul as your favorite tunes did? Remember how you used to admire the pure spark of genius that must have overtaken those musicians when they were writing the songs which always got you inspired and excited? Well, you’re in for a treat!

The title says it all but just to be sure – you’re going to experience a feeling of strong surprise, along with a really satisfying existential revelation. Sometimes, what you thought were original masterpieces of pure awesomeness were actually the works of people and bands you’ve never even heard of. And sometimes you have, but could have never suspected it was a certain artist who brought to life a tune you already knew as someone else’s theme song. Right, let’s begin:

Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinéad O’Connor

Hate to do this to you but yes, this heartbreaking, soul-shaking, tear-inducing hell-of-a-ballad was actually written and sang by none other than… Prince.

Well, to be exact it was The Family – a side project of Prince, which apparently was just as great as his most famous stuff. For some unknown reason, the king of eccentricity and copyright let young Sinéad use his creation and turn Nothing Compares 2 U into one of the favorite songs of generations of emotional girls and boys from all over the world. Good job, miss O’Connor! Didn’t see that one coming, huh? 🙂

Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

The British-Australian model-turned-singer Natalie Imbruglia apparently owes Torn, the song which made her famous, to someone else. Sure, Natalie’s adorable and she’s done a great job covering the song but let’s hear some noise for the actual authors – this sad-but-still-happy song was actually created by Ednaswap, an alternative rock band from Los Angeles. BY THE WAY, they’re actually a pretty good and extremely underrated bunch of musicians – make sure you check them out 🙂 (Don’t worry Natalie, we still love you)

Don’t Turn Around – Ace of Base

Two words: Tina Turner. Yep. The queen of pop is actually the one responsible for this classic ‘90s tune.

There’s no second-guessing when you hear the Swedish band’s version but your brain is going to melt when you hear the original and realize Don’t Turn Around was actually made popular by less famous musicians. Not that the Ace of Base weren’t the top of the pop twenty-something years ago, but, I mean, like, common, it’s Tina Turner, you know what we’re talking about.

Mambo No.5 – Lou Bega

The hit that, years ago, radio stations decided would be the only party song in the world for quite a long period of time, is really another cover. You can’t blame them – that song was the definition of ‘cool’. But it turns out only half the credit goes to Lou Bega. Mambo No.5 was already a great tune at the time it was released. The Cuban-Mexican composer and singer Pérez Prado created this groovy melody and then, years later, a Mr. Bega, a German musician of Italian and Ugandan descent, added some sweet womanizer lyrics to the emblematic growl we all so love, resurrecting it for our newer, louder generation 🙂

I Fought the Law – The Clash

So, you thought you were a rebel? Well, if The Clash were your first choice of worship, you’re a tad late.

Like, more than a decade late. Try listening to Bobby Fuller Four’s original version of I Fought the Law and prepare to be amazed! It feels like the iconic punk rock song would feel totally out of place in 1966 but it turns out it wasn’t a punk rock song at all. In fact, it makes perfect sense with everything that was released at the time. In addition, it makes you feel like devouring a cold drink on the beach, which might be a bit hard at the moment, since it’s almost winter and all. It’s okay – just remember the song for a few more months and gloriously treat your surf buddies with a Beach-Boys-like experience.

Don’t Cha – Pussycat Dolls

Okay, it’s not a song from your childhood but the resemblance with the original is SO uncanny! However, before you call this a rip-off, keep reading.

Tori Alamaze was supposed to be the new pop star of the ‘00s – she signed a deal with Universal Records and her first single Don’t Cha was produced by CeeLo Green. Unfortunately, after a strong negative reaction the label dropped her and the song ended up being introduced by Nicole Scherzinger’s team of super foxy ladies. It’s arguable whether the Pussycat Dolls actually needed a song with their sassy video in order to attract fan attention. Tough luck for Tori but at least Don’t Cha made it to the top of the charts.

I Will Always Love you – Whitney Houston

That’s right, THE Whitney Houston. And THE song she was most known and praised for. In this case, however, one musical titan has stolen some glory from another. Of course ‘stolen’ is not really a correct term here, because the performer who first made this song famous was the empress of country Dolly Parton – and she’s been quite successful at it too. Whitney was a beautiful woman, an incredibly gifted artist and we love her. BUT, there’s a song everybody knows and the credit goes to good ol’ Tennessee girl Dolly.

So there you have it. The problem with covers is you’ve got absolutely no reason to doubt the authorship of a song you love. That’s what makes it so shocking – it’s predestined. And this is why we’re here. Stay tuned for part 2 of this marvelously eye-opening disappointment of an article – more amazing musical revelations are headed your way! 🙂


  1. Jorg Svensen

    I knew about most of them but I never thought about Don’t cha! :))

  2. One of the best covers ever, that I had no idea was a cover til recently. Patrick Wolf covering Lana del Rey https://youtu.be/8i-veO2weHw

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