Like all of us, musicians are also huge music fans. Before writing their own material they will have been learning the songs of their idols. Often times these famous musicians will go on to record cover versions of songs by their favorite artists and introduce them to a new audience. Sometimes these cover versions have been so successful that many fans believe that they were written by the covering artist. In many cases, the covering artist will have breathed new life into the song and deserve credit for their work, but it should not be forgotten that these songs were originally crafted by another musician.
10. “When the Levee Breaks” – Led Zeppelin (originally by Kansas Joe McCoy & Memphis Minne)
Many aspiring guitarists will try to immediately master “Stairway to Heaven,” as Led Zeppelin are one of the most important and influential rock acts of all time. They were also inspired by those that came before them, and they were very heavily influenced by the blues and folk music (much like The Yardbirds). One of their most famous songs, and a fan favorite, is “When the Levee Breaks,” from their 1971 album Led Zeppelin IV. The song was first recorded by blues duo Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929, and this was in reaction to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Zeppelin would retain the blues roots, but they would make it their own hard rock blues masterpiece, with a famous drum performance from John Bonham. It has since been covered by many other artists, with the drums even being sampled by hip-hop acts, including the Beastie Boys.