When it comes to popular music recordings, cover versions of songs are generally looked down upon in favor of the original. There are exceptions of course, as you won’t find many people who prefer Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” over Jimi Hendrix’s epic re-imagining but in general, it’s hard to forget the artist who first made a song popular.
However, there have been quite a few instances where cover versions have eclipsed the original recording to such a degree that the song is falsely attributed to the covering artist. These are the songs we want to cover (pun intended) today, as you may not have known that the following 12 famous singles are not the original versions.
12. “Twist and Shout” (1963) – The Beatles
The Beatles’ debut 1963 album, Please Please Me, is nearly split between original tracks and covers, but one of the record’s biggest singles, “Twist and Shout,” is often thought to be a John Lennon original. In fact, the song was recorded several times before The Beatles got a hold of it. “Twist and Shout” was written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns in 1961 and first recorded by the Top Notes. It then became a hit single for Isley Brothers in 1962 before being released by the Fab Four the following year.
The song was later released as a single in the United States, where it became the only million-selling Beatles cover record, though it failed to hit #1 because the Beatles already had the song “Can’t Buy Me Love” occupying the top spot.