15 Popular Songs You Might Not Realize Are Covers

Good songs are like good stories – they get reused over and over again, because when something works on a human level, it always works.

Some songs are a flash in the pan, reflective of the time they were written and the audience they were written for, but others – like these 15 – are even hits when they’re covered.

Which is why many people don’t even realize they’re not bopping along to the original.

15. “Black Magic Woman” by Santana

Okay, this one got me. It’s so perfectly Santana – but the song belongs to Fleetwood Mac, originally.

14. “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix

Yeah, Hendrix owned it, but it was originally performed by Bob Dylan.

13. “Nothing Compares to You” by Sinead O’Connor

I had zero clue that Prince penned and performed the original.

12. “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles

It was originally written and performed by the Isley Brothers when it was released in 1962 – but the Beatles covered it just a year later and the rest is history.

11. “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin

Give yourself a break if you didn’t know this one – the original was released in 1929, and was by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie.

10. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

We can debate all day, because the original, by Nine Inch Nails, is also very good.

9. “The Boys of Summer” by The Ataris

Don Henley is responsible, but I can’t hear it…off to listen.

8. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell

It was a 1964 hit by Gloria Jones. I had no idea!

7. “It’s My Life” by No Doubt

There’s another, older version by a band called Talk Talk.

6. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin

Seriously?! Her anthem isn’t her anthem? Nope – it was originally done by Otis Redding.

5. “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany

Sorry, 80’s babies, this wasn’t an original, either. The original by Tommy James and the Shondells is just as good, too!

4. “Hallelujah” by Rufus Wainwright

Many people may have heard and fallen in love with this song through the movie Shrek, but it’s been covered a ton of times, so you probably knew it wasn’t the original, right? Leonard Cohen is responsible for the original magic, but my personal favorite cover is by k.d. lang.

3. “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles

Simon & Garfunkel are the shirt, y’all, so do yourself a favor and check out their whole catalogue.

2. “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed

If you didn’t know this was another Simon & Garfunkel song, do yourself a favor and look up the original.

1. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

This might be the version you’ll remember because Whitney, and also The Bodyguard, but you actually have Dolly Parton to thank for this magic.

Well, now you know! Were you under the impression that any of these covers were originals?

Tell us which ones really surprised you in the comments!