When you think the awful cover is the original song

Have you ever discovered that a song you love by a particular band or singer is actually the cover of a much more famous (and better) version of the song?

I hate that. 

I'm not talking about the covers that few people know about. Like Joan Jett and the Blackheart's I Love Rock n' Roll, which is actually the cover of a song by The Arrows. Or Soft Cell's Tainted Love, which is the cover of a Gloria Jones song. Or The Clash's I Fought the Law, which is a cover of a Bobby Fuller Four song.

These are obscure and understandably missed. Also the covers are much better than the originals.  

I'm talking about the embarrassing mistakes. The glaring errors. The classic songs that you simply didn't know existed. 

For me, the most embarrassing song is The Drifter's Under the Boardwalk, which I once thought was a Bruce Willis original from his 1987 album The Return of Bruno. 

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Almost as bad was once thinking that Sitting on the Dock of the Bay was a Michael Bolton original. Forgive me, Otis Redding. I was young and foolish. 

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These are not the only two. The following examples are not quite as egregious but still fairly stupid. In some cases, one could argue that the covers of some of these songs are better than the originals, but the originals are certainly good enough to be known:

  • Mistaking Hazy Shade of Winter as a Bangles' original
  • Mistaking Killing Me Softly as a Fugees' original 
  • Mistaking Do You Want to Dance as a Ramones' original (it's actually a cover of a Beach Boys song, which itself is a cover of a Bobby Freeman song)
  • Mistaking Respect as an Aretha Franklin original 
  • Mistaking Twist and Shout as a Beatles original 

Here's one I just learned about:

Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You is the cover of a Dolly Parton original.

Elysha knew this, but she is a legitimate musical savant when it comes to these things, so there's no telling if this is common knowledge or just Elysha being Elysha. 

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