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Misattributed Song

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"Finally you can say this is your favorite song by BFS and not look like an idiot!"
Bowling for Soup, on finally covering frequently-misattributed "Stacy's Mom"

So you've heard this song repeatedly, and you're utterly certain it's from Group A. You look all over Group A's discography trying to find it, but simply can't. And with good reason: the song was actually performed by someone else.

Often shows up due to mis-tagged files on file-sharing services, a small-scale research mistake blossomed into widespread misinformation. Also, after some artists gain a measure of mainstream success in a niche genre or Signature Style, all songs done In the Style of... that apparent artist or genre are often misattributed to them. Or it might just be an honest mistake, where the two lead singers sound like each other. Another common version of this trope is the case of songs being credited to a band which are actually solo or side-project recordings by one or more of the band's members (although the band at large might incorporate such songs into their concert performances if the solo artist is still with them), or where a member works with another band. Still, it guarantees an uphill battle against Fan Dumb for both bands.

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It's not surprising that most victims of this incident are one-hit wonders or artists with a song that doesn't sound like most or all of their early or later work.

See also Refrain from Assuming and Covered Up. All Animation Is Disney for a similar trope in a different medium (and both are subtropes of Small Reference Pools).


Examples by song name:

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    Commonly Mistaken Artists 
  • Not every Reggae song is by Bob Marley. This seems to be a problem on YouTube.
    • Most notorious example of this is the song "Bad Boys" (of COPS fame), performed by Inner Circle. He died long before said song came out. However the song does mention Sheriff John Brown from Marley's song "I Shot The Sheriff" so at least the confusion is slightly justified. Another Inner Circle song that often gets mislabeled as Marley is "Sweat (A Lalala Long)".
    • "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is not by Bob Marley, either, but by the similarly-named Bobby McFerrin. This is especially egregious as Marley was dead when "Don't Worry" was recorded.
    • Neither is the Hawaiian medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World." It's by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (though you are forgiven if you can't remember his name), who, like Marley, died very young. The song was released nearly a decade after Marley's death.
    • One band you would expect to know better is The Specials, but even they miscredited Bob Marley as the writer of their 1996 single "Hypocrite" rather than the actual writer Leroy Sibbles (of The Heptones), possibly because of a mix-up with Marley's similarly-titled "Hypocrites".
  • Not every parody song is by "Weird Al" Yankovic. (Bob Rivers and Richard Cheese are prime candidates; if it's country, Cledus T. Judd is most likely the actual performer.) Al addresses it in his FAQ.
    • "Weird Al Didn't Write This Song" by Devo Spice addresses this.
    • Cledus T. gets this as well; some songs attributed to him are actually Rodney Carrington or Tim Wilson.
    • Bob Rivers is also on the receiving end of this, as is Ray Stevens (particularly with country-esque comedy songs). Interestingly, so is Dr. Demento, who primarily is a radio host for comedy music. While he does have a few actual songs of his own, it is only a very few.
    • "Barney's On Fire" is almost always credited to Weird Al, though it was actually composed and performed by Tony Mason.
    • "Cats in the Kettle" is also very commonly credited to Weird Al, despite the lead singer sounding nothing like Al. It's actually by Bob Rivers.
    • "Livin' La Vida Yoda" is also not by Weird Al. It's by Todd Downing. Weird Al did write a song about Yoda, but it was a parody of "Lola" by The Kinks and simply titled "Yoda", which also should not be confused with "Y.O.D.A.", a parody of The Village People's "YMCA" by Steven Cavanagh.
    • And "Weenie in a Bottle" isn't by Al either (this one should be obvious, as it's very un-family-friendly, unlike Al's work, though it still gets falsely attributed to him a lot). It's by Hawaiian Ryan.
    • As for original comedy songs, they're often misattributed to They Might Be Giants. Here are just a few of these songs.
  • Not every classical piece is by Mozart, Beethoven or Bach. They may be the three composers that most often spring to mind when one thinks "classical music" but a very large number of other classical composers made influential and recognisable pieces as well.
    • Likewise, just because they share many instruments doesn't mean that Baroque Music is Classical Music.
    • None of the many Lutheran chorale melodies attributed to Bach were actually written by him; he merely wrote harmony and counterpoint. However, Alban Berg's use of the chorale Es ist genug at the end of his Violin Concerto does count as a Bach quotation since it uses Bach's harmonization of the chorale in the last movement of the cantata O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort (BWV 60).
    • The famous Minuet in G Major and its minor counterpart (BWV Anh.114 and 115) are NOT by Bach. It is, in fact, by Christian Petzold, an obscure contemporary of Bach. The famous aria Bist Du bei mir (BWV 508) is not by Bach, but by his contemporary Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel. These three works were listed in the BWV because they were found in the booklet of notes assembled by Bach and his second wife Anna Magdalena for her private use. These are not the only works misattributed to Bach by musicologists who were unfamiliar with the works of his contemporaries, but too eager to attribute everything written in his or Anna Magdalena's hand to him. For instance, it eventually emerged that the cantata Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt (BWV 160) is completely by Georg Philipp Telemann, as is the opening chorale to Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen (BWV 145). Denn du wirst meine Seele (BWV 15), now more convincingly attributed to Johann Ludwig Bach, was not only once supposed to be J.S. Bach's first cantata, but was even used to argue for his authorship of the St. Luke Passion (BWV 246), a work that Bach demonstrably copied out and probably did perform but may not have written more than a minor part of.
  • P2P services and yacht rock. It seems as if Chicago, Boston, Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon are all the same band to them.
  • In the early years of P2P networks, a lot of novelty songs that are uploaded are for some reason credited to Dr. Demento, just because they've received airplay on his show. Notably, "Monster Mash" is often credited to the doctor even when it's by Bobby Pickett. Likewise, "Boot to the Head" is by The Frantics. Thankfully, this is starting to die out with the advent of song identification software like Shazam and Midomi/Soundhound.
  • The Arrogant Worms ≠ Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie. Both are Canadian musical comedy acts, but since the former is better known, the latter's songs (like The War of 1812 and Toronto Sucks) are often misattributed to them.
  • Not every Funk/Disco song is by Kool & the Gang. Or KC and the Sunshine Band, for that matter.
  • On file sharing services, just about any Europop-sounding song with female harmony vocals will be attributed to ABBA. Many of the songs mislabelled in this fashion are actually by the British group Brotherhood of Man (which is also a half-male-half-female quartet).
    • Somewhat justified, or at least understandable, since BOM's most popular incarnation were often criticised for their similarity to ABBA - compare Angelo to Fernando, for example.
    • Another song wrongly attributed to ABBA is "Always Have, Always Will"- by Ace of Base, who are also a half-male-half-female quartet from Sweden, and this song sounded a lot more like Abba than most of their other famous songs.
  • Bands other than Hayseed Dixie have covered rock music in a bluegrass style. The effect is so strong, even non-parody/non-cover bluegrass is sometimes attributed to them.
  • Just because the song is sung a cappella does not mean that Rockapella performed it. Or the Brown Derbies either. Fortunately, this seems to have been an artifact of the Napster era, and most a cappella groups are able to keep their own names on their own stuff, now.
  • The soundtrack from The Rutles movies are not bootleg "lost" Beatles albums, though they are often labeled as such. The Lennon/McCartney songwriting credits come from the Rutles songs being overly close to the real thing... but they're still not the real thing.
  • A lot of the solo works of Halko Momoi are sometimes credited to Under 17, even songs made before the band even existed or long after they disbanded.
  • There's a long history of songs with no direct connection to The Beatles appearing on bootleg albums, often other artists imitating or parodying their style, or sometimes even just ones that coincidentally had similar names (a duo called John & Paul for instance). Then there's songs that fall into a grey area like "Peace of Mind", where it's generally accepted that it's not a genuine Beatles recording, but no one knows who really did write and perform it.
  • Not all vaguely Celtic rock music is by Great Big Sea, Flogging Molly, or Dropkick Murphys, awesome as they are.
    • Spirit Of The West, for example, did a really good song called "Home for a Rest"... attributed to Great Big Sea.
    • There's a song that's often called "Drink and Fight" which tends to provoke arguments in the comments about just who made it anyway every time it's posted on YouTube with a different name and attribution. (For the record, it's "Irish Drinking Song" by ska punk band Buck-O-Nine.)
  • Many Motown/Doo Wop/Oldies R&B songs have been misattributed to either the Temptations, the Four Tops, or Marvin Gaye.
  • Rammstein is not the artist of EVERY German Dance Metal song.
    • Nor did they ever produce Dutch or Flemish numbers.
  • Not every theme song from an 80s movie is by Kenny Loggins. It just seems that way.
  • Sepultura never recorded with Luciano Pavarotti. That cover was made by a parody band, JBO.
  • For a time Devo seemed to get pretty much any synth-heavy Eighties One-Hit Wonder attached to them.
  • There's a ton of songs circulating in P2P networks that have been attributed to Metallica. 99% of the time, they have nothing to do with Metallica, like in the case of (a cover of) the Imperial March.
  • Not every trance song with "Cascada Remix" on the end was done by the group themselves. Most of them had at least one of the DJ-producers from Cascada remix them, but they are not sung by the singer, Natalie Horler. For example, "Piece of Heaven" by Akira.
  • That vocal remix of a Touhou theme? Could be IOSYS, yes. Could also be Cool&Create, Innocent Key, Silver Forest, or any number of other Touhou doujin-music circles.
  • not every vaguely nu-metalish song with a hint of rapping and/or electronica belongs to Linkin Park.
  • Yes, David Allan Coe has two albums entitled Nothing Sacred and Underground Album that feature songs with wonderful titles like "Cum Stains on the Pillow", "Fuck Anita Briant", "Nigger Fucker", and "Fuckin' in the Butt". The racist songs "Nigger, Nigger," "In Coon Town," "Who Likes a Nigger?," "Nigger Hatin' Me," "Still Looking for a Handout," "Some Niggers Never Die (They Just Smell That Way)", "Stay Away from Dixie," and "Move Them Niggers North" are all by an artist named Johnny Rebel. Despite what you may think, these two classy guys have nothing to do with each other.
    • Some of Rebel's songs are mistakenly attributed to famed country singers Johnny Horton or Johnny Cash due to similarities in the voices and all three artists being in the same genre; in Horton's case, it's also due to one of his hits being called "Johnny Reb".
    • There's something of a Poe's Law issue here. Coe has repeatedly written off his more racist songs as being tongue-in-cheek parodies. By all accounts Rebel's nastiest work was for real.
    • P2P sites often label the racist song "Ship Those Niggers Back" as a Johnny Cash or Johnny Rebel song, when it was actually recorded by American Nazi Party band Odis Cochran & The Three Bigots. Neither Johnny is known to have made a version of it, although Rebel would be the far likelier candidate.
  • There's also Travis Mayer's "The Devil Went To Jamaica" which is misattributed to both David Allen Coe and of course "Weird Al" Yankovic.
  • In a very understandable example, many remixes by The Orb are falsely attributed to Orbital. Not only do both bands have similar names and play similar styles of music, but early on in The Orb's career, they remixed songs and referred to them as the "Orbital Mix." They have since stopped doing this to try to minimize confusion, but it's still confusing when one realizes a majority of "Orbital mixes" have nothing to do with the group named Orbital.
  • Happy Rhodes is a singer / songwriter / instrumentalist. She gets mistaken for Kate Bush. And Annie Lennox. And duets between Kate Bush and Annie Lennox. She has a four-octave vocal range!
  • Weezer never covered N.W.A.'s "Boyz-n-the Hood", that was Dynamite Hack.
    • Similarly, "The Grunge Song" is also not by Weezer, but by the Canadian comedy trio Radio Free Vestibule (who later changed their name to The Vestibules). The song was also popularly covered by The Austin Lounge Lizards.
    • And they did not write Teenage Dirtbag. That's by Wheatus. They just play it live sometimes.
    • Sonic Youth never did an acoustic cover of "Undone (The Sweater Song)": That actually was Weezer, playing the song on a radio show. What probably throws people off is that they invited their friend Timothy 'Speed' Levitch to recite poetry over instrumental sections for this version.
    • Ibold Train's "A Song About You", The Arena Drive's "The Fall", and Self's "Paint By Numbers" (often also labeled "Ex-Girlfriend") are other examples of songs that have gotten misattributed to Weezer. In at least the former two cases, this isn't helped by how obscure the real artists are. Funnily enough, the Ibold Train song is also sometimes misattributed to Ozma, a band whose songs have also been misattributed to Weezer (and it's also not by Elliott Smith).
    • They also never released a cover of "Video Killed the Radio Star;" that was The Presidents of the United States of America.
    • "I Suck" is not by Weezer either; it's by Mark Ronson, although it features frontman Rivers Cuomo as the lead singer.
    • If one believes his Twitter Rivers Cuomo was at his kid's piano recital when they called “Say It Ain’t So” a blink-182 song. Though whether this is a case of Misattributed Song or Refrain from Assuming is debatable, as they very well could have been referring to "All the Small Things" which actually is by blink-182 and whose chorus opens with the phrase.
  • Christian Alvestam did not get back to Scar Symmetry. He formed a band called Solution .45 who's music happens to sound similar to theirs. It doesn't help that all the rest of his bands either don't sound like them or are so unknown nobody has heard their music.
  • A lot of 90s hip hop is mistaken as being by 2 Live Crew. For example, "Shake That Ass Bitch" (Splack Pack), "Da Dip" (Freak Nasty), and "Too Much Booty in the Pants" (Soundmaster T).
  • Not every R&B song from the 90s with male vocal harmonies is by Boyz II Men.
  • If a disco song is performed by a female singer, chancer are it's been miscredited to Donna Summer. One example is "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor.
  • Pretty much every bubblegum dance song in the world has been attributed to Aqua at some point. Dance Dance Revolution fans are more likely to attribute all bubblegum dance to Smile.DK instead.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has many of its vocal themes performed by the rock band Crush 40 (the group's guitarist, Jun Senoue, is one of the series' main composers). Because of this, some songs that are done by different performers (such as both versions of "It Doesn't Matter" or "Escape from the City") are sometimes mistakenly credited to them. "This Machine" from Sonic Heroes has also been credited to Crush 40, even though it doesn't sound anything like them. It's Julien-K.
    • "Escape from the City" isn't sung by Phil Collins, either. It's sung by Tony Harnell.
  • Boards of Canada get a lot of these, many of which turn out to be amateur electronic musicians hoping to get their music heard by having the BOC name attached to it. The most infamous of these is Skeptical's "Chameleon", which was fraudulently released under the Boards Of Canada name on iTunes, though of course Warp Records got it pulled five days later.
  • To be honest, Boards Of Canada are not the first group that come to mind when considering the acronym BOC
  • not every Latin-infused rock song with electric guitars is by Santana.
  • Henry VIII of England is the king of this trope and possible Ur-Example. Henry VIII didn't write nearly as many songs and tunes as have been ascribed to him. He was a notable musician and composer of his time, and while a lot of this notability did stem from him being one of the most influential and recognisable English kings, he did write some songs and tunes that were well-regarded on their own merits. But not every Tudorbethan or late medieval ditty whose author is uncertain can actually be attributed to him, even though that is exactly what people have been doing ever since he was crowned. Best known examples are "Greensleeves" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", both of which music historians are now pretty sure he didn’t write.
  • On radio stations and music channels like MTV, many songs by the punk/post-punk group fIREHOSE were often mistakenly attributed to the glam/hair metal band Firehouse. The confusion here stemmed more from their similar band names, as they sounded quite unlike each other. In fact, even on Youtube, fIREHOSE music videos are uploaded by the Firehouse VEVO channel.
  • Dick Dale did not make every 60s instrumental Surf Rock hit. He did cover many of them, though.
  • Any song by Electronic is liable to be misattributed to Bernard Sumner's other, more famous group New Order, apart from "Disappointed" which is sung by guest vocalist Neil Tennant and therefore wrongly assumed to be by Pet Shop Boys.
  • Jamiroquai's first few songs, indeed a significant chunk of their output, have been mistaken for Stevie Wonder's work by people not paying sufficient attention.
  • Due to some stylistic and lyric similarities, people tend to confuse Lana Del Rey and Lorde with each other. Same goes for Jessie J and Katy Perry.
  • Freeform/happy hardcore remixes from the 2000s are often misattributed to the Norwegian duo Nightcore, and many even misapply their name as a (sub)genre.
  • Aqua and Toy-Box songs are frequently mistaken for being by the other group. To be somewhat fair, they are both eurodance-bands featuring a high-pitched female lead singer and a deep-voiced male co-singer.
  • Not every symphonic power metal band is Nightwish, Within Temptation, or Epica. Songs from the genre or similar sounding genres will often be mistaken for being by either three.
  • Not every bluegrass song is by Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, or Ralph Stanley. And if you hear a female vocal on a bluegrass song, it won't always be Alison Krauss & Union Station.
  • Name any hit Camouflage have ever had. It will be misattributed to Depeche Mode because the two groups sound so similar. See "Love Is A Shield" and "The Great Commandment" below.
  • Not every rock song with horns is done by Chicago.
  • Zara Larsson's music is often misattributed to Rihanna due to the similar vocal styles. For starters, Rihanna is black while Larsson is white. Likewise, MNEK, her collaborator on "Never Forget You", is often mistaken to be The Weeknd.
  • Industrial group Project Pitchfork's early-mid '90s songs may be mistaken for Skinny Puppy, due to their similar vocal style at the time.
  • 3 Mustaphas 3 =!= The Ukrainians. An easy error to make, since both could be filed under Balkans folk parody.
  • ABC and The Human League, both New Wave pop bands from Sheffield, sound quite similar to one another. Ditto Heaven 17, founded by The Human League's original producers.
  • Not every 90s alt rock song with female vocals is by Alanis Morissette.
  • Late '90s/early 2000s R&B divas Debelah Morgan and Deborah Cox, in addition to their similar names, sound strikingly similar to one another, as well as Whitney Houston's material of the time.
  • Aphex Twin has never produced a Tetris remix. In general, he gets so many remixes or vaguely techno-sounding tracks attributed to him that Richard D. James once jokingly claimed his double album Drukqs consisted entirely of songs he downloaded from the internet that had been mislabeled as Aphex Twin. See also Glorious Subversions below.
    • One particular song attributed to Aphex Twin has been labelled "outside (kick ass violin solo)". This is actually "To Forgive But Not Forget (Lim'chol V'lo Lishkoach)" by a band called Outside.
  • There are New Age artists other than Enya, people. Here's a rather long list of songs that have been misattributed to her.
  • Pick any Vocaloid song. Chances are that it's been attributed to the singer(s) more often than the actual songwriter. (For example: "Rolling Girl" is by wowaka, not Miku.)

    Glorious Subversions 
  • Whenever a well-known artist is featured on a song (usually the lead vocals), the song is usually attributed to them instead of the actual lead artist.
  • "Girls" is not by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's by Tricky, though Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis and former guitarist John Frusciante appear uncredited on the track.
  • "Election Day" is not a Duran Duran track. It's by Simon LeBon's side project group Arcadia during the brief hiatus Duran Duran was on in the mid-1980s.
  • "Emotions In Motion" or "Stay The Night" are not by The Cars. They are solo recordings by the band's lead singers, Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr, respectively.
  • The songs "Blame It On The Boogie" and "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" are commonly attributed to Michael Jackson...who does sing on them, but they are by his band The Jacksons and not part of his solo work.
  • The remix of the Pacman theme that's often credited to Aphex Twin? It was released by Power Pill... seems like a case of this trope, right? Except that Power Pill is a pseudonym of Richard D. James— who's better known as Aphex Twin!
  • Paul Young's song "Everytime You Go Away" can easily be mistaken for a Hall & Oates song. However, Daryl Hall did write the song for Hall & Oates and their original version does appear on their album Voices. Hall & Oates never released their version as a single while Paul Young's cover was, causing Young's version to overshadow the original, while being occasionally misattributed to Hall & Oates.
  • Most people know "Dancing With Myself" as a Billy Idol song. This recording was originally released by Idol's band Generation X, making this seem like a case of Misattributed Song... but subverted in that Billy Idol was one of only two members of Gen X to have played on the actual song!
    • And indeed, a couple months after the release of Generation X's recording, Idol recorded his own solo version of the song as his first solo single.
  • "Careless Whisper" was never intended to be a Wham! song but was a solo recording by Wham! member George Michael. Andrew Ridgeley did not perform on the track (although Ridgeley co-wrote it). However, it was officially released (and reached # 1) in the USA as being by "Wham! featuring George Michael" because the record label said so, so anyone claiming the song was a Wham! song are technically sort of right in an odd, unfair way.
    • There are many people that thought the saxophonist featured in this song was Kenny G, while it was actually less known musician Steve Gregory. However, Kenny G actually did a cover of the song in 2004 on the album At Last...The Duets Album, featuring Brian McKnight on vocals.
  • "All The Young Dudes" by Mott The Hoople is constantly misattributed to David Bowie. He wrote the song, produced and sang backing vocals on Mott the Hoople's recording, and eventually recorded his own version (although it was not released until 1995), so they are right, From a Certain Point of View.
  • It's easy to think that "Music Sounds Better with You" by the one-off group Stardust is by Daft Punk. And for good reason, since Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter was part of the group.
  • Robin Gibb's track "Toys" has been credited to The Bee Gees.... which is technically correct. While sourced from Robin's solo album 'Walls Have Eyes,' the track was not only written by all three brothers, but features Maurice and Barry on backing vocals.
    • Robin's brother Andy has had nearly all of his songs misattributed to the Bee Gees as well.
    • "Emotion" is by Samantha Sang, but the Bee Gees wrote it, produced it, sang back-up, and eventually recorded their own version.
      • Similar confusion with Yvonne Elliman's hit version of "If I Can't Have You".
  • "Mexicali Blues", which appears on the The Grateful Dead's highly popular greatest hits album Skeletons from the Closet is actually a song from guitarist Bob Weir's solo album, Ace. That makes the previously obscure song's appearance on the compilation strange, right? Well, in actuality, almost every member of the Grateful Dead c. 1972 perform backup duties on every song on Ace, thereby making the song and album basically by the Grateful Dead!
  • Everybody knows Mick Jagger is the lead singer of The Rolling Stones, but "Just Another Night" is him going solo.
  • "Blaze of Glory" was a solo song from Jon Bon Jovi, and not from the band that carries his name. He had it included it in the band's Greatest Hits compilation, though.
  • "Caroline, No" is technically not a Beach Boys song: it was originally issued as a Brian Wilson solo single (no other Beach Boys appear on the single, but most of the group's regular backing session musicians do), and made the pop charts in 1966 properly credited to only him. However, after its single release, it appeared on the band's seminal Pet Sounds record (and the endless compilations released afterwards) credited to the band. Its come to the point where its now more often considered a Beach Boys song than a Wilson solo effort.
  • "Smooth" is not by Matchbox Twenty, but rather Santana featuring Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas.
    • Rob Thomas has a VERY distinctive voice, so this would be a very easy mistake to make. Most people probably assumed Matchbox 20 was either trying something different, or had a guest guitarist for one song. Rob wasn't really known as a solo artist yet when that song came out. Additionally, Santana's guitar sound and style is one of the most iconic and recognizable in the world.
  • "American Girls" is not by Weezer, but by Homie - a short-lived side-project of Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. While mainly the work of Rivers Cuomo, Matt Sharp, and a bunch of non-Weezer affiliated musicians, the rest of the Blue Album/Pinkerton era band made minor contributions to the studio recording: Pat Wilson played a short drum part that was looped throughout the song, and Brian Bell contributed backing vocals.
  • "Scenario" is not by Busta Rhymes, even though he has two verses. It's by A Tribe Called Quest featuring Leaders of the New School… Busta's old rap group.
  • Neither "Life's Been Good" nor "Rocky Mountain Way" are by the Eagles. They're both solo efforts by their guitarist and occasional lead singer Joe Walsh. ("Life's Been Good" does feature vocal and instrumental backing by the rest of the Eagles, however, and a live version was included on the Eagles Live album.)
  • "Together in Electric Dreams" is often credited to The Human League - in fact it's a collaboration between their lead singer Phil Oakey and composer-producer Giorgio Moroder. To be fair, though, the track is very strongly styled to sound like the group (female backing vocals and all), it does actually appear on their greatest hits album, and is regularly covered by them in concert... in effect it is a Human League song now, even if the original hit version wasn't.
  • "Bother" is another case of a song originally by a solo performer being absorbed into their band's catalog: It first appeared on the Spider-Man soundtrack credited solely to Corey Taylor, as he wrote and performed the song entirely by himself. However, the same version of the song was re-released on the Self-Titled Album by his band Stone Sour, and it was also released as a single under the Stone Sour name. It's also not uncommon for any of Stone Sour's songs to be misattributed to Taylor's more famous band.
  • "Battlesong" is sometimes credited to Gorillaz, when it's really by Deltron 3030. However, there's a reason the song sounds somewhat similar to early Gorillaz: Two of the main members of Deltron 3030 are Dan the Automator, who produced the self-titled Gorillaz album, and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, who appeared on the Gorillaz songs "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock The House" from Gorillaz. Actually, the strangest thing about this misattribution is that there are two Deltron 3030 songs that also feature Damon Albarn ("Time Keeps On Slippin'" and "What Is This Loneliness?"), so it would be a bit more logical to associate either of those songs with Gorillaz instead.
  • "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" is popularly attributed to Jimmy Buffett, which is easy to understand since its his style of song and he does appear and sing on the song about halfway through. But it actually Alan Jackson's song... not that Jackson really minds if Buffett plays it at Parrothead concerts.
  • "Uptown Funk" is officially a Mark Ronson song, but almost everyone outside the UK, and especially in the U.S., associates it first and foremost, with Bruno Mars. Because Mars is a global pop superstar whereas Ronson is almost completely unknown outside his home country, plus the fact that it was sang entirely by Mars while Ronson only did production work, this misperception was inevitable.
  • As badly misattributed as "Uptown Funk" tends to be, it's nothing compared to "The Hanging Tree" from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. This song's official lead artist is film composer James Newton Howard who is almost completely obscure to the general public, whereas its featured vocalist is one of the most widely recognized personalities in the world. Even Billboard magazine themselves wrote an article about Jennifer Lawrence getting a top 40 hit and relegated James Newton Howard to a footnote (in contrast, they never tried to downplay Ronson to the same extent).
  • "Latch" is officially a song by Disclosure, but it only became a hit in the U.S. because its vocals were provided by the fast-rising Sam Smith. As a result, the duo remains quite obscure there despite the song's success, which is more attributed to Smith. The funny thing is, "Latch" isn't even their most well-known song in their native UK (that honor goes to "White Noise").
  • Lorde:
    • "Easy (Switch Screens)" is a song by Son Lux featuring Lorde on vocals. Search results show that from the listener's point of view, it is Lorde's song first and foremost. Aside from the obvious discrepancy in the two artists' fame and commercial success, this is not helped by the fact that it became a staple of her live performances.
    • Lorde did this again with the aforementioned Disclosure. Much like what happened to "Latch", "Magnets" is widely seen as Lorde's song rather than theirs. It was to the point where it actually got airplay on alternative radio (despite it being an EDM song) solely because of Lorde's vocals.
  • Calvin Harris is by no means obscure in the U.S., but his hit song "I Need Your Love" became a hit because it had Ellie Goulding on vocals. As such, it is viewed as being Goulding's song more than Harris's. It's associated with Goulding enough that it also appeared as a bonus track to her album Halcyon, though the track-listing on the back cover makes sure to credit the song to "Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding". The same is true with the next Harris/Goulding collaboration "Outside."
  • "In a Broken Dream" is usually credited to Rod Stewart, when in reality it's by the obscure Australian band Python Lee Jackson. Stewart recorded the lead vocals because the band's lead singer, Dave Bentley, didn't feel like singing it.
  • "Locked Away" is not by Maroon5. It is by little-known reggae duo R. City, although Adam Levine sings the chorus. The same confusion applies to "Stereo Hearts" by Gym Class Heroes.
  • "Go Alone" is not by Avenged Sevenfold. It's by little-known band Hell or Highwater, but M. Shadows does provide vocals.
  • "Hell Isn't Good" was not done by Metallica, even though James Hetfield does sing on the track. That's DVDA you're hearing.
  • Rage Against the Machine:
    • Subverted with "Snoop Bounce" by Snoop Dogg, which features everyone from the band except Zack de la Rocha.
    • The rock remix of "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta Fuck Wit" is only by guitarist Tom Morello (who also played bass) and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.
    • For decades, a rock remix of "B.O.B." by Outkast was believed to have been by them. In 2020, it was confirmed that the remix was by Zack de la Rocha… the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine.
  • "The Neverending Story" (the theme to to the film) isn't by Kajagoogoo, it's a solo song by their lead singer Limahl. However after Limahl rejoined the band they added it to their live set due to popular demand. And the Pet Shop Boys did not cover it, that was DJ AC/DC (not to be confused with AC DC).
  • "I Don't Care" is not a song by Three Days Grace. It's by Apocalyptica with then-frontman Adam Gontier on vocals.
    • Similarly, "I'm Not Jesus" (sung by Corey Taylor) is neither by Slipknot nor Stone Sour, nor is "End of Me" (sung by Gavin Rossdale) by Bush, nor is "Not Strong Enough" (sung by Brent Smith and later re-recorded by Doug Robb) by Shinedown or Hoobastank.
  • "Tonight is the Night" was not produced by La Bouche. It was by Le Click featuring La Bouche vocalist Melanie Thornton, but it eventually appeared on La Bouche's Greatest Hits Album.
  • Mark De Gli Antoni's "Mermaid" circulates online as a Soul Coughing rarity, sometimes also mislabeled as "Tell The Mermaid": Mark De Gli Antoni was a member of Soul Coughing, contributing keyboards and Sampling, and it's one of several songs on his solo album Horse Tricks that are effectively performed by Soul Coughing minus vocalist/guitarist Mike Doughty. A further Soul Coughing connection is that the band would sometimes play the song as an "intro" to their live performances.
  • "Sex Drive" was not originally a Dead or Alive song, despite appearing on their Nukelopatra album; it was a collaboration between the Belgian Eurodance group Glam and DOA singer Pete Burns.
  • The song known as "Eiffel 65 - Discovery Channel" is actually a remix of The Bloodhound Gang's "Bad Touch"... by Eiffel 65.
  • Yes, Nick "Chicane" Bracegirdle did remix Tomski's "14 Hours to Save The Earth", but under the alias Rebel Transcanner. Similarly, Bracegirdle produced "Nagasaki Badger" not as Chicane, but as Disco Citizens.
  • "Higher and Higher" was not by Alice Deejay, but a solo effort by their main producer, DJ Juergen.
  • Led Zeppelin didn't cover "Sea of Love". That was the Honeydrippers, a side project of Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.
  • The 2004 metal hit "Save Me" is not by Pantera but by Damageplan, the side band of Dimebag Darrell before he was killed on stage.
  • "Lazaretto" is not by The White Stripes. It's a Jack White solo song.
  • "Boatman" is not by VNV Nation, but by Mono Inc. featuring VNV frontman Ronan Harris.
  • Delerium did not cover Madonna's "Justify My Love", that was Front Line Assembly, which Delerium is a side project of, featuring Kristy Thirsk, a regular featured vocalist with the latter project.
  • A famous cover of "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" featuring Cass Elliott on lead vocals is often attributed to her group The Mamas & the Papas, but it was actually performed solo by Elliot. However, the song - regardless of it being a solo track - appeared on the band's final album, 1968's The Papas & The Mamas in addition to Elliot's solo debut album (released later that year) and many of the band's greatest hits records.
  • "Gravity of Love" is not by Olive, but by Enigma featuring Olive member Ruth-Ann Boyle.
  • "Think About The Way" (not "Music is the Vibe" is not technically by Alexia, it's by Ice MC with Alexia as an uncredited guest vocalist. And Cascada didn't cover it, that was Groove Coverage feat. Rameez.
  • The Trouser Enthusiasts never remixed the Pet Shop Boys song "Heart", but it was sampled in "Heartbeat" by Monoboy, Ian Masterson's post-TE solo project.
  • Ratty is in fact the alter ego of Scooter, and the Ratty song "Sunrise (Here I Am)" was originally released in instrumental form under the Scooter nameplate as "Sunrise (Ratty's Inferno)".
  • The version of "It's A Sin to Tell A Lie" in Fallout: New Vegas was not performed by The Ink Spots as a group, but is the Bill Kenny solo version.
  • "Youtopia" (not "Lighter than Air") is not by Owl City, but by Armin Van Buuren featuring OC's Adam Young on vocals.
  • The popular version of "One Night in Bangkok" was not performed by ABBA, but by Murray Head. However, it originated from the musical Chess, which was scored by ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, and one of their female members even contributed to a live performance of the song.
  • Neither "Back in My Life" nor "Will I Ever" are by the Vengaboys. They're both by fellow Dutch Europop act Alice Deejay. However, they were co-produced by Vengaboys founders Danski & Delmundo.
  • The song regularly labelled "Skrillex - Cinema" is actually a remix of a song by Benny Benassi (with vocals from Gary Go) done by Skrillex.
  • "Justified & Ancient" isn't a Tammy Wynette song. It's actually a song by The KLF, but its most well-known version is a collaboration with Tammy Wynette.
  • "Innocente" (not "The Price of Falling In Love) is not by Sixpence None the Richer, nor did Tiesto originally produce it. It's by Delerium featuring Sixpence singer Leigh Nash, with a remix by Tiesto.
  • "Carte Blanche", though featured on Vincent de Moor's Moor album, is actually by Veracocha, a supergroup collaboration between VDM and Ferry Corsten. Likewise, "4 Elements" is not by Armin Van Buuren solo, but by Gaia, the supergroup of AVB and Rank 1 co-producer Benno de Goejj.
  • The '80s versions of "Don't Leave Me This Way" and "Never Can Say Goodbye" were not by Bronski Beat, but by the Communards, Jimmy Somerville's post-Bronski band. Likewise, neither band covered Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)", but Somerville later did it solo.
  • "Break Up" is not by Cascada, but by Kim Sozzi, though Cascada did remix it.
  • "(A) Night/Nite to Remember" is not by The Real McCoy, but by their former frontman, Olaf Jeglitza, under the name O-Jay.com.
  • "This Is Your Night" is not a Real McCoy song either; it's by Amber. It was, however, produced by the Berman Brothers, who also produced for RMC.
  • Descent 2 does not feature any Skinny Puppy songs, since they were disbanded during its production, but SP co-founder (Nivek) Ogre did contribute the songs "Glut", "Ratzez", and in the Vertigo expansion pack, "Rusty".
  • "Who Says You Can't Go Home" is not by Sugarland... but rather by Bon Jovi, who added Sugarland's lead singer Jennifer Nettles to the country radio edit.
  • Pink Floyd never covered "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" - that was Roger Waters as a solo performer.
  • "The Last Defeat" is not by Sunscreem, but by Solarstone featuring their lead singer, Lucia Holm.
  • "Uprocking Beats" is not officially by JS16, but by Bomfunk MC's. However, Jaakko Salovaara, AKA JS16, was the group's lead producer.
  • That "Spin That Wheel" song from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is not by Technotronic. It's by Hi Tek 3 with vocals from Ya Kid K, the rapper Technotronic is usually associated with. Also, "Spin" was co-produced by Jo Bogaert, who is better recognised as Technotronicnote .
  • "The Wire" is not by Kim Wilde, but by NINA; however Kim's brother Ricky Wilde did do a remix with Kim herself as a guest vocalist.
  • Neither "I Turn to You" nor the nu-disco cover of The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men" are by the Spice Girls; those are Melanie C and Geri Halliwell solo, respectively. The latter came out three years after Halliwell's departure from the group, and one year after they had disbanded entirely.
  • "Are "Friends" Electric?", "Down in the Park" and other songs by Tubeway Army are usually credited, even by radio stations, as solo recordings by frontman Gary Numan. This is somewhat correct, as Numan pretty much was Tubeway Army, writing and producing all the songs by himself. Additionally, Replicas, the parent album of both of the aforementioned songs, was later reisssued with a credit to "Gary Numan + Tubeway Army" and Tubeway Army technically still exist (or at least did for a time) as his backing band.
  • Radiohead don't have songs called "Harrowdown Hill", "Analyse" or "Hearing Damage"; those are all solo recordings by frontman Thom Yorke. Conversely, "I Want None of This" is Radiohead, not Yorke solo.
    • The Sparklehorse version of "Wish You Were Here" tends to be credited to them as well. However, there's a grain of truth to this - Yorke contributed some literally phoned-in backing vocals.
    • Yes, Yorke did record duets with Björk and PJ Harvey titled "I've Seen It All" and "This Mess We're In" respectively. However, he's the featured artist on both songs, not Björk/Harvey. And the other members of Radiohead had nothing to do with either song.
    • Yorke also doesn't physically feature on "Us Placers" by Child Rebel Soldier (a short-lived supergroup consisting of Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams). While that is indeed his voice you're hearing, his part is sampled from his solo song "The Eraser".
  • "Saturnz Barz" (not "All My Life") is not by Popcaan. It's a Gorillaz song featuring vocals by Popcaan.
  • The title song of Grease is not by The Bee Gees, but by Frankie Valli post-Four Seasons. It was, though, written and produced by Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees.
  • "Dancing into Danger" wasn't performed by Hubert Kah, but by One-Hit Wonder duo Inker & Hamilton; however, it was written by Hubert Kemmler, and produced by Michael Cretu, who also produced for HK as mentioned above.
  • "Just Another Groove" (not "Get Back Together"), is not by Fatboy Slim, but by the duo Mighty Dub Katz, one half of which was Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim.
  • The techno song "Ride", mostly associated with BT (and it did appear on the UK edition of Movement in Still Life), was actually a collaboration between him and Sasha under the supergroup name 2 Phat Cunts (AKA 2PC).
  • The disco cover of The Elgins' "Heaven Must Have Sent You", featured in 54, was not by Diana Ross, though her former band The Supremes also covered it, or the Pointer Sisters, but by ex-Pointer Sisters member Bonnie Pointer.
  • "The Ballad of Tom Jones" is not by Catatonia, but by Space. However, the female vocalist is indeed Catatonia frontwoman Cerys Matthews, who was even credited as "Cerys from Catatonia" on the original single, and the song is featured on both of the band's greatest hits albums.
  • "Something Just Like This", a collaboration between The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, suffered the same fate as the aforementioned "Magnets" when the EDM song was played on British alternative station Absolute Radio, who are unlikely to have even considered touching it if it weren't for the latter band's involvement. The song was even solely credited to Coldplay on the station!
  • "Back" is not an Ayla song, but a solo production by frontman Ingo Kunzi as DJ Tandu. Same for "Velvet", which later received an Ayla remix.
  • "Suedehead" (not "I'm So Sorry") is not by The Smiths. It's Morrissey's solo debut single.
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