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Apr 26th 2021 at 5:46:42 PM •••

Here to add the obligatory every few year declaration that this page needs some serious help. A lot of examples are missing context, and a lot of them are sorted by artist instead of by title (and even then, some are sorted by original artist and some are sorted by cover artist.) Plus a lot of the entires are just plain poorly written.

Jun 17th 2017 at 5:24:06 PM •••

I noticed a lot of examples on this page are either outright nonsense or are in need of confirmation, so I've brought them here for evaluation.

So far I've only combed the alphabetized folders, and didn't necessarily get all of them - there's only so much trope maintenance I do in one sitting before wearing myself out.

Fan Myopia seems to run rampant on this page. Just because fans of a band can't identify a song as a cover, doesn't mean other people can't, and there's a good chance they don't even know that the cover exists.

    bad examples 
  • The Moody Blues loves "Bessie Banks". Um, okay? What does that have to do with anything?
  • The Ataris' cover of "The Boys Of Summer" (by Don Henley) was thought by so many Ataris fans to be an original that their lead singer started wearing a "Who The Fuck is Don Henley" shirt to shows. "So? The fans =/= the public. This is even on the First and Foremost page.
  • "Break My Stride" by Matthew Wilder, covered by Unique II, Max-a-Million, and more recently Blue Lagoon, and interpolated in P Diddy's "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down." None of the covers have become bigger hits than the Wilder version. Example outright says it's not an example.
  • Smash Mouth covers lots of 1960s rock music, most notably The Monkees' "I'm A Believer" (itself covered from Neil Diamond), to the point that it's hard to get mad at them for it, since they obviously love the source material. "They make covers" in and of itself does not warrant an entry."
  • Clint Black's "Desperado" may be one of the most-played country songs not to reach the Top 40, with a #54 peak. It's a cover of an Eagles song that is fairly well known despite not being a single. Being "fairly-well known" does not mean it is Covered Up. It has to eclipse the original.
  • Faith No More with The Commodores' "Easy". Pretty much boils down to "this cover exists."
  • Many of Limp Bizkit's fans didn't know that "Faith" was first performed by George Michael Many people outside their fandom haven't the faintest clue they ever recorded it.
  • "Heaven" by DJ Sammy & Yanou featuring DO; originally by Bryan Adams. Seems to be another "this person covered this song" entry. Even if this cover was a hit at the time, it certainly hasn't eclipsed the original.
  • "Heroes", written and recorded by David Bowie, is now better known to modern audiences through its cover by The Wallflowers. Bowie's version became the definitive one again as time went on. "This is an example... wait, no it isn't!"
  • How many people can tell you that Paul Davis was the first singer to do "I Go Crazy", and not DHT, Will Downing, Lee Greenwood, or even Barry Manilow? Actually, probably most people because Davis's is the best remembered version today. Ditto.
  • "It's Raining Men" was originally performed by The Weather Girls. Those who weren't yet alive when that version was popular are more likely to be familiar with the cover done by Geri Halliwell. The Weather Girls' version has since regained the lead. Yet again, the example is arguing with itself.
  • "Kids In America" by Kim Wilde has had various covers throughout the years. One such cover was featured on the dub of the Digimon Movie, performed by Len (not THAT Len! — this was the band that did "Steal my Sunshine"), and another was featured in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, performed by No Secrets. There is also the Jonas Brothers cover, where it was renamed "Kids of the Future" and made to tie in with Meet The Robinsons (hence why it mentions the Robinsons multiple times during the song), and the The Bloodhound Gang's version. Slightly older kids in America might remember the cover by The Muffs, which was used in the opening sequence of Clueless and subsequently featured in Rock Band 2. Basically, "this song has a lot of covers". Too messy to be coherent.
  • Show of hands: who knew that Disturbed's "Land of Confusion" was by Genesis? All of us who are older than 25 (and some of us who aren't). Possibly doesn't belong here, as it was a minor hit for Disturbed, but an enormous hit for Genesis. Show of hands: who knew that Disturbed ever covered this song? I'm 24 and I sure as hell didn't. When you have to add "possibly doesn't belong here", that's a baaaaad sign.
  • Roxette's "Listen to Your Heart" was eclipsed by DHT's version. No it wasn't.
  • The One-Hit Wonder act Framing Hanley's cover of Lil' Wayne's "Lollipop" is this, but only in certain circles as Wayne's version is still far more famous. Which "circles"? And who is Framing Hanley anyway?
  • People not into R&B often known "No Scrubs" as a Bastille song instead of a TLC one. I know Bastille as "that band that made "Pompeii". Seriously, what?
  • "Smooth Criminal" is generally known to be a Michael Jackson song, but Alien Ant Farm's 2001 cover is definitely the first that comes to mind for many younger listeners when they hear of the song. Stinks of "not really an example" dreck. Also no. It's even on the First and Foremost page.
  • Played with when it comes to "The Sound Of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel. The Disturbed cover has more views on Youtube than the original and many commenters think that it's a Disturbed original song. The Simon & Garfunkel version however is still very iconic. Though, the memetic "Hello darkness my old friend" has eclipsed the song itself with younger people, to the point where many don't even know the source. Weak example. Youtube views generally are not a good measuring tool for this.
  • "The First Cut Is The Deepest" has been covered so many times, no one remembers it was originally Cat Stevens. On one American Top 40, when Sheryl Crow's version was popular, that version was spliced with several other versions (including the original) to create a supercut. It should however be noted that, while Stevens's version is the original, it wasn't released until shortly after P. P. Arnold's version, which, along with Rod Stewart's cover, is arguably still the best known version of the song. Just "this has a lot of covers".
  • "Sweet Dreams" wasn't originated by Marilyn Manson on Smells Like Children; Eurythmics get that particular credit. The original is still popular in right though, especially fans 1980s music. Hasn't eclipsed the original.
  • Perry Como had a big hit with his cover of "And I Love You So," which was written and first performed by Don Mc Lean. McLean himself had a hit with "Crying" by Roy Orbison. Problem isn't the first part, but the second. Is that Roy Orbison cover actually remembered (it was a hit at the time)?
  • Some younger viewers of Wayne's World may think that the last song that Cassandra's band plays, "Ballroom Blitz", was written for the movie. It's actually a cover of a song from the band Sweet, and it was a big hit back in the 70s. (Far fewer think that Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" was made for the movie.)
  • While The Who's version is well-known, Limp Bizkit's version of "Behind Blue Eyes" is the first to come to mind with many people.
  • Many of the younger generation seem unaware that Blue Monday, covered by Orgy in 1998, was a cover of New Order's hit from 1983. Is their cover actually remembered though? Google/Youtube searches seem to indicate that it is New Order's song first and foremost.
  • Seether's cover of George Michael's "Careless Whisper" has mostly displaced the original nowadays.
  • Fear Factory's "Cars" has Gary Numan as featured artist, however Numan originally recorded the song, which became a hit in 1979.
  • "Eternal Flame" was originally by The Bangles. Those born in the '90s are more likely to think of the version by Atomic Kitten first. In the UK, maybe? I know AK were big over there but as an American I haven't heard a note of them.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers did it twice, with "Higher Ground" (Stevie Wonder, from Innervisions) and "Love Rollercoaster" (Ohio Players). Someone else in this discussion page has objected to the former, so I'm bringing it here.
  • "I Need a Lover" is probably just as famous, if not more so, as a Pat Benatar song than as being by John Mellencamp, despite the fact that Mellencamp's version was his first top 40 hit—and that he wrote the song to begin with. Interestingly, the article for the song on That Other Wiki lists it as being a Mellencamp song first and foremost, with only one sentence mentioning the Benatar cover. The First and Foremost page claims otherwise.
  • No Doubt killed any chance of hearing Talk Talk's original version of "It's My Life" on the radio for a few years, though the latter seems to be slowly regaining its prominence.
  • Younger audiences who haven't heard of The Cure will probably know "Love Song" from either the Softer and Slower Cover by Adele, or the dance cover by Jes.
  • The Isley Brothers cover of "Summer Breeze" probably counts. Ernie Isley adding a Epic Riff and ending on a badass three minute guitar solo. It went from a folk type tune by Seals and Crofts and turned into psychedelic funk/rock/soul track. Most people think this is the original version... which is ironic as the cover version didn't chart as big as the original. The "probably counts" wording alone was enough to draw my ire.
  • "There She Goes" by The La's. A peculiar case as The Las version and the version by the Boo Radleys appear in So I Married an Axe Murderer... yet the main one anyone knows is the Sixpence None the Richer version, which was included in every single Freddie Prinze Jr. movie ever made. Other pages on This Very Wiki claim that Sixpence's cover is forgotten today.
  • "Turn The Page" is originally by Bob Seger, but Metallica's version is just as well known, if not more so. "Just as well known" isn't enough. Has it eclipsed the original or not?
  • "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was written by Motown's Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team and became a #1 hit for The Supremes in 1966, but many listeners nowadays are more likely to be familiar with Kim Wilde's cover (which also went to #1 in 1987), or even Reba McEntire's version (which hit #2 on the dance charts in 1996). Vanilla Fudge's cover is also quite well-remembered. I've seen several other pages on this wiki claim that Kim Wilde's cover is forgotten.
  • The Grace/G-Easy version of "You Don't Own Me" seems to have become this to the younger crowd. The original version was by Lesley Gore.
  • "(Oh) Pretty Woman", a hit for Roy Orbison, was subsequently turned into a hard rock success by Van Halen and later parodied by 2 Live Crew. Challenged by someone else here, so I brought it here.

Edited by MyTimingIsOff
Jul 26th 2015 at 4:45:38 AM •••

I was watching a BBC documentary last night on the life and music of Johnny Cash. At one point he did a country-and-western themed song that was recognisable as Honky-tonk Angel, and my first reaction was

"My God, he's doing a Status Quo cover?"

It took a while to reflect it was probably the other way round - that Quo did a rock cover of Johnny Cash...

Nov 5th 2013 at 12:50:40 PM •••

Removed this example:

"Elmore James's version of Robert Johnson's "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom" is an interesting aversion. Johnson is often said to have invented electric blues with his version, so James's version, the first electric version to be recorded, takes it to its logical next step. As such, both versions are considered of roughly equal importance, a rare thing for a song. James's version has received more play on the radio and jukeboxes over the years, and most covers are based on his version, but Johnson's identity as the writer has barely been obscured."

I don't understand what is going on with those first sentences.

"Johnson is often said to have invented electric blues with his version, so James's version, the first electric version to be recorded, takes it to its logical next step."

Are you saying people think that the Johnson version was the electric version? Or that Johnson invented electric blues with it (which is both contradictory to the next sentence and wrong, since it's acoustic)? The wording is confusing me.

Edited by
Jul 28th 2013 at 4:59:01 PM •••

It seems like half of the entries on this page are "X recorded a song that was later covered by Y". I mean, who didn't know that Higher Ground was originally Stevie Wonder? Or that Live and Let Die was by Paul Mc Cartney? Surely the Roy Orbison performance of Oh, Pretty Woman is not "covered up" by Van Halen's?

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Sep 14th 2013 at 9:03:32 PM •••

I came to the talk page just to see if I wasn't actually just oddly aware of the "original" songs.* There are a lot of songs listed where not only do I really, really know the original and am surprised other people don't, "but didn't even know about the cover they're claiming has outshone the original." Someone needs to reign in this page!

  • For example, Sea of Love by Phil Phillips and the Twilights. Since it was their only Top 40 hit, and is over 50 years old by this point, I honestly don't know if "regular" people are aware of it. I figure that most people know "the song" somewhat, as in the original recording, just don't know who it is. Could a "regular" person confirm or deny this for me?

Feb 6th 2012 at 10:31:20 PM •••

Would Falco's "Der Kommisar" apply for this page? Most times you hear it (in the US, anyway), it's by After The Fire, most definitely not Falco...

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Jan 5th 2013 at 1:18:45 AM •••

In the US, sure. In Europe, Falco's version reigns supreme.

Jul 28th 2013 at 4:59:33 PM •••

Here in Canada I hear both about equally.

Jan 26th 2012 at 9:00:04 AM •••

Imitation is the sincerest form a flattery. The Bowie quote just seems like bitterness of an old man. We need a quote that can convey how a cover can really take over a song. I liked the NIN quote because it acknowledges that the song has been Covered Up.

Dec 20th 2011 at 10:03:42 PM •••


I don't really think this applies. Cash cover is very popular, no doubt, but NIN's version remains on constant rotation on rock stations. It's still one of their iconic songs. I don't think Cash's version has eclipsed it.

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Jan 17th 2012 at 12:45:53 PM •••

Rock radio sure, but Rock radio listeners are not the general public. This is a trope about the reaction of the general public and this is a classic example of this trope. I'm adding it back in.

The example itself mentions that media types often consider Johnny Cash's version the original. Such Cowboy BeBop at His Computer mistakes are usually a hallmark of a song being Covered Up.

Edited by DocStrange
Jan 25th 2012 at 5:07:50 PM •••

lol. talk about getting the facts wrong! 1994.

Feb 1st 2012 at 1:37:52 AM •••

Looks like the single was released in 1995. :)

Edited by CaptainCrawdad
Jul 26th 2011 at 11:10:41 AM •••

BW Stevenson a One Hit Wonder? Whoever put that there is crazy. I see your My Maria and raise you Shambala, Texas Morning, and A Little Bit of Understanding. And for the record, even B&D say they prefer BW's version.

May 17th 2011 at 11:50:04 AM •••

Should advertisements have their own category? There's a particular piece of music which I (and I'm sure many other people) think of as "The American Airlines theme", but it's actually a much older piece of classical music (of course, I don't know the name of it or anything.)

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Oct 17th 2011 at 8:25:37 PM •••

Dunno about the question of an advertisement category but pretty sure the music in question is a section of "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin. I don't think it'd really be a case of "Covered Up" though, since the music is the same as it's always played, it's just been associated with airlines

Edited by Quietkitsune
Apr 22nd 2011 at 9:31:55 AM •••

Why is this a YMMV trope? "Cover eclipses popularity of original" seems fairly objective to me.

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Jun 28th 2011 at 5:01:27 PM •••

I don't quite get that either. I guess its because it depends on where you live.

Oct 17th 2011 at 8:22:30 PM •••

I think it really is a combination of where you are and what generation you're part of. If a lot of people hear the newer version but the original is before their time, it's not hard for the new take to seem like the first and become popular, even if it's not any better or worse than the real original. And there's always the issue of personal taste; even if Guns 'n Roses did a version of "Knockin on Heaven's Door" that's considered more known than Bob Dylan's atm, to me, the best version is Warren Zevon's. And who knows, maybe down the line the original that was Covered Up will come back into vogue as new generations look into old artists?

Aug 5th 2010 at 6:46:51 AM •••

St. James Infirmary" as covered by Sachmo was in turn covered for the Richard Elfman movie "Forbidden Zone" by his brother, Danny, fronting the (then named) Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.

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