First song recordings

Posted by Shazy on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First song recordings
You may be familiar with who made certain songs top charters, but can you guess who recorded them first? The answers may surprise you. And often the original is the better version. The results are like a history of American music, featuring the likes of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and more.'Take Me to the River'
In terms of commercial success, deciding the more popular version of this gospel-influenced classic may be futile. Ironically, when the composer went into the ministry, he dropped the song from his repertoire.

'Piece of My Heart'
When Janis Joplin, who recorded this soulful blues classic, heard the remake on the radio, she did not even recognize it. Later she admitted the singer who covered it was a "very talented and soulful singer."

'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'
Composed by the legendary songwriting team of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, this tune has been covered by a number of artists and was even featured as a popular TV commercial.

'The Man Who Sold the World'
This song was influenced by a science fiction novella but tends to be interpreted as someone who feels like an outcast from society. A younger generation of fans would often upset the composer when they thought he was the one doing the cover.

Is it the best cover song ever? Fans of a popular indie radio station think so, but you should judge for yourself. It may be a modern hymn.

'All Along the Watchtower'
Both versions of this classic still stand up 40 years later, but there's a mystique about the cover, because the artist died tragically young. Besides, he was a better singer and musician, but the composer is a cultural icon.

Led Zeppelin cover songs
They might be the most popular classic rock band ever, but some people believe Zeppelin stole some of their best material from the likes of Joan Baez and Willie Dixon.

'Money (That's What I Want)'
At the time the Beatles covered this classic tune, they had no idea how much the cash would pour in. A better version, perhaps, but both the band and the original artist may have cringed upon hearing a new-wave version of the same tune.

'Higher Ground'
The original is still the more popular version, but the cover has been featured in at least five films, on TV shows and was voted the second best cover ever.

'Hey Joe'
Remember the band the Leaves? Don't worry, few do. The cover is such a classic that most people believe the cover artist wrote it.

Bruce Springsteen covers
Bruce Springsteen is such a legendary artist; who would dare cover his work? Lots of people. His songwriting is original and compelling. The covers are more popular, but are they better?

'Crazy Mary'
This tune was originally done by a woman raised in Louisiana who did some acting and struggles to be an artist with MS. The cover is more popular and done by one of the most popular grunge bands.

'Twist & Shout'
This tune was originally done by a band that is quite obscure. Originally known as "Shake It Up Baby," the most popular version was made by the Beatles, but theirs is not the only one.

The original was pleading for respect from a woman. The cover became an anthem for women's rights and earned this artist two Grammy Awards and, eventually, a role at a president's inauguration. Extra credit if you remember where she got the refrain "sock it to me sock it to me …"

'I Fought the Law'
So much trouble with authority figures! This song was written in the rebel '50s, covered in the mid-'60s and turned into a punk anthem in the late '70s. The original is so obscure, people thought the first cover was the original. It did not bring the band's leader good luck.

First done by Them, it then turned into a pre-punk anthem. Another one of those tunes with a spelling lesson, the two versions are about neck and neck as far as which is better.