Counting Crows: Big Yellow Taxi
This song about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot was originally recorded by Joni Mitchell, who wrote the song about visiting Hawaii.
Britney Spears: My Prerogative
This incredible Britney song, which came with a video featuring Britney dancing on a Porsche in a pool, is actually a cover of a 1988 Bobby Brown single. The two songs are musically pretty different, and a few lyrics were changed to fit a woman’s perspective.
Smashmouth: I’m a Believer
Another classic from the Shrek soundtrack, this tune is actually from 1960s band the Monkees and was composed by Neil Diamond.
Unkle Kracker: Drift Away
This song is actually a 1973 track from some guy called John Henry Kurtz. It was made successful the following year by Dobie Gray, and then it was a major hit again in 2003, when it was recorded by Uncle Kracker and Gray. It’s also been covered by like a hundred other people.
Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah
This tear-jerker from the Shrek soundtrack was popularised by Jeff Buckley on his 1994 album Grace. It was originally recorded by Leonard Cohen back in 1984, but wasn’t very successful.
Soft Cell: Tainted Love
The Soft Cell version of this song was what brought it worldwide fame in 1981, but before that, it was released back in 1964 by Gloria Jones. Strangely, it was a commercial flop for her and didn’t chart at all.
Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
While everyone (hopefully) knows that the Miley Cyrus version of this song is indeed a cover, not many people realise that it’s not a Cyndi Lauper original. It was first written and recorded back in 1979 by a DUDE named Robert Hazard. Which is a really cool name, though his version of the song kinda sucks.
Aretha Franklin: Respect
This song was actually originally recorded and released by Otis Redding, two years before Aretha’s iconic version came out. The lyrics are a tiny bit different, and so is the song’s message. Aretha’s is all about empowerment and getting respect from men, while Otis’s is a man’s declaration that he’ll do anything for women in return for ~respect~ (which is probably a euphemism). Also, the original doesn’t have the R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the chorus, so what’s even the point?
Pussycat Dolls Don’t Cha
This absolute banger from 2005 was actually originally recorded by Tori Alamaze a year earlier. But when she was dropped by her record label, they gave the song to the Pussycat Dolls, and the rest is history.
Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You
While it’s easy to associate this song instantly with Whitney and The Bodyguard, it’s actually a Dolly Parton original from 1974. Obviously, Whitney decided to lose the country twang and guitars from the song when she recorded her version.