There's no greater compliment to a musician than to have a song you wrote covered by another stars — and next week, CBC Music is kicking off its very own Killer Covers 2 stream.

But while most covers don't overshadow the originals, some have taken on a life of their own, and even obscured their predecessors. So which ones went on to greater fame? We've gathered the top 20; you'll find the first 10 now and 10 more next week.


This powerhouse R&B tune was a hit for Otis Redding, but it took on a whole new meaning when Aretha Franklin belted out, “All I’m asking is for a little respect.”

'I Want Candy'

It started out as a Bo Diddley-fashioned tune by the Strangeloves, which hit the charts in the U.S., but it returned to the charts and got heavy play on MTV in 1982 when Britain’s Bow Wow Wow released their catchy cover, which has become a new wave-era classic.

'I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll'

Reportedly written as a response to the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It),” this tune was first written and recorded by the Arrows in 1975 — but '80s rocker Joan Jett gave it a much bigger bite, and took it to the top of the charts in 1981. Jett also had a hit with a different cover, “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

'All Along the Watchtower'

With its blistering riffs, this song seems like it was made for '60s guitar guru Jimi Hendrix, but it was fellow music legend Bob Dylan who wrote and first recorded the tune.

'Girls Just Want to Have Fun'

It started out as a song by a guy about what girls really want, but like Franklin’s cover of “Respect,” this Robert Hazard tune took on a completely different colour — and level of fame —when sung by quirky '80s musician Cyndi Lauper.

'Nothing Compares 2U'

It’s the track that launched Irish singer Sinead O’Connor into the limelight, but the famed break-up song was first written by Prince for his side project, the Family. O’Connor’s video for the track became one of the most iconic of its era.

'Black Magic Woman'

First released as a single by Fleetwood Mac in 1968, the original of this track was a popular blues-rock hit. What really made it big was a cover released by Santana, who blended jazz, folk and Latin rhythms into the mix a few years later.

'Tainted Love'

Soft Cell’s synth-heavy song “Tainted Love” was an '80s new wave hit that spent a record-breaking 43 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. More than 15 years before, it got its start as a Motown-style tune that was originally recorded by Gloria Jones, and failed to hit the charts.

'Hound Dog'

He may have been the King, but Elvis wasn’t the first to record several of his biggest hits, including "Blue Suede Shoes" and the legendary song "Hound Dog," which was originally recorded by Big Mama Thornton in 1952. Hendrix also recorded a blistering rendition of the track.

'I Will Always Love You'

Long before Whitney Houston took a darker turn, she released this cover, which appeared on the soundtrack to the film The Bodyguard. It was country legend Dolly Parton, however, who wrote and first released the track as the second single from her 1974 hit album, Jolene. It’s also just the second song in history to chart three times — in 2012 after Houston’s death, in 1992–1993 and in 1974.

posted by Jennifer Van Evra on Jun 27, 2013