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Top 5 Covers That Were More Popular Than The Original

Lots of artists choose to cover other artists songs, but some end up getting more noticed than the original! Here are a few of the most popular songs that are actually covers.

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5. "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" is one of the earliest and most well recognized rock songs of the 80's. Discuss 80's rock with someone and the first songs they think of are usually either Van Halen or this. This song, however, was a cover of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by the British band The Arrows.

4. "Mr. Tambourine Man" - The Byrds

Bob Dylan penned "Mr. Tambourine Man" in 1965. A few months later, the folk rock band The Byrds, which included David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, covered the song. Their version became very successful and to this day is one of the most iconic songs played on a 12 string guitar.

3. "Mad World" - Gary Jules

"Mad World" started out as a Depeche Mode-esque eighties song written by Tears for Fears. In 2000, it was given new life in a heart-rending way when Gary Jules and Michael Andrews covered it for the film Donny Darko. A synthesizer driven track became a simple, sorrowful song of woe with merely vocals, piano, and a Mellotron mimicking a cello. Most people recognize this version of the song long before the original.

2. "Hurt" - Johnny Cash

When Trent Reznor of the band Nine Inch Nails wrote the song "Hurt", he wrote it about depression and drug abuse. The song was powerful and popular in its original form, but gained an even wider following when it was covered by country guitarist and songwriter Johnny Cash. Cash's version has a different tone, spoken from the view of an elderly man reflecting back on his life and accomplishments and wondering what he would do if he could start again. While Nine Inch Nails certainly conveys pain, it is Cash's version that has the power to bring people to tears.

1. "All Along the Watchtower" - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Bob Dylan, it seems, is such a phenomenal song-writer that other artists just can't resist covering his work. By far the most famous example of this was with the song "All Along the Watchtower". Jimi Hendrix covered the song for his album Electric Ladyland. It is commonly cited as some of Jimi's finest guitar work and most popular tracks. It was so good, that after Jimi released it, Bob Dylan altered his performances of the song to be more like Jimi's version. The cover actually influenced the original artist!

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