The research found that despite Whitney’s I Will Always Love You being the UK’s favourite cover song, less than a third of us realised the song wasn’t an original.
Surprisingly, 9 out of 10 Brits didn’t realise some of our most iconic songs such as Respect (Aretha Franklin), Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndia Lauper) and It’s Oh So Quiet (Bjork), are in fact covers.
Before they went on to become radio favourites, each of the below songs were sung by others, which surprised more than 75% of Brits:
1. Hanging on the Telephone – Blondie (95.2% unaware it was a cover)
2. Step on – The Happy Mondays (94.8%)
3. Respect – Aretha Franklin (90.2%)
4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (90%)
5. It’s Oh So Quiet – Bjork (89.2%)
6. Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers (88.1%)
7. I Fought the Law – The Clash (84.5%)
8. Proud Mary – Ike & Tina Turner (84.3%)
9. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor (81.7%)
10. Always on my Mind – Elvis (78.6%)
While the cover versions of I Will Always Love You and Respect continue to be considered better than their originals, I’m A Believer remade by Smash Mouth in 2001 never stood a chance when compared to the iconic Monkees’ original (1967).
David Bowie’s enigmatic Life on Mars, is the song we would most like to see covered, followed by Somebody to Love, Queen and Hey Jude, The Beatles.
However, one more version of My Way or Hallelujah might tip us over the edge, with the Frank Sinatra and Leonard Cohen’s originals topping the chart for songs that have been covered too often.
Madonna’s cover of American Pie is considered the worst cover song of all time followed closely by Britney Spears – I Love Rock’n’Roll and Jessica Simpson – These Boots Are Made for Walking. The over 55s in particular are not a fan of Madonna’s cover, most likely remembering the Don McLean original (1971).
With just over a week to go, the research by Mastercard looked at the best cover performances at the BRIT Awards, with Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse’s performance of Valerie in 2008 coming out on top.
Ronson & Winehouse also pipped Beyonce at the post with the live performance of Valerie at the BRITs out performing the singer’s Sex on Fire at Glastonbury (2011).