Undercover Covers Part Two: 20 More Songs You Didn’t Know Were Covers

by (@JordanRuntagh)

12. You Know It As: “Manic Monday” by The Bangles

But It’s Actually…

This Monday morning classic is credited to a “Christopher”, which is the code name for Prince! He wrote the song in 1984, and originally recorded it as a duet with the band Apollonia 6 before pulling it off their record. He offered it to the Bangles, allegedly so that lead singer Susanna Hoffs would sleep with him.


11. You Know It As: “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye

But It’s Actually…

This song got passed around at Motown quite a bit before record head Berry Gordy got what he was after. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles recorded a version first in 1966, but it was rejected. Then Marvin Gaye gave it a shot and was also shot down. Finally Gladys Knight and the Pips got the all-clear, giving them a number 2 in 1967. Gaye’s version was relegated to an album cut a year later, but when DJs started to play it, it gave the label no choice but to release it as a single. It stayed at number one for seven weeks and became Motown’s biggest hit up to that point.


10. You Know It As: “Midnight Train To Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips

But It’s Actually…

Marvin Gaye stole “Grapevine”, but Gladys isn’t totally innocent herself. Her career defining track was actually done by Cissy Houston (Whitney’s mom) a year earlier in 1972.


9. You Know It As: “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles

But It’s Actually…

There’s something about Georgia! It turns out that the official song of the Peach State is actually a cover of a tune by Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra cut way back in 1930 -thirty years before Ray got to it. For a time, there was some debate over whether the lyrics referred to a woman or the state, but according to Carmichael’s memoirs, his friend and bandleader Frankie Trumbauer told him “Why don’t you write a song called ‘Georgia’? Nobody lost much writing about the South.”

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