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Top 10 Songs from Our Adulthood Made into Decent Covers

By Christina2 - April 7, 2014

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Music isn't meant to stay frozen in time, but rather be revisited and explored as the years go on. And a song that can not only last through the decades but also provide meaning for those not around when it was originally released it a sign it was good when it first came out. The following list of songs fit those qualifications, with both the original and the best cover listed together. Starting with number 10...

10. "Hound Dog"

Original: Big Mama Thornton first recorded this song in 1952, which spent seven weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts and sold 2 million copies.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Elvis Presley's version just three years later, which became such a massive hit it almost completely removed Big Mama Thornton's name from the conversation.

9. "Hurt"

Original: By now, everyone knows that the Nine Inch Nails were the first ones to pen and sing this song, but it was a certain man in black who made it worth listening to.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Johnny Cash covered this song in the last years of his life, and there's an urgency and poignancy that was never there with the NIN version.

8. "Sea of Love"

Original: The very first person to record this song was Phil Phillips, but he was struck unlucky by the fact his song was so catchy and suited so many other voices other than his own, like Tom Waits's and Del Shannon's voices.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Cat Power took the song and flipped it on its head, providing an ethereal and modern remake of it that keeps the song's message current.

7. "Last Kiss"

Original: The lyrics are vivid and haunting, but Wayne Cochran couldn't keep them associated to his name as various musical acts sang them instead.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: It's a tie between Pearl Jam and J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, depending on your taste in music and which decades you prefer listening to. Both are equally solid, and it comes down to personal preference.

6. "Respect"

Original: While his name may not immediately come to mind, it was Otis Redding who first put his stamp on this song about, well, respect.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Aretha Franklin is the woman most of us know when talking about the song "Respect", mostly because her version of the song just suits her and her voice so well.

5. "I Think We're Alone Now"

Original: Tommy James and the Shondells first sang this song in 1967, courtesy of songwriter Ritchie Cordell. It was a hit unto its own right, peaking as high as No. 4 on the Billboard charts.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Tiffany's version 20 years later, which elevated the 16-year-old singer into a superstratosphere of (temporary) musical fame. Interesting tidbit: The song that removed her cover from the No. 1 spot was another Tommy James and the Shondells cover, "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol.

4. "Killing Me Softly"

Original: Roberta Flack had an incredibly soulful, emotive voice that made you feel everything that was going on inside her, and this song is no exception.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: The Fugees—who admittedly aren't terribly relevant anymore—took this song and made it completely their own, with this representing some of Erykah Badu's best work.

3. "When the Levee Breaks"

Original: Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie took a spin with this song in 1929, giving the Mississippi flood that'd happened only a few years earlier a bluesy twist.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Almost four decades later, rock and roll heavyweights Led Zeppelin maintained a slightly blues feel but went a lot heavier with their version.

2. "The Tide is High"

Original: In 1967, The Paragons made ska popular when they released this song, and it was just too good to sit on it.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Blondie was looking for its second No. 1 single when guitarist Chris Holt jazzed it up with extra instrumentals and gave it that signature Blondie sound.

1. "I've Got You Under My Skin"

Original: To say Cole Porter was a master with words and lyrics is like saying some of his songs are catchy; the man was one of the century's songwriting greats, and his legacy is rarely approached, let alone matched. So, in 1936, his words were set in music for Virginea Bruce to sing in the MGM movie Born to Dance.

But you may remember it better for...

Cover: Frank Sinatra. Ol' Blue Eyes had more hits than you could shake a stick at, but "I've Got You Under My Skin" is one of his most memorable.