Cover Me!

Some songs are so closely associated with certain musicians that it’s hard to believe they weren’t the first to perform them.

“Respect”
Best-Known Version: Aretha Franklin
Original artist: It’s an Otis Redding song. When it came out on his 1965 album Otis Blue, it wasn’t a hit or even a single. Franklin covered it two years later. When he heard her version, Redding reportedly said, “That little girl stole my song.” He was right—it became a #1 hit and Franklin’s signature song.

“Got My Mind Set on You”
Best-Known Version: George Harrison
original artist: Harrison’s 1987 comeback hit was a cover of an obscure 1960s soul song recorded by James Ray and written by Rudy Clark (who also wrote “Good Lovin’” and “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”). Harrison had wanted to do the song ever since he was with the Beatles—he thought it was well written, but badly performed on Ray’s recording. (He especially disliked the “horrible screechy women’s voices singing those backup parts.”)

“Killing Me Softly With His Song”
Best-Known Version: Roberta Flack
original artist: In 1971 Los Angeles-based singer Lori Lieberman saw Don McLean perform “American Pie” and was so moved by his concert that she wrote a poem called “Killing Me Softly with His Blues.” Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel later wrote music for it, changing “blues” to “song,” and Lieberman recorded it—but it went nowhere. Flack read an article about Lieberman on an in-flight magazine, thought the title of the song was great, and later, upon hearing it, decided to record it herself.

“Tainted Love”
Best-Known Version: Soft Cell
original artist: It’s arguably the definitive 1980s synth-pop song, but Ed Cobb of the Four Preps wrote it in 1964 as a ballad for a little-known soul singer named Gloria Jones.

“Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”
Best-Known Version: Three Dog Night
original artist: Randy Newman wrote it, and Eric Burden and the Animals first recorded it in 1967. Newman later included the song on his 1970 album, 12 Songs, which didn’t receive much attention at the time. But later that year, the song became a #1 hit for Three Dog Night, who transformed Newman’s slow, funk-influenced tune into a revved-up rock song.

“Greatest Love of All”
Best-Known Version: Whitney Houston
original artist: Though it’s one of Houston’s best-known songs (and widely regarded as one of the sappiest ever written), it was first sung by George Benson for the 1977 Muhammad Ali movie The Greatest. So is the song about Ali? No—lyricist Linda Creed actually wrote it about battling breast cancer, which would later claim her life at age 37.

“Don’t Know Much”
Best-Known Version: Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
original artist: The song was cowritten and performed in 1980 by Barry Mann, who wrote dozens of hit songs in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, and is best known for his 1961 hit recording of “Who Put the Bomp?” Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and Bette Midler both recorded “Don’t Know Much,” but it wasn’t a hit until the Ronstadt/Neville duet was released in 1989.

“That’s What Friends are For”
Best-Known Version: Dionne Warwick and Friends
original artist: Rod Stewart. He sang the song (written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager) for the end credits of the 1982 comedy film Night Shift. That version went largely unnoticed, but it became a smash hit when Warwick performed it with Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder in 1986 to raise money for AIDS research.

Originally published in Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music”. Translated from original text in English. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader books are currently printed in English only.

The new Killers album is coming – and we’ve got an exclusive trailer!

Starting right now Spotify has an exclusive 24 hour premiere of the final segment of the video trailer for the upcoming Killers album, Battle Born.

Artfully capturing each band member’s journey to the studio, this video, titled “Brandon, The Battle Born,” is the finale of a four-part trailer series that gives fans a taste of a new album full of music heavily influenced by the band’s Nevada roots.

Watch here to follow Brandon Flowers and the rest of the band across the red plains of the desert and shimmering lights of Las Vegas to the studio for a moving performance of their new single, “Runaways”.

Want more? Only a few more weeks until Battle Born is out on September 18th! In the meantime, check out “Runaways” here or jam out to The Killers’ complete discography in the Complete Collection App on Spotify.

Can you solve Spotify’s Tech Puzzles?

If you like a puzzle, here’s a mighty challenge for you! Are you techy enough to solve Spotify’s Tech Puzzles?
We use these puzzles to screen candidates who want to be part of Spotify’s development team. They’re a great way to find really talented people to come and work for us and help Spotify to be the best music service.

Click the tests below and see if you can solve some of the Tech Puzzles that previous candidates have tried out. They’re pretty challenging – but fun too!

Download the puzzles here and here as a PDF or click on the shelves below to browse the Puzzles.

If you want to find out more about working at Spotify, check out our jobs page.

Good luck!