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Come As You Are Original

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How Many Come As You Are Originals?

The bass riff from American grunge band Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” is one of the most iconic sounds of the 90s. But where did it come from? Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain wrote “Come As You Are”. Many claim Nirvana slowed down the riff from English band Killing Joke’s 1984 song, “Eighties”. Anyone who listens to both songs will certainly hear the similarities. But is it just a coincidence? And what other songs feature a similar riff? A few in fact. There’s Garden of Delight’s “22 Faces” from 1984, the Damned’s “Life Goes On” from 1982 and the earliest version I could find, Bauhaus’ “Hollow Hills” from 1981. Which one is the “Come As You Are” original?

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His Latest Flame Original

His Latest Flame Original & Cover Released Within Months

Songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman wrote “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame”, a “light-hearted story song with a Latin-influenced Bo Diddley beat”. Rock ‘n’ roll musician Del Shannon released the “His Latest Flame” original in June 1961 on his debut album Runaway With Del Shannon. And then a couple months later, Elvis Presley released a more successful and well-known cover in August 1961. A likable tune, “His Latest Flame” performed well on both pop and easy listening radio stations.

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Manic Monday Original

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Two Manic Monday Originals

In 1984, Prince wrote “Manic Monday”, anthem of beleaguered office workers everywhere. The song became a breakout hit for American pop group, the Bangles, in 1986. However in 1984, an American trio called Apollonia 6 recorded the “Manic Monday” original. And prior to that, Prince himself recorded an impressive demo that could be considered another “Manic Monday” original.

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Baby Face Original

A 1920s Baby Face Original

In the 1920s, songwriter Harry Akst wrote the music for “Baby Face” and vaudeville performer and songwriter Benny Davis wrote the lyrics. They published the song in 1926. In 1958, Little Richard, one of the most influential people in popular music and culture for seven decades, released a rock ‘n’ roll version of “Baby Face” that became his highest charting single in the UK. However Jan Garber and his orchestra recorded the “Baby Face” original back in 1926. Since that time, the song has been a standard, with versions that range from vaudeville to disco, released by a variety of artists.

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Professional Widow Original

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Professional Widow: Original v Remix

Who didn’t love cutting sick to the lyrics “It’s gotta be big” in 1990s nightclubs? Tori Amos released the “Professional Widow” original in 1996. She included the “harpsichord-driven rock dirge” on her third studio album, Boys For Pele. As a single, it came with Armand’s Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix, probably one of the best remixes of all time. Even me, a 90s kid, thought Armand Van Helden’s remix was the “Professional Widow” original. But the real “Professional Widow” original is just as musically interesting as the remix. And yes, we’ll be addressing those rumours that this song is about Courtney Love.

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A Touch of Paradise Original

Mondo Rock’s Touch of Paradise Original

“A Touch Of Paradise” is about an unknown place that is … well, paradise. Ross Wilson (Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock frontman), Gulliver Smith (Australian prog rock band Company Caine’s frontman) and Roger McLachlan (Little River Band bass player) wrote the song in the late 1970s. “A Touch Of Paradise” appeared on John Farnham’s iconic 12th studio album, 1986’s Whispering Jack, released during his splendiferous mullet heyday. Rock band Mondo Rock released the “A Touch Of Paradise” original in 1982. It appeared on their third studio album Nuovo Mondo.

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Don’t Cha Original

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Hot Like Me

In 2004, Anthony Ray (Sir Mix-a-Lot), Thomas Callaway (CeeLo Green) and Trevor Smith (Busta Rhymes) collaborated on a song called “Don’t Cha”. With its questionable lyrics yet admittedly catchy chorus, the song taunts a man for not having a girlfriend “hot like me”. Former burlesque group, the Pussycat Dolls, released “Don’t Cha” in 2005. The tune reached number one in over 15 countries. But it was former OutKast backing vocalist, Tori Alamaze, who sung the “Don’t Cha” original. And frankly, her version is much better than the Pussycat Dolls cover. The song that was meant to launch Alamaze’s music career instead launched the Pussycat Dolls as a global musical enterprise.

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Remember Me Original

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Woman of the Ghetto – the Remember Me Original

Note: this article refers to the 1997 song by Scottish DJ Blue Boy and the “Remember Me” “original” – Marlena Shaw’s “Woman of the Ghetto”. It is not about the song of the same name from the 2017 Pixar film, Coco.

The lyrics, “Remember me? I’m the one who had your babies, I,” refer to African-American maids raising white children for barely any pay. Blue Boy took the song’s title from a line sampled from Shaw’s live performance of “Woman of the Ghetto” at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Blue Boy arranged his song around two samples from Shaw’s performance.

The “Remember Me” “original” – “Woman of the Ghetto” – is a 1969 soul song, originally recorded for Shaw’s second album The Spice of Life. The version we discuss comes from her album 1974 soul-jazz album Live At Montreux. Blue Boy’s “Remember Me” is technically a sample rather than a cover but since it’s so heavily built around Shaw’s lyrics, we wanted to explore it here. Both are very interesting songs held together by that iconic refrain “ging, gi-gi-gi-gi-ging”.

Check out the Live at Montreux album

When the Levee Breaks Original

Origins of the When the Levee Breaks Original

“When the Levee Breaks” tells the story of the upheaval caused by the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927. In 1971, English rock group Led Zeppelin included a reworked version of the song as the last track on their untitled fourth studio album. Featuring John Bonham’s iconic drumming, “When the Levee Breaks” is considered on par with Led Zeppelin’s seminal rock anthem, “Stairway to Heaven”, which appeared on the same album. The “When the Levee Breaks” original was recorded back in 1929 by country blues artists Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy.

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It’s Oh So Quiet Original


In 1948, German performer Horst Winter (aka Harry Winter) recorded a song composed by Hans Lang with lyrics written by Erich Meder. The song was “Und Jetzt ist es Still”. Lyricist Bert Reisfeld translated it into English and called the song “It’s Oh So Quiet”. In 1951, American actress, comedian, dancer and singer Betty Hutton performed the first English version of “It’s Oh So Quiet”. And then in 1995, the song was further popularised by Icelandic singer Björk. Seeing it was the first version recorded, we’re considering Winter’s “Und Jetzt ist es Still” as the “It’s Oh So Quiet” original.

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