how annoying was it when your parents pointed out that your new favourite mc hammer tune was in fact a total ripoff?
well, there are so many tracks that i thought were originals and found out later that they were in fact mere updates. some are terrible – notably any of liberty x’s many cover versions – and some are actually just different as per some of the list below.
i think i must be getting old as i get furious when i hear updates of 90s house music on kiss fm that doesn’t sound better than the original – what’s the point in that?
bootsy collins – i’d rather be with you
hands up who thought beyonce’s ‘be with you’ was a welcome respite from the screechy ballads that populated the rest of ‘dangerously in love’? how many spotted that she’d totally ripped off this track? that girl just does not learn.
cool notes – i should have loved ya
popularised by narada michael walden, this was actually a demo by brit lovers rockers turned jheri curled soulsters, the cool notes. i prefer this version.
george benson and al jarreau – nothing’s gonna change my love for you
this is a ballad, a slushy one at that. but what mr benson and mr jarreau must have been thinking when they saw bouffant hawaiian glenn medeiros strolling alongside crashing waves crooning their song all the way into the top ten cheesiest records of all time, is anyone’s guess.
gloria jones – tainted love
it was easy to assume the all conquering soft cell version was the original. but with many of the early 80s classics, there was a reggae, or in this case, a northern soul classic lurking in the shadows. i bet that writer got paid.
otis clay – the only way is up
thank god for this northern soul classic. the horrific acid-pop-rave of yazz is now put into perspective as the irritating and unnecessary cover version it really was.
patti labelle – if you asked me to
patti’s belting vocals are relatively calm on this track, and a million miles and some light years better than frozen featured freak celine dion’s.
ready for the world – tonight
as appropriated by twista for girl tonight. i stumbled upon this by chance.
side effect – always there
well, i love the david morales remix of the incognito version and i had no idea there was a disco era original, but it makes sense. i have both on my ipod – i usually plump for originals but the incognito version is amazing. i’d even go so far as to say that i prefer their cover of stevie wonder’s ‘don’t you worry ’bout a thing’ and i LOVE stevie.
siedah garrett – do you want it right now
this really is the track that won’t die. right now we have a remix of the degrees of motion version, which at the time of release in 1992 i thought was the original. in the mid 90s there was a bootleg-gone-legit version blending it with get decor’s passion’. then i discovered a taylor dayne version from the late 80s and now this which i think predates it. degrees of motion provided the soundtrack to a happy summer for me – 1992 – and had the balls to record the video for ‘shine on’ at the same shoot at this one.
silk – freak me
you would have had to really watch a lot of mtv europe in the early 90s to spot this one as r&b did not feature heavily in the mainstream video playlists. when another level released this in 1998 many people thought it was their song. those that knew thought ‘ damn, fat little dane bowers sounds just like that guy from silk.’
sos band - just be good to me
to be fair, many of you are probably thinking i’ve gone mad with this one. but, in the uk, the main target audience of beats international’s ‘dub be good to me’ had no idea that this existed. so different, and both are cool. although this version is severely lacking a ‘tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty, you’re listening to the boy from the big bad city, this is jaaam hot.’
valentine brothers – money’s too tight to mention
not too far from the simply red classic we all know and, if not love, well, it wasn’t bad. it’s just that after hearing this original you wonder what the point was. but you can’t fault the flame haired one for trying to bring soul music to the masses.