What do “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, and “Dazed and Confused” by Led Zeppelin, all have in common? Well, besides the fact that your dog probably howls when you “attempt” to croon them in the shower (or maybe it’s your naked body!), they’re all cover songs. But unlike other famous cover tunes that were originally performed by well-known artists, most people have never heard of the performers who did these classics the first time around.
I Love Rock and Roll
Don’t lie, you’ve got every Arrows album ever made. No? Hey, I didn’t even know it was a cover until Arrows lead singer Alan Merrill passed away from COVID-19 in 2020.
This was suggested by one of my Tweeps. Ah come on get with it, you know, a Twitter (@benjifox1023) follower! Gloria Jones sang the original version in 1965 as the B side on a single. Both sides flopped but she was a highly sought-after studio singer for Motown so she stayed pretty busy. And here is another little rock and roll nugget I mined after doing research for this blog. She was the long-time romantic partner of Marc Bolan aka T. Rex.
Dazed and Confused
Jake Holmes. Sounds like the kind of name the Nashville music machine cranks out on a weekly basis. But get ready because this is no ordinary Jake Holmes. This Jake Holmes also wrote the “I’m a Pepper” jingle for Dr. Pepper as well as the burned into your brain US Army jingle, “Be All That You Can Be”. If you were around in the ’80s, you should know it by heart. Jake’s original version has kind of an acoustic Byrds like vibe to it. In June 2010, Holmes filed a lawsuit against Jimmy Page for copyright infringement in United States District Court, claiming Page knowingly copied his work. They settled out of court. Hey make sure you cover your a$$ before you cover a song.