YUTOPIA’s Favorite Forgotten Originals

Whoever cites something in the name of the original source brings redemption to the world1

In my religious and academic lives I have an affinity for tracking down the original sources of ideas. Not surprisingly, this trait extends to other areas of geekdom including music. While there are no shortage of cover songs – with more coming every day – there are times when the cover version so completely overshadows the original that only few know whence it came.
In the interests of promoting music education, I’ve collected some of my favorite lost originals.

The Arrows – I Love Rock and Roll

Gloria Jones – Tainted Love

The Four Lads – Istanbul

Otis Redding – Hard to Handle

Neil Diamond – Red Red Wine

Louis Prima – Just a Gigolo

J.J. Cale – Cocaine

The Slade – Cum On Feel the Noize

Merrilee Rush – Angel of Morning

Cat Stevens – The First Cut Is The Deepest (forgot this one myself)

Jackie DeShannon – Bette Davis Eyes

1. I’ve always loved the irony that many educated Jews are familiar with this quote but do not know to whom it is attributed. To my knowledge the only instance where this citation is itself attributed is B. Megillah 15a which records this statement in the name of R. Elazar citing R. Hanina. Cue up Redemption Song.


  1. Daniel
  2. Michael Feldstein
  3. Jake Cohen
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