Blast from the Past: Classic Songs and Their Remakes

Cover songs are nearly as old as their originals. In fact, back in the early days of the rock era, covers of hit songs would often come out almost simultaneously with their originals, sometimes with the "remake" doing better than the "original." Take for instance Twist and Shout. The original version (then called Shake it Up, Baby was by The Top Notes in 1961. It went nowhere. Then, it was remade by The Isley Brothers in 1962, and it went to #17. But The Beatles took it to #2 (#1 on the Cashbox chart).

Sometimes, a longer amount of time goes between version one and version two. But both become classics of their eras. Take You Keep Me Hangin' ON, which was huge in 1967 for Diana Ross and the Supremes. It was remade by Vanilla Fudge the same year, and went to #6, amazingly enough. But it was in 1987 that it went to number 1 again for Kim Wilde.

Straying into the (early) disco era, a song by LaBelle called Lady Marmalade went to #1 in the States. And though it was remade a couple of times, it took until 2001 to go to #1 again, this time for the movie Moulin Rouge by Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim and Mýa.

But one of my favorite remakes is of Fred Astaire's 1946 Puttin' on the Ritz, itself not truly an original, but a remake itself of a 1929 tune. But aside from the treatment the song was given in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, the 1983 version by one-hit-wonder Taco (#4 on Billboard) is the one that sticks in many minds of my generation.

And that will do it for me for now, folks. Happy Monday!