10 songs you probably did not know were covers

Great songs you may not know by the original artists.

Bowling For Soup Performs At Ace Of Spades
Bowling For Soup Performs At Ace Of Spades / Tim Mosenfelder/GettyImages
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I’M SO GLAD – Cream, 1966

They came from the Yardbirds and Manfred Mann and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. They formed the first supergroup in rock history. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker barely lasted as Cream for three years and three and a half albums, but their impact on rock and blues is monumental.

The American release of their first album, Fresh Cream, had their first hit – “I Feel Free.” Hiding toward the end of side two, was their hard blues-rock take on “I’m So Glad.” It had Clapton’s insistent riff and Bruce’s equally insistent vocals, and it starts off rather restrained before bursting into an anthemic statement of – well, being glad.

If you know and love the Cream song, you owe it to yourself to give a listen to the original, recorded more than thirty years earlier by a man from Mississippi who accompanied himself on guitar. Skip James went up to Wisconsin to record some songs in 1931. They didn’t really take off and he kind of faded from view.

But those songs reveal an artist who is only rivaled by the great Robert Johnson as a master of delta blues. James was rediscovered late in life and rerecorded a lot of his originals in the mid-1960s, which is how Cream found “I’m So Glad.” I won’t attempt to describe James’ version. I’ll fail. Just listen. And if you like it, listen to the rest of James' limited but magnificent output.