7 pop songs that started off very differently

Kinderling News & Features

Music has a long history of borrowing, reworking and picking apart. So it's no surprise some of our fave songs have also had a long history of the same! These seven songs could have sounded VERY different (though we're pretty happy with the ones we know and love).

1. ‘One After 909’ The Beatles

Let It Be was the last album The Beatles released, in 1969, but it was first written as early as 1957 by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, then recorded in 1962. The first recording below, compared to the second, shows a marked maturation in the quality of the band’s sound.

2. ‘Do The Monkey’ by The Wiggles

Most parents out there would be familiar with The Wiggles’ famous singalong number, but did you know their original adults band also released it on an album? Jeff Fatt and Anthony Field were both in The Cockroaches, and created the tune originally as a rock song for their 1994 album St Patrick’s Day 10am.

3. ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson

Can you believe that ‘Billie Jean’ almost didn’t make it onto the Thriller album?! Producer Quincy Jones was not keen on the song, thinking it would mislead listeners to thinking it was about tennis player Billie Jean King.

Fortunately for us all, Michael Jackson fought to keep the song on the album, and while he had to make a few minor lyric changes, managed to keep it fairly similar to the first recording he made in his home studio.

4. ‘Beth’ by KISS

Originally this tune was called ‘Beck’ and was written for KISS drummer Peter Criss’ former band, Chelsea. This was in honour of guitarist Mike Brand’s wife, Becky. Five years later, Peter took the song to KISS and Gene Simmons originally objected to the song’s inclusion on Destroyer. But once it became a hit, he quickly took credit for changing the name to ‘Beth’!

5. ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen

When David Bowie popped into the studio to work with Queen, he ended up working on a track called ‘Feel Like’. He claims to have written most of the lyrics and the iconic bass line, but Queen wasn’t actually too happy with the final song, and even Bowie didn’t want it released as a single.

Eventually it was released as a standalone tune (due to those seeking some cash) and ‘Under Pressure’ was released, becoming a number one hit.

6. ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath

While clearly now about Vietnam, the lyrics to ‘War Pigs’ were more like Black Sabbath’s trademark style. Songwriter Geezer Butler’s original lyrics described the witch party celebrated by German Occult celebration, Walpurgis. The song was revamped in 1970.

7. ‘Jealous Guy’ by John Lennon

Somehow, when writing The Beatles’ self-titled album, Paul McCartney and John Lennon both wrote separate songs on the same topic – the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Paul’s piece, ‘Mother Nature’s Son’, ended up being included on the album.

John eventually released the tune in a vastly different form, Imagine in 1971 as ‘Jealous Guy’.