Top 10 Music Adaptations

The following ten music adaptations and remakes have been successful. They stick with viewers for long periods of time. Additionally, they have defined history and have left a mark on those who love the older songs, whilst still bringing in newer and younger audiences.


1. Candle in the Wind, Elton John

The Candle in the Wind, written and sung by Sir Elton John, is not the original version. The song was previously called “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, in honor of Marilyn Monroe in 1973 album. Sir Elton John adapted the song in 1997 to honor his friend Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris.


2. Hallelujah, Espen Lind featuring Kurt Nilsen, Alejandro Fuentes and Askil Holm

The song was written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. In 2006, a Norwegian Quartet released the song and continued to make it a hit. It was the fastest selling hit in Norway and reached No.1 on VG-Lista (Norwegian Singles Chart). It remained at top 20 for 37 weeks. Although the song was not initially successful, it has become one of the greatest hits. It is sung at charity concerts and funerals, especially that of Jack Layton.


3. Hotel California, Gipsy Kings:

The song was an adaptation to the 1977 hit single of the same name by the Eagles. Gipsy Kings adapted the tune and lyrics in a flamenco version in 1988. Marc Anthony and Rascal Flatts followed in the 2000s. The song was named No.49 on the Rolling Stones list of greatest singles of all time.


4. Big Yellow Taxi, Counting Crows & Vanessa Carlton

Big Yellow Taxi was originally sung and written by singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1970. It was a big hit in Canada and Australia coming in at no. 14 and no. 6 respectively. The Counting Crows and Vanessa Carlton adapted this song to appeal to wider and younger audiences and as a soundtrack to Two Weeks’ Notice. The rendition was successful and topped Billboard`s top 40.


5. Respect, Aretha Franklin

The song was originally written and sung by artist Otis Redding in 1965. Aretha Franklin redid the song in 1967, which provided an altered essence. Both are compelling and have a deeper message. Whilst Redding pleas for a woman`s respect, Franklin`s version reiterates that she deserves respect. Franklin received two Grammy Awards in 1968 for this song.


6. The Time (Dirty Bit), Black Eyed Peas:

The song was originally known as “The Time of My Life“ and was sung at the finale of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. The 2010 Black Eyed Peas version redid the song, creating a hip hop like theme. The song was a good way to honour Patrick Swayze, while attracting new fans. The new version was viewed 100 million times on Youtube as of April 2011.


7. Killing Me Softly, Fugees:

Originally sung by Roberta Flack in 1971, this song was adapted by the Fugees. All in all, the song contributed to the Fugees` Grammy win for best album in 1995. The song reached No.2 on US Airplay charts.


8. Hava Nagila, Philip Kirkorov:

Philip Kirkorov in 2008 redid the song Hava Nagila in a defining way. He was successful at mixing it in 3 different languages (Russian, Hebrew and English). In this version, Kirkorov added small clips where that made the song differential from the previous versions.


9. No More Drama, Mary J. Blige:

The melody was originally titled “Cotton’s Dream” and was composed by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jr in 1971. In 1973, Botkin Jr. recreated the song for the Young and the Restless and titled it Nadia`s theme. Mary J. Blige successfully transformed the song in 2001, yet again. This was the modern version which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboards and No.9 in the United Kingdom. Daytime Emmy Awards used her song by reapplying it to the Young and the Restless` year in review.


10. Living on my Own, Hikaru Utada:

This J-Pop artist redid the 1985 Freddie Mercury song, Living on my Own in 2000. A previous remix was done in 1993 which led the song to be no.1 for two weeks in a row. This was the only song Freddie Mercury wrote and sang which hit no.1.


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