I'm always fascinated when I find out that a hit song performed by one popular musician was actually written by another popular musician. This is especially true for these two living legends: Prince and Bruce Springsteen. Here's a list of their songs that were made famous by other people. (Note: despite rumors, current thinking dismisses the notion that Prince also wrote the "Uh-Huh" jingle for Pepsi and the "Always Coca-Cola" jingle for Coke.)
- "Nothing Compares 2 U". Easily the most well-known of Prince's songs that were covered by other artists. Sinead O'Connor's only true hit.
- "Blinded By the Light". A young Springsteen penned this epic, now a classic rock radio staple. It failed to ignite his own career as a rock star but did wonders for Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
- "Manic Monday". Prince wrote this especially for the Bangles, and although back in the '80s it was well known who the songwriter was, this fact may have become forgotten by some over the ensuing two decades.
- "I Feel for You". This 1979 Prince tune was given a second chance at greatness thanks to his friend Chaka Khan, who recorded it in 1984. (This was altogether Prince's year, thanks to the Purple Rain phenomenon: The Time's "Jungle Love", played in the film, was also cowritten by Prince.) Strangely, it was not common knowledge who the songwriter was. Maybe it would have been easier to tell if the title had been "Eye Feel 4 U".
- "Because the Night". Springsteen wrote this with his friend Patti Smith, for whom it was a big success. Years later, Ten Thousand Maniacs covered it in their MTV Unplugged appearance, and it once again went into heavy radio rotation.
- "Glamorous Life". Prince protege Sheila E. rose to the top of the charts with this song that he wrote for her. A lesser Sheila E. hit, "Love Bizarre", was also penned by His Royal Badness.
- "Fire". It's hard to imagine Bruce Springsteen writing anything for the Pointer Sisters, but their version of his smoldering pop song was a smash in 1978.
- "Sugar Walls". No surprise here: the Purple One was behind this dirty ditty, which in 1985 became a club hit for his occasional collaborator Sheena Easton.
- "This Little Girl". Alternatively known as "This Little Girl Is Mine", this song peaked at #11 in 1981. It was performed by early '60s rocker Gary U.S. Bonds and was one of several Springsteen compositions that Bonds recorded during his brief comeback. I'd like to close this list with the juicy trivia that Springsteen's "Hungry Heart" was originally written by the Boss for The Ramones! Unfortunately they never got to record it, as Springsteen decided to keep it for himself. It would become his first Top 10 single as a performer.