Yesterday, Tough Pigs posted this article: http://www.toughpigs.com/the-muppets-taught-me-every-popular-song-ive-ever-heard-of/ It's about how most of the songs the writer knows are because of the Muppets performance (and at the end adds that every song after 1981 is because Weird Al Yankovic did a parody or included it in one of his polka medleys). In thinking more about this, I thought it'd be fun to start a thread about songs where we're more familiar with a cover or perhaps "niche" performance than of the original. Of course I'm sure most of us know the majority of popular songs we do because of the Muppets, and it's okay to mention that here, but I'd like to talk about particular songs where we know about them from sources other than the original source or because the Muppets did a cover (there are several popular songs that the Muppets never did). It's interesting how few songs have both been covered by the Muppets and parodied/included in a medley by Weird Al Yankovic. When I first heard of Weird Al Yankovic, I knew he did parodies - his first song I knew of was "Eat It", and I already knew about "Beat It", and the person who first told me about him told me that he did parodies of songs (actually, I think he worded it as "making fun of songs" - I don't think I knew the word "parody" back then). When it comes to the majority of Weird Al songs, there's a higher percentage of me hearing the parodies/polka medleys before I first heard the original (I think Running with Scissors, and to a lesser extent Bad Hair Day and Poodle Hat, is the biggest exception, with me already being familiar with many of the original songs). Even with recent parodies I'm not familiar with the original (I prefer to listen to oldies/'80s music stations on the radio, but I do still hear a lot of modern music thanks to other people). In fact when his last album came out, I hadn't known ANY of the songs that were parodied and actually checked out most of the parody targets the day before the album came out (and then it turns out 2014 was a year full of songs I really like, not just the songs from Mandatory Fun). TV Tropes has the "Weird Al Effect" page, showcasing examples of people being more familiar with parodies (especially his songs) than the original, and I think Yankovic sometimes says in interviews that fans often hear his parodies first, and I especially recall an interview where he says Madonna did a cover of "American Pie" one year after "The Saga Begins" and fans asked why Madonna did an unfunny parody of a Weird Al song, but I think everybody knows that half his songs are parodies (and I've often dealt with or heard about casual fans who think all of his songs are parodies), even if they don't know what the song's a parody of I'd expect them to expect it to be a parody (also, I feel "American Pie" is one of those really famous old hits that modern audiences know). Additionally, I'd say a large portion of my knowledge of songs from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s come from their usage on The Wonder Years (though to be fair, many of them were the original recordings). I remember getting into The Wonder Years and then hearing certain songs I remember from the show on the radio or somewhere and I'd say, "I heard that on The Wonder Years!" I also grew up frequently seeing commercials for albums of old songs (some compilations of older singers/music groups my parents or grandparents grew up with, some decade or genre compilations) and would pay attention and recall many of the songs sampled in the commercials. That really familiarized me with certain songs. One odd case of me being familiar with a parody before the original was the Dr. Mario commercial featuring a variation of "Witch Doctor". I often think of the song with lyrics relating to playing a video game (and the witch doctor shrinking the singers head in retaliation) a bit more than the Chipmunks version. This commercial came shortly before Homeward Bound, and when I saw that movie and they sung a bit of the song, I just thought it was funny because I'd heard it in a commercial.