I don’t always have the greatest handle on what’s popular and what’s not, so perhaps I’m not well-situated to make the judgment, but I have the distinct impression that Gnarls Barkley’s version of “Gone Daddy Gone” is much more well known than the Violent Femmes’ original rendition of the song. At least, I wasn’t aware of the original version until I checked the liner notes while importing the Gnarls Barkley CD into iTunes. Presuming my judgment is correct, that would mean that both of the first two cover songs I’ve posted have eclipsed their originals in terms of popularity. In that regard, I think that puts both of these covers in the minority. Generally, I’ve found original versions to be much more well-known (excepting perhaps some traditional songs, old hymns, standards and the like).
There will be several more covers to come throughout the year. I’m pretty sure the remaining revised versions of the songs are all substantially more obscure than the original material. Somehow, I feel like that also makes them better covers, but I guess that’s just the appreciation you get from knowing the original arrangement.