Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Delilah

First recorded by P.J. Proby (1967, released 2008).
Hit versions by Tom Jones (US #15/MOR #8/CAN #2/UK #2/IRE #1/GER #1 1968), The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (UK #7 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Delilah’ was written by Barry Mason and Sylvan Whittingham, to the music by Les Reed, who also contributed the title and theme of the song (a ‘murder ballad’), and earned Reed and Mason the 1968 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. It was first recorded by P.J. Proby in 1967, for his album Believe It Or Not, in sessions produced by co-writer Reed.

“Proby hated the song thinking it sounded like a German bierkeller and refused its release. (Proby’s original version remained unreleased for the next 40 years until its eventual release in 2008 on the compilation album P.J. Proby: The Best of The EMI Years.) Reed knew it was a hit-in-waiting and offered the song to Tom Jones. Reed was also the musical director on Tom`s cover version which explains why both the Proby and Jones arrangements sound identical.

“Tom Jones’ 1968 cover version reached #1 on the charts of several countries including Germany and Switzerland. It peaked at #2 in the UK and was the sixth best selling single of that year.

“The song portrays a betrayed lover who spies his woman in silhouette on a window blind as she makes love to another man. Although he realizes that she is no good for him, he becomes temporarily insane. Waiting until her paramour leaves, at the break of day, he knocks on the door, which she opens, only to laugh in his face. He stabs her to death. Realizing this murderous act, the betrayed lover begs her forgiveness before the police come to break down the door and take him away.

“A cover recording by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, performed live, reached #7 o the UK Singles chart in 1975.”

Tom Jones, “Delilah” (1968):

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (1975):

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