Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Don’t Cry Out Loud

First recorded (as “We Don’t Cry Out Loud”) by The Moments (R&B #79 1976).
Also recorded by Peter Allen (1977).
Hit versions by Elkie Brooks (UK #12 1978), Melissa Manchester (US #10 1978), Rita Coolidge (JPN 1979).

From the wiki: “‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ is a song written in 1976 by Peter Allen (‘I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love‘) with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager (‘Arthur’s Theme’, ‘That’s What Friends Are For‘). Bernadette Peters, who toured with Allen in 1989, has stated that Allen told her that ‘his mother taught him to always put your best face on’ in response to Allen’s father committing suicide when Allen was 14 years old. The references to ‘baby’ in the song refer to Allen’s younger sister.

“The first evident recording of the song is by The Moments (‘Love on a Two Way Street‘) on the December 1976 album release Moments With You, produced by Sylvia Robinson; this track – entitled ‘We Don’t Cry Out Loud’ – had a single release to chart at #79 R&B in 1977. Peter Allen himself included a version of the song on his 1977 live album It is Time For Peter Allen, with the track having a December 1977 single release.

“Melissa Manchester recorded ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ at the strong suggestion of Arista Records president Clive Davis, who felt that Manchester’s intended 1979 album release lacked a potential Top 40 comeback hit. Producer Harry Maslin would recall that Manchester ‘hated the song and was angry with me for doing it [i.e. producing Manchester’s recording]. I think that’s why I got such a wonderful vocal out of her.’ Manchester had regularly collaborated already with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, previously recording Manchester’s sole (to that point) Top Ten hit ‘Midnight Blue’ (1975).

“The imminent release of Manchester’s version of ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ as a single in the US resulted in an expedient cover by Elkie Brooks for the UK market with Gus Dudgeon (Elton John’s producer). Brooks’ ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ reached its UK Top 50 peak at #12 two weeks before Manchester’s version entered the US Top 40.

“Rita Coolidge’s performance of ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ took the Grand Prize at the Tokyo Music Festival held on June 17, 1979, with Coolidge’s album featuring the track and named for it becoming a Top 20 Japanese bestseller that summer.”

Peter Allen, “Don’t Cry Out Loud” (1977):

Elkie Brooks, “Don’t Cry Out Loud” (1978):

Melissa Manchester, “Don’t Cry Out Loud” (1978):

Rita Coolidge, “Don’t Cry Out Loud” Tokyo Music Festival performance (1979):