First recorded by the Original Off-Broadway Cast of Hair (1967).
Also recorded by the Original Broadway Cast of Hair (1968), Jennifer Warnes (US #128 1969).
Hit version by Three Dog Night (US #4/CAN #2 1969).
From the wiki: “‘Easy to Be Hard’ was written by Galt MacDermot, James Rado, and Gerome Ragni, and was first performed in the original Off-Broadway stage production of Hair in 1967.
“Beginning in 1968, Jennifer Warnes (performing as ‘Jennifer Warren’) portrayed the female lead in the Los Angeles production of Hair. Coincidental to that, she recorded a version of ‘Easy to be Hard’ in 1969 for release (as ‘Jennifer’) in the UK in June 1969 (along with another song property from Hair, ‘Let the Sunshine In’). The American label Parrot licensed the recording for distribution in the US on the album, See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me, released in the spring of 1969. The single failed to chart in the UK but did ‘bubble under’ the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #128.
“Three Dog Night also released ‘Easy to be Hard’ in 1969, in August, with their recording peaking at #4 – their fourth single, and highest-charting song until ‘Mama Told Me (Not to Come)‘ hit #1 in 1970.”
The Original Broadway Cast of Hair, “Easy to be Hard” (1968):
Jennifer Warnes née Warren, “Easy to be Hard” TV performance from The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour (1969):
Three Dog Night, “Easy to be Hard” (1969):