Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Let’s Work Together

Written (as “Let’s Stick Together”) and originally recorded by Wilbert Harrison (1962 |US #32 1970).
Hit versions by Canned Heat (US #26/UK #2 1970) and Bryan Ferry (UK #4 1976).

From the wiki: “Wilbert Harrison recorded ‘Let’s Stick Together’ in 1962 but the song failed to appear in the charts. However, a 1969 re-recording, as ‘Let’s Work Together’, for Sue Records, the reached #32 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, making it Harrison’s first chart appearance since his #1 1959 hit ‘Kansas City‘. Unlike the 1962 version, ‘Let’s Work Together’ was a solo performance – with Harrison (credited as ‘The Wilbert Harrison One Man Band’) providing the vocal, harmonica, guitar, and percussion.

“Shortly after the release of Harrison’s 1969 re-recording (‘Let’s Work Together’), Los Angeles blues-rock band Canned Heat recorded their version of the song but held off releasing it until Harrison’s version had run its course. When Canned Heat’s recording was finally released, in August 1970, it reached #26 in the Billboard Hot 100. It also became the group’s biggest UK hit, reaching #2 in the UK Singles chart and, according to band manager Skip Taylor, ‘Let’s Work Together’ rose to #1 in 31 different countries around the world.

“In 1976, Bryan Ferry released his version of ‘Let’s Stick Together’ as a single. It became his highest charting solo single, reaching #4 in the UK chart.”

Wilbert Harrison, “Let’s Work Together” (1969):

Canned Heat, “Let’s Work Together” (1970):

Bryan Ferry, “Let’s Stick Together” (1976):

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