Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Make It Easy On Yourself

First commercial release (as “Are You Lonely By Yourself”) by The Isley Brothers (1962).
Hit versions by Jerry Butler (US #20/R&B #18 1962), Walker Brothers (US #16/UK #1 1965), Dionne Warwick (US #37/MOR #2/R&B #26 1970).

From the wiki: “‘Make It Easy On Yourself’, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was first recorded for commercial release by the Isley Brothers. Much to Bacharach’s chagrin, the Brothers messed with the lyrics (turning it into ‘Are You Lonely By Yourself’) and he objected to the release of their version. (The Isley recording remained unreleased until 2001.) Instead, to fill out the time remaining of their studio session, the Isley Brothers recorded ‘Twist and Shout‘.

“It was Jerry Butler (‘He Don’t Love You‘, ‘Moon River‘, ‘Gypsy Woman‘) who first made ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’ a chart hit – his third Top 20 hit since departing The Impressions for a solo career.

“‘Make It Easy On Yourself’ was recorded as a demo in 1962 by the then-unknown Dionne Warwick who had hoped her version would be the first to be released. But, her demo recording would not released until 1968 as part of a collection titled Dionne Warwick – Golden Hits – Part One Collector’s Series Circa 1962-1964. In 1970, Warwick enjoyed modest Top 40 success with her re-recording of ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’ for the album Very Dionne, her last release for Scepter Records after signing a lucrativ contract with Warner Brothers.

“The most successful pop version of ‘Make It Easy on Yourself’ was the 1965 single by the Walker Brothers (‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)‘) which reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965 and #1 in the UK.”

Dionne Warwick, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (demo 1962, released 1968):

Jerry Butler, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (1962):

The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (1965):

Dionne Warwick, “Make It Easy On Yourself” single release (1970):