Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Mandy

Written and originally recorded (as “Brandy”) by Scott English (US #91/UK #12 1971).
Other hit versions by Bunny Walters (NZ #4 1972), Barry Manilow (US #1/UK #11/CAN #1 1974).

From the wiki: “Under the title ‘Brandy’, the selection’s original title, the song charted in 1971 for Scott English, one of its co-composers, whose version of it reached #12 in the UK Singles Charts. It was also released in the United States, but was not successful.

“The suggestion that Scott English wrote the song about a favorite dog is apparently an urban legend. English has said that a reporter called him early one morning asking who ‘Brandy’ was, and an irritated English made up the ‘dog’ story to get the reporter off his back.

“In 1972, Bunny Walters recorded ‘Brandy’ and had a hit with it in New Zealand.

“In the three years between English’s and Barry Manilow’s recordings, Looking Glass’s ‘Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)’ had hit #1 in 1972. Therefore, to avoid confusion, when Manilow decided to record the selection, he changed the title to ‘Mandy’. It was Clive Davis who suggested that Manilow record the selection.

“Manilow originally recorded it as an up-tempo bubblegum pop tune similar to English’s original, but he and his producer, Ron Dante, reportedly hated the way it turned out; thus, he re-recorded it as a ballad and was much more pleased with the results. The song would become Manilow’s first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts, and his first gold single.”

Bunny Walters, “Brandy” (NZ, 1972):

Barry Manilow, “Mandy” (1974):

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