Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Never Gonna Let You Go

First recorded by Dionne Warwick (1982).
Also recorded by Stevie Woods (1982).
Hit version by Sergio Mendes (US #4/R&B #28 1983).

From the wiki: “Songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (‘Don’t Know Much‘, ‘(You’re My) Soul & Inspiration’) composed the song and had originally submitted ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’ to Earth, Wind & Fire, but the group decided not to record the song. Instead, Dionne Warwick first recorded the song and it first appeared on her 1982 album Friends in Love but was not released as a promotional single.

“Singer and guitarist Stevie Woods was the son of jazz great, saxophonist Rusty Bryant. Woods covered ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’ in 1982 for his second album, The Woman in My Life. After his brief U.S. fame fizzled, Woods relocated to Germany, where he successfully re-launched his career, releasing the single ‘Rock Me Baby’ and starring in the musical Starlight Express.

“Sergio Mendes’ recording was a hit in 1983, matching the #4 peak of his previous best-showing (with Brasil ’66) on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “The Look of Love“, in 1968.”

Stevie Woods, “Never Gonna Let You Go” (1982):

Sergio Mendes, “Never Gonna Let You Go” Solid Gold TV performance (1983):

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