Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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No More Drama (ref. “Nadia’s Theme”)

First recorded as “Cotton’s Theme” by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. (1971).
Also recorded by Sounds of Sunshine (1973).
Hit version (as “Nadia’s Theme”) by Barry De Vorzon (US #8 1977).
Hit version (sampled in “No More Drama”) by Mary J. Blige (US #15/R&B #16/UK #9 2001).

From the wiki: “Mary J. Blige sampled the instrumental popularly known as ‘Nadia’s Theme’ as a backdrop for her 2001 single, ‘No More Drama’. Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jr. composed this piece of music, originally titled ‘Cotton’s Dream’, as incidental music for the 1971 theatrical film Bless the Beasts and Children. Botkin Jr. later composed a rearranged version of the instrumental theme for the U.S. TV soap opera The Young and the Restless, which debuted on March 26, 1973, on the CBS television network. Although a soundtrack album for the TV series was released by P.I.P. Records in 1974, the LP only contained a cover version by easy-listening group Sounds of Sunshine, rather than the original recording by De Vorzon and Botkin.

“In late July or early August 1976, ABC’s sports program Wide World of Sports produced a montage of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci’s routines during the 1976 Summer Olympics, using ‘Cotton’s Dream’ as the background music. It was this American television montage that cemented the association of the tune with Comăneci in the public mind. Viewer inquiries about the music from the Wide World of Sports montage prompted a commercial release of the 1971 version of the song as a single through A&M Records on August 28, 1976.

“This recording was identical to ‘Cotton’s Dream’, with a repeat from the bridge to the end edited in to lengthen the piece. The single was titled ‘Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless)’ and was a commercial success. However, A&M Records failed to credit De Vorzon as the co-writer on the first pressings of the single. He successfully sued the record label for $241,000. ‘Nadia’s Theme’ won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement in 1978.”

Sounds of Sunshine, “Cotton’s Theme” (1973):

Barry De Vorzon, “Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless)” (1976):

Mary J. Blige, “No More Drama” (2001):

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