Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Police on My Back

Written (by Eddy Grant) and first recorded by The Equals (1967).
Hit album version by The Clash (1980).

From the wiki: “”‘Police on My Back’ was written by Eddy Grant when he was leader of The Equals, a British group who fused rock, reggae, and soul rhythms; the band’s sole international hit was the admirably eccentric groover ‘Baby Come Back’. But, The Clash picked up on one of the group’s minor British hits, ‘Police on My Back’, while recording their fourth album, the sprawling three-LP set Sandanista!. While the Equals’ original version has a clear if muted reggae undertow, the song became a hard-charging, high-velocity Rock & roll onslaught when recorded by The Clash.

“‘Police on My Back’ was a rare example of The Clash tackling a reggae tune and, rather than trying to fuse its Caribbean rhythms with the band’s muscular approach, instead stripping the tune to its bones and tackling it as straight Rock & roll.”

The Clash, “Police on My Back” (1980):

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