Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Red, Red Wine

Written and first recorded by Neil Diamond (US #62 1966).
Other hit versions by Jimmy James & The Vagabonds (UK #46 1966), Tony Tribe (UK #46 1969), Roy Drusky (C&W #17/CAN #16 1972), UB40 (US #34/UK #1/NZ #1 1984 |US #1 1988).

From the wiki: “‘Red, Red Wine’ was written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond (‘September Morn‘,’I’m a Believer‘,’Until It’s Time for You to Go‘). It has been covered by Tony Tribe, Jimmy James & the Vagabond and, most famously, by British reggae group UB40, whose version topped the US and UK singles charts.

“According to UB40. they were only familiar with Tony Tribe’s version; apparently they didn’t realize that the writer – credited simply as ‘Diamond’ – was in fact Neil Diamond. UB40 added a ‘toasting’ verse which was edited from the single that reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1983. Released in the US without the ‘toasting’, the recording reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1984. In 1988, the song was re-released in the US, this time including the ‘toasting’, and it climbed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.”

Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, “Red, Red Wine” (1966):

Tony Tribe, “Red, Red Wine” (1969):

Roy Drusky, “Red, Red Wine” (1972):

UB40, “Red, Red Wine” ‘toasting’ version (1984):

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