Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Barret Strong

Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)

Originally recorded by Marvin Gaye (1963).
Hit version by Paul Young (US #70/UK #1 1983).

From the wiki: “‘Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)’ is a song written by Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, and first recorded by Gaye in 1962 as an album track on That Stubborn Kinda Fellow. Years later, Paul Young’s version of the song was a UK #1 single for three weeks in July 1983. The song fared less well on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at #70, but was later used in the 1986 film Ruthless People and its accompanying soundtrack album.”

War

First recorded by The Temptations (1969, released 1970).
Hit version by Edwin Starr (US #1/UK #3/CAN #1/GER #9 1970).

From the wiki: “‘War’ is a counterculture era soul song written by the songwriting team of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong (‘Smiling Faces Sometimes‘, ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine‘, ‘Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone‘), and produced by Whitfield, for the Motown label in 1969. Whitfield first produced the song – a blatant anti-Vietnam War protest – with The Temptations as the original vocalists. Whitfield re-recorded the song with Edwin Starr as the vocalist, with the label deciding to withhold The Temptations’ version from single release so as not to alienate their more conservative fans.

Money (That’s What I Want)

Originally recorded by Barrett Strong (US #23/R&B #2 1959).
Other hit versions by Jennel Hawkins (R&B #17 1962), The Beatles (1963), Bern Elliot & the Fenmen (UK #14 1963), The Kingsmen (US #16/R&B #6 1964), The Flying Lizards (1979 UK #5/US #50).

From the wiki: “The song was written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, and became the first hit record for Gordy’s Motown enterprise. The record was first released on the Anna label (operated by Gwen Gordy, Anna Gordy and Billy ‘Roquel’ Davis). Gwen and Anna’s brother Berry Gordy had just established his Tamla label (soon Motown would follow), and he licensed the song to the Anna label in 1960 to take advantage of its national distribution arrangement with Chicago-based Chess Records in order to meet demand.

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