Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Barry McGuire

Eve of Destruction

Written and first recorded by P.F. Sloan (1965).
Hit versions by The Turtles (1965 |US #100 1970), Barry McGuire (US #1/NOR #1 1965)
Also recorded by Jan & Dean (1965).

From the wiki: “‘Eve of Destruction’ was written by P. F. Sloan in mid-1964. Sloan was very successful during the mid-1960s, writing, performing, and producing Billboard top 20 hits for artists such as Barry McGuire, The Searchers, Jan & Dean, Herman’s Hermits, Johnny Rivers, The Grass Roots, The Turtles, and The Mamas & the Papas. He was also a session guitarist in the group of L.A. session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew, working with such well-known backing musicians as drummer Hal Blaine, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, bassist Joe Osborn, and bassist/keyboardist Larry Knechtel, among others. It was while working with Barry McGuire that Sloan created and played a guitar introduction as a hook to a new song by John Phillips entitled ‘California Dreamin”, and the same backing track was used for the hit version by Phillips’ group The Mamas & the Papas, which led to Sloan becoming a regular in their recording sessions.

You Were On My Mind

Written and first recorded by Ian & Sylvia (1964).
Also recorded by The Chad Mitchell Trio (1965), The Vogues (1965).
Hit versions by We Five (US #3 1965), Crispian St. Peters (US #36/UK #2 1966), Barry McGuire (ITA #19 1966).

From the wiki: “‘You Were On My Mind’ was written by Sylvia Tyson in 1964, and originally performed and recorded by her and Ian Tyson as the duo Ian & Sylvia. It first appeared on their 1964 album, Northern Journey. The following year, We Five recorded a cover that charted in the Billboard Top 5. Crispian St. Peters (‘The Pied Piper’) scored a sizable UK hit in 1966 with his cover version. A 1966 cover by Barry McGuire (‘Eve of Destruction’, ‘California Dreamin’‘) peaked in the Italian Top 20.”

California Dreamin’

First recorded by Barry McGuire (1965).
Hit version by The Mamas & The Papas (US #4/UK #23 1966).

From the wiki: “According to John Phillips in a Bravo documentary, and Michelle Phillips in an NPR piece, the song was written in 1963 while they were living in New York. He dreamed about the song and woke her up to help him write it. At the time, the Phillipses were members of the folk group The New Journeymen which would evolve into The Mamas & the Papas.

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