Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Bonnie Raitt

Love Has No Pride

First recorded by Bonnie Raitt (1972).
Hit version by Linda Ronstadt (US #51/MOR #23 1973).
Also recorded by Libby Titus, co-writer (1977).

From the wiki: “‘Love Has No Pride’ was written by Eric Kaz and Libby Titus, and was first recorded in 1972 by Bonnie Raitt for her album Give It Up of which critic Dave Marsh wrote ‘[it comes] closest to perfecting her approach. She [mingles] her blues resources with a variety of contemporary and folk-oriented songs, coming up with classics in ‘Been Too Long at the Fair’ and Eric Kaz’s ‘Love Has No Pride.’ Her version of the latter remains definitive …’

“Linda Ronstadt covered ‘Love Has No Pride’ for her 1973 album Don’t Cry Now. Her recording was released as the album’s first single. It peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100, but has song has endured over the years to be remembered as one of Ronstadt’s signature songs.”

Thing Called Love

Written and first recorded by John Hiatt (1987).
Hit version by Bonnie Raitt (US #11/UK #86 1989).

From the wiki: “‘Thing Called Love’ was written and first recorded by John Hiatt in 1987, featuring Ry Cooder on guitar and Nick Lowe (‘Cruel to Be Kind‘) on bass. The album on which it appeared, Bring the Family, was recorded in four days after McCabe’s Guitar Shop booker John Chelew convinced Hiatt that ‘Thing Called Love’, ‘Thank You Girl’, and ‘Have a Little Faith in Me‘ were some of his best songs. Hiatt was recently sober but had burned so many bridges in the music industry he did not think he had a chance of continuing. He had been dropped by his label and ‘wondered if I was worth a damn.’ Demon Records in England still loved his work and pledged about $30,000 if he wanted to record; A&M Records would picked up the finished disc for distribution in the US.

The Girl Can’t Help It

First recorded by Little Richard (R&B #7/UK #9 1956).
Also covered by The Animals (1964), The Everly Brothers (1965), The Flamin’ Groovies (1969), Led Zeppelin/The Nobs (1970), Mick Ronson (1975), Darts (as “Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It” UK #6 1977), Bonnie Raitt (as “The Boy Can’t Help It” (1979), Babes in Toyland (2001).

From the wiki: “‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ is the title song to the film The Girl Can’t Help It, composed by songwriter Bobby Troup (‘Route 66’, ‘Girl Talk’, ‘The Meaning of the Blues’). The recording was released in December 1956 and peaked at #49 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart (also UK #9 and US R&B #7 ), and is included in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Originally, Fats Domino was lined up to record the track, which was not written to be a Rock song. The movie, The Girl Can’t Help It, was originally intended as a vehicle for the American sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, with a satirical subplot involving teenagers and rock ‘n’ roll music. The unintended result has been called the ‘most potent’ celebration of Rock music ever captured on film. The original music score included the title song performed by Little Richard. Reportedly, the producers had wanted Elvis for ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, but Elvis’s manager Tom Parker demanded too much money.

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