Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Bryan Ferry

(To) Make You Feel My Love

First recorded by Billy Joel (US #53 1997).
Also recorded by Bob Dylan (1997); Bryan Ferry (2007).
Other hit versions by Garth Brooks (C&W #1 1998), Adele (UK #4/NETH #3/SCOT #4 2008).

From the wiki: “‘Make You Feel My Love’ was written by Bob Dylan that appeared on his 1997 album Time Out of Mind. It was first recorded and released commercially by Billy Joel, under the title ‘To Make You Feel My Love’, before Dylan’s version appeared later that same year. It has since been covered by numerous performers and has proved to be a commercial success for recording artists such as Garth Brooks, and Adele.”

The “In” Crowd

First recorded by Dobie Gray (US #13/R&B #11/UK #25 1965).
Also recorded by First Gear (1965).
Other hit versions by The Ramsey Lewis Trio (US #5/R&B #2 1965), Bryan Ferry (UK #13 1974).

From the wiki: “‘The β€˜In’ Crowd’ is a 1964 song written by Billy Page and arranged by his brother Gene that was originally performed by Dobie Gray on his album Dobie Gray Sings for ‘In’ Crowders That ‘Go Go. Gray’s powerful Motown-like version, complete with brass section, reached #13 in the US and #25 in the UK in 1965. The Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded an instrumental version of the tune later that same year at the suggestion of a coffee shop waitress.

Let’s Work Together

Written (as “Let’s Stick Together”) and originally recorded by Wilbert Harrison (1962 |US #32 1970).
Hit versions by Canned Heat (US #26/UK #2 1970) and Bryan Ferry (UK #4 1976).

From the wiki: “Wilbert Harrison recorded ‘Let’s Stick Together’ in 1962 but the song failed to appear in the charts. However, a 1969 re-recording, as ‘Let’s Work Together’, for Sue Records, the reached #32 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, making it Harrison’s first chart appearance since his #1 1959 hit ‘Kansas City‘. Unlike the 1962 version, ‘Let’s Work Together’ was a solo performance – with Harrison (credited as ‘The Wilbert Harrison One Man Band’) providing the vocal, harmonica, guitar, and percussion.

Help Me Make It Through the Night

Written and first recorded by Kris Kristofferson (1970).
Hit versions by Sammi Smith (US #8/C&W #1 1971), Joe Simon (US #69/R&B #13 1971), Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #33/R&B #13/UK #11 1972).
Also recorded by Elvis Presley (1971), Joan Baez (1971), Jerry Lee Lewis (1971), Bryan Ferry (1974).

From the wiki: “Kris Kristofferson wrote ‘Help Me Make It’ while sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays at Columbia Records studios in Nashville, and said that he got the inspiration for the song from an Esquire magazine interview with Frank Sinatra. When asked what he believed in, Frank replied, ‘Booze, broads, or a Bible…whatever helps me make it through the night.’

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

First recorded by Gertrude Niesen (1933).
Hit versions by Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra (US #1 1934), Artie Shaw & The Gramercy Five (US #24 1941), The Platters (US#1/R&B #3/UK #1 1958), Blue Haze (US #27 1973), Bryan Ferry (UK #17 1974).
Also recorded by Jerry Garcia (1990).

From the wiki: “‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ is a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for their 1933 musical Roberta. It was sung in the original show by Tamara Drasin and was first recorded by Gertrude Niesen on October 13, 1933. It was performed by Irene Dunne for the 1935 film adaptation, co-starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger.

“It has been covered by numerous artists, beginning with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra with Bob Lawrence on vocal, which went to the top of the charts in 1934. Possibly the most famous version was recorded in 1958 by The Platters, which became a #1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 β€” it reached #3 on the R&B charts in 1959. Jerry Garcia, who was named after Jerome Kern, released a music video in the early 1990s covering the song, with actress Ashley Judd sitting in the background listening.”

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