Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Isaac Hayes

The Look of Love

First performed (in Casino Royale) by Dusty Springfield (1967).
First single release by Nina Simone (1967).
Hit versions by Dusty Springfield (US #22/CAN #26 1967), Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 (US #4 1968).
Also recorded by Isaac Hayes (1970).

From the wiki: “‘The Look of Love’ was written by Burt Bacharach, and was originally intended to be an instrumental for the James Bond spook, Casino Royale but, later, Hal David added the lyrics. The song was first recorded by Springfield originally for the Casino Royale soundtrack by Phil Ramone, the soundtrack’s engineer, who recorded the song separately from the rest of the film tracks with Springfield accompanied by only piano, saxophone and percussion.

“Springfield re-recorded the song in London the same year with a more full arrangement, releasing the track as the B-side of ‘Give Me Time’. That version charted in the US and Canada. But, prior to the release of Springfield’s single, Nina Simone recorded and released her own version of ‘The Look of Love’ in 1967 for her album Silk & Soul. Simone’s single had no chart impact.

Don’t Let Go

First recorded by Roy Hamilton (US #12/R&B #2 1958).
Also recorded by The Four Seasons (1964).
Other hit versions by Mel Tillis & Sherry Bryce (C&W #11 1974), Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen (US #56 1975), Isaac Hayes (US #18/Soul #11 1979).

From the wiki: “‘Don’t Let Go’ was written by Jesse Stone, and was first a hit for Roy Hamilton (‘Unchained Melody‘) in 1958 before covers by Mel Tillis, Commander Cody, and Isaac Hayes charted in the 1970s. One of the more interesting of many cover recordings done of ‘Don’t Let Go’ was produced by The Four Seasons in 1964; very much against their archetypical sound. The 1965 cover by The Graham Bond Organization (including bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker) was one of the first Rock tracks to feature the Mellotron.

“Stone was the leader of a Jazz band during the 1920s that included Coleman Hawkins. In 1936, with the assistance of Duke Ellington, Stone was booked to perform at New York City’s famed Cotton Club, and would later become a staff arranger/writer at the Apollo Theater. He would go on to join Atlantic Records as songwriter and producer, where he wrote ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll‘ under the pseudonym ‘Charles Calhoun’, first recorded by ‘Big’ Joe Turner.”

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