Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Neil Young

See the Sky About to Rain

Written and first recorded by Neil Young (1971, released 2013).
Hit album version by The Byrds (1973).
Re-recorded by Neil Young (1974).

From the wiki: “‘See the Sky About to Rain’ was written by Neil Young, and first recorded by him in 1971. Recordings of Young’s 1970-71 solo concert tour were released in 2013 on the album Live from the Cellar Door. The Byrds, in 1973, were the first to commercially released the song (on Byrds). Young revisited his song in 1974 and re-recorded it for his 1974 album On the Beach.”

Lotta Love

Written and first recorded by Neil Young (1978).
Hit version by Nicolette Larson (US #8/MOR #1/AUS #11/NZ #22 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Lotta Love’ is a Neil Young composition written c. 1976 and performed in-concert before being recorded by Young for his 1978 album Comes a Time. ‘Lotta Love’ served as the lead single for Larson’s Ted Templeman-produced Nicolette album. Due to a delay in release, Comes a Time was released on the same day in September 1978 as was Nicolette. The release of any single off the Nicolette album was held off until November when it was clear Young’s version would not have be released as an A-side (although Young’s ‘Lotta Love’ would be released as the B-side of a non-charting ‘Comes a Time’ single).

Mystery Train

Written by Junior Parker and first recorded by Little Junior’s Blue Flames (1953).
Hit version (as a B-side) by Elvis Presley (C&W #10 1955).
Also recorded by Junior Wells (1967), The Band (1973), Neil Young (1983).

From the wiki: “The original recording of ‘Mystery Train’ was written by Herman ‘Junior’ Parker and recorded by him (billed as Little Junior’s Blue Flames) at Sun Studios in 1953. And, of the many groundbreaking songs recorded by Elvis Presley during his storied career, ‘Mystery Train’ has come to be regarded key to understanding his unique place in the Rock and Roll canon, with Sam Phillips, as producer of both the Parker and Presley recordings, serving as mid-wife.

Four Strong Winds

Written by Ian Tyson and first recorded by Ian & Sylvia (1963).
Also recorded by The Kingston Trio (1963).
Hit versions by Bobby Bare (C&W #3 1965), Neil Young (US #61/UK #57 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Four Strong Winds’ was written by Canadian songwriter Ian Tyson and first recorded by Tyson and his folk singing partner, Sylvia Fricker. Released as a single in September 1963, preceding the Four Strong Winds album release in April 1964. the song did not generate any chart momentum. It was then recorded by The Brothers Four in a version that ‘bubbled under’ the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1963.

Love is a Rose

Written and first recorded by Neil Young (1974, released 1977).
Inspired by “Dance Dance Dance” Neil Young (1971, released 2007).
“Dance Dance Dance” also recorded by Crazy Horse (1971), The New Seekers (US #84 1972).
Hit version by Linda Ronstadt (US #63/C&W #5 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Love Is a Rose’ was written by Neil Young in 1974 for the unreleased album Homegrown. It was later released in 1977 on his compilation Decade album. The melody for ‘Love Is a Rose’ was taken from yet another previously unreleased Neil Young song ‘Dance Dance Dance’, written in 1971, which finally saw release in 2007 on the Live at Massey Hall album. Young’s longtime backing band Crazy Horse also recorded ‘Dance Dance Dance’ in 1971 on their album Crazy Horse, and The New Seekers released ‘Dance Dance Dance’ as a single in 1972, a version that peaked at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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