Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Rita Coolidge

We’re All Alone

Written and first recorded by Boz Scaggs (AUS #54 1976).
Other hit versions by Frankie Valli (US #76/MOR #27/CAN #73 1976), La Costa (C&W #75 1977), The Walker Brothers (NETH #22 1977), Rita Coolidge (US #7/MOR #1/C&W #68/UK #6/IRE #6/AUS #32/NZ #34/NETH #22 1977).

From the wiki: “”We’re All Alone” was written by Boz Scaggs, and was included on his 1976 album Silk Degrees. ‘We’re All Alone’ was used as the B-side of one of the album’s promotional singles, ‘Lido Shuffle’, in advance of the album’s release but was itself never released as an A-side except in Australia, where it peaked at #57.

“‘We’re All Alone’ did garner attention soon after the Scaggs’ album’s March 1976 debut. Frankie Valli covered and released a single version from his Valli LP which reached #78 U.S. in August 1976. The Walker Brothers – one of Scaggs’ formative influences – cut ‘We’re All Alone’ for their Lines album. The Walker’s track had an October 1976 single release in the UK whereas the Frankie Valli version had been released that July. Neither single charted in the UK, but the Walker Brothers’ version did reach #22 in the Netherlands in August 1977. Country singer La Costa (sister of Tanya Tucker) had a single release of ‘We’re All Alone’ in both the US – where it charted at #75 C&W – and also the UK where the track was the B-side of a remake of ‘I Second That Emotion’.

I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love

Co-written and first recorded by Carole Bayer Sager (1977).
Also recorded by Peter Allen, co-writer (1979).
Hit version by Rita Coolidge (US #38/MOR #3/C&W #32/CAN AC #1 1979).

From the wiki: “I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love” is a song co-written by Peter Allen (‘Don’t Cry Out Loud‘) and Carol Bayer-Sager, and popularized in 1979 by Rita Coolidge, was first recorded in 1977 by Bayer Sager. Co-writer Allen recorded his own version of ‘I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love’ in 1979 for his album I Could Have Been a Sailor.

“The song about breaking up was sung originally by its two songwriters, who both had married and later split up with famous spouses: Allen, from Liza Minnelli; Bayer Sager, from producer Andrew Sager.

Don’t Cry Out Loud

First recorded (as “We Don’t Cry Out Loud”) by The Moments (R&B #79 1976).
Also recorded by Peter Allen (1977).
Hit versions by Elkie Brooks (UK #12 1978), Melissa Manchester (US #10 1978), Rita Coolidge (JPN 1979).

From the wiki: “‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ is a song written in 1976 by Peter Allen (‘I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love‘) with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager (‘Arthur’s Theme’, ‘That’s What Friends Are For‘). Bernadette Peters, who toured with Allen in 1989, has stated that Allen told her that ‘his mother taught him to always put your best face on’ in response to Allen’s father committing suicide when Allen was 14 years old. The references to ‘baby’ in the song refer to Allen’s younger sister.

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher

First recorded (as “(My Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”) by The Dells (1967, released 1968).
Also recorded (as”(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher”) by Otis Redding (1967 |B-side R&B #30 1969).
Hit versions by Jackie Wilson (US #6/R&B #1 1967 |UK #11 1969), Canada Goose (US #90/CAN #44 1970), Rita Coolidge (US #2/UK #48/AUS #6 1977).

From the wiki: Chess Records’ in-house writers and producers Gary Jackson and Raynard Miner wrote ‘(My Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher’, which was initially recorded by The Dells (‘Oh, What a Night’) in February 1967. However, their recording was not released until May 1968 on the album There Is. Another writer, Gary Jackson, made some changes to the song, and this version, retitled ‘(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher’ was recorded by Otis Redding for Atco Records prior to his passing in December 1967. It would be posthumously released in 1969, 18 months later, as the B-side to ‘Free Me’.

“Jackson also pitched the song to producer Carl Davis at Brunswick Records. When Brunswick artist Jackie Wilson recorded his vocal track, Davis recalls, the song – now titled ‘(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher’, had been arranged ‘like a soul ballad. I said that’s totally wrong. You have to jump and go with the percussion … If he didn’t want to sing it that way, I would put my voice on the record and sell millions.’ After hearing Davis’s advice, Wilson cut the lead vocal for ‘Higher and Higher’ in a single take.

Superstar

Co-written and first recorded (as “Groupie (Superstar)”) by Delaney & Bonnie (1969).
Also recorded by Rita Coolidge (1970), Bette Midler (1970 |1972).
Hit versions by The Carpenters (US #2/CAN #3/JPN #7 1971), Luther Vandross (US #87/R&B #5 1983).

From the wiki: “Accounts of the song’s origin vary somewhat, but it grew out of the late 1969-early 1970 nexus of English and American musicians known as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, involving Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, and various others. The song’s working title during portions of its development was ‘Groupie Song’. In its first recorded incarnation, the song was titled ‘Groupie (Superstar)’, and was recorded and released as a non-album B-side to the Delaney & Bonnie single ‘Comin’ Home’ (promoting the album On Tour with Eric Clapton) in December 1969. ‘Groupie’ would see an eventual album release in 1972, on D&B Together.

The Closer You Get

Written and first recorded by Exile (1980).
Also recorded by Rita Coolidge (US #103/CAN #16 1981).
Hit versions by Don King (C&W #27 1981), Alabama (US #38/C&W #1 1983).

From the wiki: “‘The Closer You Get’ was written in 1980 by J.P. Pennington and Mark Gray (‘Kiss You All Over’, ‘Take Me Down‘), members of Exile. It was first recorded by Exile (which failed to gain much attention) in 1980. Singer Don King also recorded it and his version reached #27 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in October 1981. In addition, Rita Coolidge recorded the song for her 1981 album, Heartbreak Radio, and released her version as a single.”

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