Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Steve Winwood

Shanghai Noodle Factory

First recorded by Jay & the Americans (1967).
Hit album version by Traffic (1968, released 1969).

From the wiki: “‘Shanghai Noodle Factory’ was written by Steve Winwood sometime between his departure from The Spencer Davis Group in the spring of 1967 and his co-founding of the band Traffic, but was first recorded by the group Jay & the Americans (‘Come A Little Bit Closer’, ‘Cara Mia’, ‘This Magic Moment‘) as the B-side to the non-charting single ‘French Provincial’. Coincidentally, the original recording was produced by co-writer and Traffic producer Jimmy Miller. Traffic would later record its own version of Winwood’s song, but it would not appear on an album until the 1969 release of Last Exit.”

Keep On Running

Written and first recorded by Jackie Edwards (1965).
Hit version by The Spencer Davis Group (US #76/UK #1 1965).
Re-recorded by Jackie Edwards (1976).

From the wiki: “‘Keep on Running’ was written and first recorded by Jackie Edwards, which became a #1 UK hit when recorded by The Spencer Davis Group. Edwards recorded his original version while working in the UK for Island Records as a songwriter. It first appeared on his 1965 album Come on Home, and was later re-recorded by Edwards again in the mid-1970s for his Do You Believe In Love album. Strongly influenced by Nat King Cole, Edwards began performing at the age of 14. He came to the attention of Chris Blackwell in 1959 after scoring four #1 singles in Jamaica between 1960 and 1961. When Blackwell set up Island Records in London in 1962 Edwards followed him, working as a singer and songwriter for Island, recording as a solo artist and also duets with Millie Small (‘My Boy Lollipop‘), and delivering records to stores.

Gimme Some Lovin’

Based on “(Ain’t That) A Lot of Love” by Homer Banks (1966).
Hit versions by The Spencer Davis Group (US #7/UK #2 1966), Traffic (US #68 1971), The Blues Brothers (US #18 1980).

From the wiki: “Homer Banks was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and, at the age of 16, formed The Soul Consolidators gospel group which toured around the southern states. After military service, Banks returned to Memphis in 1964 where he began a singing career with the small Genie label where he met Isaac Hayes and David Porter. Soon, Stax founder Estelle Axton hired Banks to work at the record shop attached to the company’s Satellite Studios. He stayed for three years, also recording for the Minit label subsidiary of Liberty Records. One of his Minit recordings, ‘(Ain’t That) A Lot of Love’, co-written by Banks and Deanie Parker, provided the basic riff later used by the Spencer Davis Group on their hit ‘Gimme Some Lovin”.

“‘Gimme Some Lovin” was written by Steve Winwood, Spencer Davis and Muff Winwood (although solely credited to ‘Steve Winwood’ on the UK single label). Winwood recalls that the song was conceived, arranged, rehearsed in just half an hour. At the time, the group were under pressure to come up with another hit, following the relatively poor showing of their previous single, ‘When I Come Home’, written by Jamaican-born musician Jackie Edwards, who had also penned their earlier number one hits, ‘Keep On Running‘ and ‘Somebody Help Me’.

“The original UK version, which is the ‘master’ take of the song, differs in several respects from the version subsequently released in the US on the United Artists label, being slower, lacking the ‘response’ backing vocals in the chorus, some percussion, and the ‘live-sounding’ ambience of the US single.

“‘Gimme Some Lovin” would also be covered by Winwood’s next group, Traffic, in 1971. The Blues Brothers included their recording of the song on the The Blues Brothers movie soundtrack.”

I’m A Man

First recorded by The Spencer Davis Group (US #10/UK #9 1967).
Other hit version by Chicago (US #24 1971).

From the wiki: “‘I’m a Man’ was written by The Spencer Davis Group singer-songwriter Steve Winwood and record producer Jimmy Miller (not to be confused with the Bo Diddley song), and released as a single by The Spencer Davis Group in early 1967. It would be the last hit single by the band before the brothers Steve and Muff Winwood left the group to pursue solo careers.

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