Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The New Seekers

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.

Never Ending Song of Love

Written and first recorded by Delaney & Bonnie & Friends (US #13 1971).
Other hit version by The New Seekers (UK #2/IRE #1/AUS #25 1971).

From the wiki: “‘Never Ending Song of Love’ was written by Delaney Bramlett and was first released in March 1971 on the Delaney & Bonnie album Motel Shot. The album’s title refers to the impromptu, sometimes late-night, jam sessions pursued by touring musicians when on the road. ‘Never Ending Song’ was Delaney & Bonnie’s most successful, highest-charting single. The New Seekers were formed in 1969 after the dissolution of The Seekers (‘Georgy Girl’) and quickly found chart success with a cover recording of Melanie’s ‘What Have They Done To My Song, Ma?’. Their breakthrough hit, released in June 1971, was ‘Never Ending Song of Love,’ reaching #2 on the UK Singles Chart and #1 in Ireland. That success led The New Seekers to being used as the session singers for the Coca-Cola jingle, ‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke’, which led in turn to the group being used to record the song reworked as ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing‘.”

I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

First recorded (as “True Love and Apple Pie”) by Susan Shirley (1970).
Hit versions by The Hillside Singers (US #13/MOR #5 1972), The New Seekers (US #7/UK #1 1972).

From the wiki: “The original melody was derived from a commercial jingle first written by Rose Malka Freidman for another product. A version of the jingle was then reworked by songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, who had previously collaborated as performers and songwriters (‘You’ve Got Your Troubles’, ‘Softly Whispering I Love You‘) and then recorded into a full-length song, titled ‘True Love and Apple Pie’, sung by Susan Shirley, and released in 1970 with little promotion behind it.

“The idea for its use as a Coca-Cola advertising jingle came originally to an advertising executive named Bill Backer, working for McCann-Erickson — the worldwide advertising agency responsible for Coca-Cola. Backer, along with Cook and Billy Davis, was delayed at Shannon Airport in Ireland. After the forced layover with many hot tempers, the trio noticed their fellow travelers the next morning were talking and joking while drinking Coca-Cola. Backer wrote the line ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ on a napkin and shared it with Cook and Davis.

“Cook, Greenaway, Backer, and Davis together then reworked the lyrics into the ‘True Love’ melody – this time, with the UK group The New Seekers in mind as the singers – to be recorded as a new Coca-Cola radio commercial. But, the New Seekers thought the song was trite and not just a little silly for them to perform, and they initially opted out of the session. Instead, session singers were assembled in the US by the McCann-Erickson agency to record the jingle.

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