Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Tina Turner

Good Hearted Woman

Co-written and first recorded by Willie Nelson (1972).
Hit versions by Waylon Jennings (C&W #3 1973), Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson (US #25/MOR #16/C&W #1 1976).
Also recorded by Tina Turner (recorded 1974, released 1979).

From the wiki: “Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wrote ‘Good Hearted Woman’ in a room at the Fort Worther Motel in Forth Worth, TX, in 1969, inspired by an ad for an Ike & Tina Turner show saying: ‘Tina Turner singing songs about good-hearted women loving good-timing men.’ Jennings started writing the song and asked Nelson to help him finish it during a late-night poker game. By all accounts, Nelson’s contribution was minimal, with his third wife Connie recalling, ‘The only part Willie came up with was ‘Through teardrops and laughter they walk through this world hand in hand.’ Waylon said, ‘That’s it! That’s what’s missing’ and gave Willie half the song.’

“‘Good Hearted Woman’ was first recorded by Willie Nelson in 1972 for his album The Words Don’t Fit the Picture. Later the same year, Jennings recorded the song as the title track of his album Good Hearted Woman. Released as a single in 1973, Jenning’s recording peaked at #3 on Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart.

“In 1975, Jennings remixed the song, adding vocals from Willie (and adding fake crowd noise to give it a ‘live performance’ feel) for the compilation album Wanted: The Outlaws!. The album cemented the pair’s outlaw image and became country music’s first Platinum album. Re-released as a single, ‘Good Hearted Woman’ peaked at #1 on the Hot Country Singles chart and crossed-over to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #25. The song won the Single of the Year award at the 1976 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards.

“In 1974, unbeknownst to either Jennings or Nelson, Tina Turner recorded the song that was, in part, inspired by her, intending it for her first solo album (while still married to Ike Turner), Tina Turns The Country On. Turner recorded almost twenty songs, all covers by different country artists, but only ten – not including ‘Good Hearted Woman’ – were chosen for the album’s release. The remaining tracks were released for the first time in 1979 on the album Good Hearted Woman in 1979. (After Tina’s mid-1980s comeback, the album was reissued in 1985 by Playback Records under the title Tina Turner Goes Country.) Of the 1985 reissue, Billboard magazine wrote:

‘The history of this album is not elucidated in the liner notes, but whenever and however it was recorded, it links Turner with classics like ‘Lovin’ Him Was Easier’, ‘Good Hearted Woman’, and ‘Stand By Your Man’. Her cornered, yowling style renders complete justice to them all.'”

Waylon Jennings, “Good Hearted Woman” (1973):

Tina Turner, “Good Hearted Woman” (1974):

Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings, “Good Hearted Woman” (1976):

The Best

First recorded by Bonnie Tyler (UK #95/NOR #10/POR #10/SPN #34 1988).
Other hit version by Tina Turner (US #15/UK #5/CAN #4/AUS #2/SPN #2/NOR #5 1989).

From the wiki: “‘The Best’ is a song written by Mike Chapman (‘Mickey‘) and Holly Knight (‘Better Be Good to Me‘), originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler on her 1988 release Hide Your Heart. The single reached #10 in Norway and Portugal, #34 in Spain and #95 in the UK.

Better Be Good to Me

First recorded by Spider (1981).
Hit version by Tina Turner (US #5/R&B #6/UK #45 1984).

From the wiki: “‘Better Be Good to Me’ was written by Mike Chapman (‘Mickey‘, ‘Kiss You All Over’), Nicky Chinn and Holly Knight, and enjoyed its greatest commercial success on Tina Turner’s solo album, Private Dancer. The song had originally been released in 1981 by Spider, a New York City band that included co-writer Knight as a member. Chapman is an Australian record producer and songwriter who was a major force in the British Ppop music industry in the 1970s and early 1980s. He created a string of hit singles for artists including Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Smokie, Mud, and Racey, and later produced breakthrough albums for Blondie and The Knack.”

634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)

Co-written and first recorded by Eddie Floyd (1966).
Hit versions by Wilson Pickett (US #13/R&B #1/UK #36 1966), Tina Turner & Robert Cray (NETH #14/BEL #23 1986).
Also recorded by Ry Cooder (1980), Tower of Power & Huey Lewis (2009), Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (2012).

From the wiki: “‘634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)’ was written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper (of Booker T. & the MGs), in the spirit of ‘Beechwood 4-5789’ by The Marvelettes (US #17/R&B #7 1962).

“First recorded by Floyd, ‘634-5789’ was later covered in 1966 by Wilson Pickett whose recording went US Top-15 hit and #1 R&B that year.

“The song has since been covered by many performers including Otis Redding, Ry Cooder, and Tower of Power (feat. Huey Lewis). Bruce Springsteen also performs the song live on many occasions. Tina Turner and Robert Cray covered ‘634-5789’ in 1986 as a duet, recorded live as part of her Break Every Rule TV special in the UK, and a subsequent single release saw some European chart success in the Netherlands and Belgium.”

Don’t Turn Around

First recorded by Tina Turner (1986).
Hit versions by Luther Ingram (R&B #55 1987), Aswad (R&B #45/UK #1 1988), Neil Diamond (MOR #20 1992), Ace of Base (US #4/UK #5 1994).

From the wiki: “‘Don’t Turn Around’ was written by Diane Warren (‘Because You Loved Me’) and Albert Hammond (‘The Air That I Breathe‘, ‘To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before‘). It was originally recorded by Tina Turner as the B-side to the single “Typical Male” in 1986. Warren is said to have been disappointed that Turner’s record company treated the song only as a B-side single but never including it on any of Turner’s albums.

Game of Love

Originally recorded by Santana featuring Tina Turner (2002) but unreleased until 2007.
Hit version by Santana featuring Michelle Branch (US #5/UK #16/CAN #4 2002).

From the wiki: “Tina Turner originally recorded ‘Game of Love’ for Santana. However, this version remained unreleased until 2007 when it was featured on the album Ultimate Santana. The Michelle Branch recording was released as single in 2002, It won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals’, as well as peaking at #5 in on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.”

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