Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Tom Waits

Downtown Train

Written and first recorded by Tom Waits (1985).
Also recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter (1987), Patty Smyth (US #95 1987), Bob Seger (1989, released 2011), The Piano Has Been Drinking (recorded as “Rude Jolf”) (1990), Everything But the Girl (1992).
Hit version by Rod Stewart (US #3/UK #10/CAN #1 1989).

From the wiki: “‘Downtown Train’ is a song written and first recorded by Tom Waits, released on his album Rain Dogs in 1985. The promo video for the song was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and features the boxer Jake LaMotta.

Ol’ 55

Written and first recorded by Tom Waits (1973).
Hit album version by Eagles (B-side US #1/UK #51 1974).

From the wiki: “‘Ol’ ’55’ is a song by American musician Tom Waits. It is the opening track and lead single from Waits’ debut studio album, Closing Time, released in March 1973 on Asylum Records. Waits has been critical of cover versions of the song, admitting that he was ‘not that particularly crazy about [Eagles’] rendition of it … I thought their version was a little antiseptic.’ Eagles released their cover version as the B-side in the US and the UK to their hit ‘Best of My Love’, from the 1974 album On the Border.”

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