Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Traffic

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.”

Gimme Some Lovin’

Influenced by “(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”.

Feelin’ Alright?

First recorded by Traffic (US #123 1968).
Hit versions by Joe Cocker (US #69 1969 |US #33/NETH #11 1972), Mongo Santamaria (US #95 1969), Grand Funk Railroad (US #54/CAN #20 1971).
ALso recorded by Three Dog Night (1969), Chairmen of the Board (1970), Jackson 5 (1971).

From the wiki: “‘Feelin’ Alright?’ (also known as ‘Feeling Alright’) was written by Dave Mason of the band Traffic from their eponymous 1968 album, Traffic. Dave Mason wrote this song with the title ‘Not Feelin’ Too Good Myself,’ which is more accurate in terms of the song’s meaning, but less marketable. (Mason explained: ‘It’s just a song about a girl. It’s just another relationship gone bad.’)

“The original Traffic version of the song, filled with the corresponding melancholy, was issued as ‘Feelin’ Alright?’ – the question mark providing a vital clue to the content. Joe Cocker’s version scrapped the punctuation and was issued as ‘Feeling Alright’, which is how it was listed on most subsequent covers. Cocker recorded it in his debut album, With a Little Help from My Friends, in 1969. In its first release in 1969, his cover reached #69 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In a 1972 re-release, the single reached even higher – #33 on the same chart.

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