Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Walker Brothers

Make It Easy On Yourself

First commercial release (as “Are You Lonely By Yourself”) by The Isley Brothers (1962).
Hit versions by Jerry Butler (US #20/R&B #18 1962), Walker Brothers (US #16/UK #1 1965), Dionne Warwick (US #37/MOR #2/R&B #26 1970).

From the wiki: “‘Make It Easy On Yourself’, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was first recorded for commercial release by the Isley Brothers. Much to Bacharach’s chagrin, the Brothers messed with the lyrics (turning it into ‘Are You Lonely By Yourself’) and he objected to the release of their version. (The Isley recording remained unreleased until 2001.) Instead, to fill out the time remaining of their studio session, the Isley Brothers recorded ‘Twist and Shout‘.

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)

First recorded by Frankie Valli (1965).
Hit versions by The Walker Brothers (US #13/UK #1/GER #4 1966), Cher (UK #26 1996).
Also recorded by The Fuzzy Bunnies (US #115 1968), Keane (2004).

From the wiki: “‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’, written by Bob Crewe (‘Silence is Golden‘, ‘Silhouettes‘, ‘Lady Marmalade‘) and Bob Gaudio (‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’), was originally recorded in 1965 by Frankie Valli for his 1966 solo album Frankie Valli: Solo. Although it was recorded at a Four Seasons recording session (with the other group members at that time), it was Valli’s first official ‘solo’ single in almost a decade. (He had previously recorded as ‘Frankie Valley’ and ‘Frankie Tyler’.) Valli’s version, however, failed to chart in the Billboard Hot 100.

Hurting Each Other

First recorded by Jimmy Clanton (1965).
Also recorded by Ruth Lewis (1966), The Walker Brothers (1966).
Hit versions by Chad Allan & The Expressions (CAN #19 1965), Ruby & The Romantics (US #113 1969), The Carpenters (US #2/MOR #1 1972).

From the wiki: “The earliest version of the song was recorded by Jimmy Clanton, the singer from New Orleans known as the ‘swamp pop R&B teenage idol’, in February 1965, produced by the song authors, Gary Geld and Peter Udell. He rode the crest of the popular teen music wave in the 1950s and 1960s. Seven of his records, including ‘Go, Jimmy, Go’, ‘Just a Dream’, and ‘Venus in Blue Jeans’, charted in the U.S. Top 40.

“Chad Allan & The Expressions, who later became The Guess Who, also recorded the song in 1965 on their Canadian LP Hey Ho (What You Do to Me). Released as a single, the song hit #19 on the Canadian charts in early 1966. In June 1966, a version by Ruth Lewis, produced again by the song’s writers, Geld and Udell, was released as a single by RCA Victor records. A version of ‘Hurting Each Other’ also appeared on The Walker Brothers’ second album, Portrait, which was released in November 1966 but their recording was not released as a single. However, ‘Hurting Each Other’ was the final single released by Ruby & The Romantics (‘Hey There, Lonely Girl‘) before the group’s break-up in 1969.

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