Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Thing Called Love

Written and first recorded by John Hiatt (1987).
Hit version by Bonnie Raitt (US #11/UK #86 1989).

From the wiki: “‘Thing Called Love’ was written and first recorded by John Hiatt in 1987, featuring Ry Cooder on guitar and Nick Lowe (‘Cruel to Be Kind‘) on bass. The album on which it appeared, Bring the Family, was recorded in four days after McCabe’s Guitar Shop booker John Chelew convinced Hiatt that ‘Thing Called Love’, ‘Thank You Girl’, and ‘Have a Little Faith in Me‘ were some of his best songs. Hiatt was recently sober but had burned so many bridges in the music industry he did not think he had a chance of continuing. He had been dropped by his label and ‘wondered if I was worth a damn.’ Demon Records in England still loved his work and pledged about $30,000 if he wanted to record; A&M Records would picked up the finished disc for distribution in the US.

“Recording was done in Studio 2 of Ocean Way Studios, Los Angeles over four days. These songs were all that were recorded – there were no leftovers or outtakes and Hiatt had to complete a couple of songs in the studio. ‘I remember Ry walking out the door on the fourth day and me coming after him and going: ‘Ry, I’ve got one more song. Could you stay?” Budgets were so tight that Hiatt and Lowe shared a Holiday Inn room in the San Fernando Valley during the recording sessions. Lowe, an old friend of Hiatt’s, took no payment for his contribution.”

Bonnie Raitt, “Thing Called Love” (1989):

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