Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Venus (Shocking Blue)

Inspired by “The Banjo Song” by The Big Three (1963).
Hit versions by Shocking Blue (US #1/UK #8/CAN #1/AUS #1/FRE #1/SPN #1 1969), Bananarana (US #1/UK #8/CAN #1/AUS #1/SUI #1/NZ #1 1986).

From the wiki: “‘Venus’ composer Robbie van Leeuwen admitted in a 2007 interview he took his inspiration for ‘Venus’ from the song ‘The Banjo Song’, written by Tim Rose as a lyrical parody set to the melody of Stephen Foster’s ‘Oh, Susannah’ and first recorded by The Big Three (the folk trio of Jim Hendricks, Tim Rose and a pre-Mamas & Papas Cass Elliot) in 1963. (Neil Young and Crazy Horse covered Rose’s version on their 2012 album Americana.)”

“‘Venus’ had been a part of Bananarama’s repertoire for several years before they actually recorded it. The group’s three members, Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, and Keren Woodward, had the idea of turning the song into a dance music tune, but they were met with resistance from their producers at the time, Steve Jolley and Tony Swain. Bananarama brought the idea to the production trio of Stock Aitken Waterman, and it became Bananarama’s first collaboration with them, topping the charts in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.”

Shocking Blue, “Venus” (1969):

Bananarama, “Venus” (1986):

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