Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Walking on Sunshine

First recorded by Katrina & the Waves (1983).
Hit version by Katrina & the Waves (US#9/UK #8/CAN #3/IRE 2/AUS #4 1985).

(Above: Canadian TV appearance, c. 1983.)

From the wiki: “‘Walking on Sunshine’ was written by Kimberley Rew for Katrina & the Waves’ 1983 debut album of the same name. The band recorded – at their own expense – an LP of their original material designed to be sold at gigs. The album was shopped around to various labels, but only Attic Records in Canada responded with an offer.

“Consequently, although Katrina & the Waves were based in England, the first album, Walking On Sunshine, was released only in Canada. The title track garnered enough critical attention and radio play (especially for the title track) to merit a Canadian tour and a follow-up album in Canada (Katrina and the Waves 2, in 1984).

“In 1985, the group was signed to an international deal by Capitol Records. For the first Capitol album, the band re-recorded, remixed, or overdubbed 10 songs from their two earlier albums, including ‘Walking on Sunshine’, to create their major-label self-titled debut album in 1985. A substantially-rearranged ‘Walking on Sunshine’ was released as the album’s first promotional single, and scored the group a Top 10 chart hit in both the US and the UK. A Grammy award nomination for Best New Artist followed.

“Royalties from airplay and advertisements of ‘Walking on Sunshine’ have been extremely high. Katrina & the Waves kept the publishing rights, and the royalties that typically go to the songwriter were divided among the band members. Estimates are the song has earned $1 million per year for the ten years ending in 2010. According to a former employee of EMI, ”Walking on Sunshine’ was the crown jewel in EMI’s catalog,’ and that it was consistently been one of EMI’s biggest earners from use in TV and radio advertisements.”

Katrina & the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine” official major label video (1985):

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