Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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When Will I Be Loved

First recorded by The Everly Brothers (US #8 1960).
Other hit versions by Johnny Young & Kompany (AUS #3 1967), Linda Ronstadt (US #2/C&W #1/CAN #1 1975).
Also recorded by John Denver (1966, released 2011), The Bunch (1972), Dave Edmunds & Keith Moon (1974), Tanya Tucker & Phil Everly (1975), Rockpile (1980), John Fogerty & Bruce Springsteen (2009).

From the wiki: “‘When Will I Be Loved’ was written by Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, who had a US Top-10 hit with it in the summer of 1960. The track was recorded (with Chet Atkins also on guitar) while the duo were contracted to Cadence Records; by 1960 they had moved to Warner Brothers and recording songs in a more mainstream pop/rock style than previously. The belated release by Cadence of ‘When Will I Be Loved’ provided the Everly Brothers with a final rockabilly-style hit.

“John Denver recorded a cover of the song on his 1966 album John Denver Sings. The album, however, went unreleased to the general public until 2011. Sandy Denny recorded a version of the song in 1972 with Linda Thompson on the rock n’ roll covers album Rock On with The Bunch. The track was also released in the UK as a single that same year with no apparent chart impact.

“In 1967 Johnny Young & Kompany reached #3 in Australia with ‘When Will I Be Loved’ charted in tandem with its flip ‘Kiss Me Now’. Tanya Tucker recorded ‘When Will I Be Loved’ for her 1975 album Tanya Tucker, a recording that features a harmony vocal by the song’s composer, Phil Everly.

“The song had its highest profile when Linda Ronstadt covered it on her album Heart Like A Wheel. This version rearranged the verses of the Everly Brothers original, transposing the first and fourth verses. Capitol Records was reportedly unsure whether to release ‘When Will I Be Loved’ or ‘You’re No Good‘ as the lead-off single from Ronstadt’s album. ‘When Will I Be Loved’ was issued as the second single (in March 1975) and hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June of that year, as well as #1 in Cash Box.

“‘When Will I Be Loved’ was covered twice by Dave Edmunds. First, in 1974, with Keith Moon, for the motion picture Stardust (in a fictional band named The Stray Cats); a second cover was recorded and released in 1980 with Rockpile bandmate Nick Lowe for the album Seconds of Pleasure. John Fogerty covered ‘When Will I Be Loved’ for his 2009 album The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again, performing the song as a duet with Bruce Springsteen.”

John Denver, “When Will I Be Loved” (1966):

Johnny Young & Kompany, “When Will I Be Loved” (1967):

The Bunch, “When Will I Be Loved” (1972):

Dave Edmunds & Keith Moon, “When Will I Be Loved” (1974):

[Video not available]

Linda Ronstadt, “When Will I Be Loved” (1975):

Tanya Tucker (and Phil Everly), “When Will I Be Loved” (1975):

Rockpile, “When Will I Be Loved” (1980):

John Fogerty & Bruce Springsteen, “When Will I Be Loved” (2009):

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