Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Without Her

Written and first recorded by Harry Nilsson (1967).
Hit album version by Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968).
Also recorded by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (1969).

From the wiki: “‘Without Her’ was written by Harry Nilsson (‘Everybody’s Talkin’‘, ‘Without You‘) and appeared on his second album (his first for RCA Victor), Pandemonium Shadow Show, in 1967. The album proved to be the watershed of his career, attracting the attention of publicist Derek Taylor, who ordered a case of albums, sending them out to various industry people he believed would be interested, and The Beatles who invited Nilsson to London. (Nilsson covered ‘You Can’t Do That’ in an arrangement that quoted lyrics from more than 10 other Beatles songs. It became a Top 10 hit in Canada.)

“‘Without Her’ would be revamped for Nilsson’s 1971 ‘best-of’ album Aerial Pandemonium Ballet, one of the first ‘remix’ albums ever produced.

“Blood, Sweat & Tears (‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy‘, ‘And When I Die‘) recorded ‘Without Her’ for the group’s debut album, Child is Father to the Man, ‘one of the great albums of the eclectic post-Sgt. Pepper era of the late 1960s,’ according to music critic William Ruhlman. The album introduced the idea of the big band to Rock ‘n roll and paved the way for such groups as Chicago. The album is ranked #264 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Without Her” (1968):

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, “Without Her” (1969):

Harry Nilsson, “Without Her” live BBC-TV performance (1971):

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