Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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You Better Move On

Written and originally recorded by Arthur Alexander (US #24/R&B #27 1962).
Other hit versions by The Rolling Stones (UK EP #1 1964), Billy “Crash” Craddock (C&W #37 1972), George Jones & Johnny Paycheck (C&W #18 1980).

From the wiki: “‘You Better Move On’ was written and first recorded by Arthur Alexander (and produced by FAME’s Rick Hall) in 1962. It peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April, 1962.

“Although labeled as a ‘country-soul’ singer-songwriter, Alexander is the only songwriter whose songs have been covered by the Beatles (‘Anna (Go to Him)‘), the Rolling Stones (‘You Better Move On’), and Bob Dylan (who recorded ‘Sally Sue Brown’ on his 1988 LP Down in the Groove). Elvis Presley also covered Alexander’s original 1972 recording of ‘Burning Love‘, Presley’s last Top-10 hit (kept from #1 by Chuck Berry’s ‘My Ding-a-Ling‘).

“The Rolling Stones would release their arrangement of ‘You Better Move On’, a song they had added to their live repertoire in 1962, on the The Rolling Stones EP, recorded in August 1963 and released in 1964 both to capitalize on the group’s first UK Top 20 hit (the Lennon-McCartney-composed ‘I Wanna Be Your Man‘) and to test the commercial appeal of the band before their UK label Decca Records would commit to letting them record a full album.

“Despite the rawness of the production, the EP reached #1 in the UK EP charts in February 1964. (In the opinion of some critics, had the Stones’ version been released as a single, it would’ve been their first UK #1 before ‘It’s All Over Now‘.) The song would see its US release in 1965, on the compilation album December’s Children (And Everybody’s).

“Trivia: The Beatles had also performed ‘You Better Move On’ in 1962, as part of their Cavern repertoire. Of Alexander, Paul McCartney would remember ‘We wanted to be Arthur Alexander … If the Beatles ever wanted ‘a sound’ – that was what we used to listen to, what we used to like, what we wanted to be like.’

“Other charting covers were recorded by Billy “Crash” Craddock, in 1972, and George Jones with Johnny Paycheck, in 1980, for their album Double Trouble.”

The Rolling Stones, “You Better Move On” original single release (1964):

Billy “Crash” Craddock, “You Better Move On” (1972):

George Jones & Johnny Paycheck, “You Better Move” (1980):