Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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You Only Live Twice

First recorded by Julie Rogers (1967).
Also recorded by Lorraine Chandler (1967).
Hit movie version by Nancy Sinatra (1967).

From the wiki: “The title track from the James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice, was composed and produced by veteran James Bond composer John Barry, with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Julie Rogers was asked to perform the song, and recorded it with a 50- or 60-piece orchestra at CTS Studios, London. Her version was quite different from the later Sinatra version, with a more Oriental flavor. Jazz singer Lorraine Chandler also recorded a version of the song that differed greatly from the other two – a more bombastic, Shirley Bassey-sound, differing from the more mellow alternate versions. John Barry recalls, ‘It was usually the producers that said ‘this isn’t working, there’s a certain something that it needed’. If that energy wasn’t there, if that mysterioso kind of thing wasn’t there, then it wasn’t going to work for the movie.’

“Instead, the film’s producer, Cubby Broccoli, wanted his friend Frank Sinatra to perform ‘You Only Live Twice’. Frank suggested that they use his daughter instead. Barry wanted to use Aretha Franklin, but the producers insisted that he use Nancy instead, who was enjoying great popularity in the wake of her single, ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin”.

“The song was recorded with a 60-piece orchestra on 2 May 1967 at the CTS Studios. Sinatra later recalled that she was incredibly nervous during the recording, and it took around 30 takes to acquire enough material. Producer John Barry eventually created the final product by incorporating vocals from 25 takes.”

Lorraine Chandler, “You Only Live Twice” (1967):

Nancy Sinatra, “You Only Live Twice” (1967):

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