Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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A World Without Love

First recorded (as a demo) by Paul McCartney (1963).
Hit version by Peter & Gordon (US #1/UK #1 1964).
Also recorded by Bobby Rydell (US #80 1964), The Supremes (1964).

From the wiki: “Paul McCartney did not think the song was good enough for The Beatles. Prior to giving the song to Peter & Gordon, he offered it to Billy J. Kramer, who rejected it. McCartney wrote the song when he was 16. In 1963, when he moved into the London home of his then-girlfriend Jane Asher, sharing a room with her brother Peter Asher, he offered the song to Asher and Gordon Waller after the pair obtained a recording contract as Peter & Gordon.

“‘A World Without Love’ topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. It also reached #1 on the Cash Box chart in the U.S. for one week. It is one of two songs written by Lennon–McCartney to reach #1 in the US by an artist other than the Beatles. (The other song is ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ covered by Elton John.)

“Another version of ‘A World Without Love’, by teen idol Bobby Rydell, debuted in the US the same week as Peter & Gordon’s recording. Rydell’s recording quickly stalled, peaking at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Supremes also released a non-single cover version in October 1964 that did not chart.”

Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (1964):

Bobby Rydell, “A World Without Love” (1964):

The Supremes, “A World Without Love” 1964):

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