Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Category: 2000s

Play That Song

Inspired by “Heart & Soul” by Hoagy Carmichael & Frank Loesser (1938).
Hit version by Train (US #41/UK #21/AUS #8 2016).

From the wiki: “Train’s ‘Play That Song’ incorporates the melody of ‘Heart and Soul‘, written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser. They are credited as ‘Play That Song’ writers, alongside Train lead singer Patrick Monahan and producer William Wiik Larsen.

“The original recording of ‘Heart and Soul’ was performed by Larry Clinton & his Orchestra featuring Bea Wain, one of three versions that would chart in 1939: Larry Clinton (reaching #1 on the chart), Eddy Duchin (reaching #12), and Al Donahue (reaching #16). ‘Heart and Soul’ later charted as #11 in 1952 by The Four Aces with the Jack Pleis Orchestra. The Cleftones charted a rock ‘n roll version of the song in 1961, a recording that was also popularly used in the 1972 movie American Graffiti.

“‘Play That Song’ was released on September 29, 2016 as the lead single from Train’s tenth studio album A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat (2017). The song has peaked at #41 on the US Billboard Hot 100 but became a Top-10 hit in Australia.”

Somewhere Only We Know

First recorded (as a demo) by Tim Rice-Oxley (2001).
Hit versions by Keane (UK #3 2004), The Cast of Glee (US #42/UK #44 2011), Lily Allen (UK #1 2012).

From the wiki: “‘Somewhere Only We Know’ was performed and composed by English alternative rock band Keane, officially released as their third commercial single. The first demo was composed by Tim Rice-Oxley circa 2001, basing it on David Bowie’s song ‘Heroes’, while hammering on the piano.”


First recorded by The Zutons (UK #9 2006).
Other hit versions by Amy Winehouse (UK #37 2007), Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse (UK #2 2007), Cast of Glee (US #54 2010).

From the wiki: “‘Valerie’ is a song by the English indie rock band The Zutons from the band’s second studio album, Tired of Hanging Around (2006), and gave The Zutons their joint-biggest single to date as well as their second UK Top 10 single, climbing from #41 (from download sales alone, the day before physical release) to its peak at #9 in the UK Singles Chart. Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse covered ‘Valerie’ for Ronson’s second studio album, Version (2007).

You Raise Me Up

Written and first recorded by Secret Garden (2001).
Hit versions by Daniel O’Donnell (UK #22 2003), Josh Groban (US #73/MOR #1/UK #74 2003), Westlife (UK #1 2005), Wesley Klein (NETH #4 2010).

From the wiki: “‘You Raise Me Up’ was composed by the duo, Secret Garden, with music by Rolf Løvland and lyrics by Brendan Graham.

“The song was originally written as an instrumental piece titled ‘Silent Story’. Parts (most musicologists would claim) of the melody are based on a traditional Irish tune (especially the opening phrase of its chorus), ‘Londonderry Air’, which is best known as the usual tune to the 1910 song ‘Danny Boy’. Løvland approached Irish novelist and songwriter Graham to write the lyrics to his melody after reading Graham’s novels.

Game of Love

Originally recorded by Santana featuring Tina Turner (2002) but unreleased until 2007.
Hit version by Santana featuring Michelle Branch (US #5/UK #16/CAN #4 2002).

From the wiki: “Tina Turner originally recorded ‘Game of Love’ for Santana. However, this version remained unreleased until 2007 when it was featured on the album Ultimate Santana. The Michelle Branch recording was released as single in 2002, It won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals’, as well as peaking at #5 in on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.”