Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Change the World

First released by Wynonna (Feb 1996).
Hit version by Eric Clapton (US #5/MOR #1/R&B #54/CAN #1/UK #18/AUS #8/NZ #3 July 1996 |JPN #7).

From the wiki: “’Change the World’ was written by Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy, and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Six months prior to the release of Eric Clapton’s hit version, the song was released by country superstar Wynonna Judd for her album Revelations, released in February 1996. Wynonna, however, did not release her version as a promotional single (‘To Be Loved By You’ was instead released) despite the popularity of Clapton’s subsequent recording when his recording was released to radio in July 1996.

“‘Change the World’ was recorded by Eric Clapton with backing by Babyface for the soundtrack of the 1996 film Phenomenon. Released in July 1996, the song would go on to win Grammy awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year (for the songwriters), and Best Pop Vocal Performance (Male). Clapton’s recording was also chosen by the RIAA as one of the Songs of the Century, ranked at #270.

“Lyricist Bernie Taupin, who worked with Clapton and Elton John on the 1992 single release ‘Runaway Train’ has stated that ‘Change the World’ was an example of a song that can succeed without a great title or lyric. He told Musician magazine: ‘”What sold that song, I believe, is production. And it had a good melody. But don’t listen to the lyrics. Because the lyric is appalling. It’s a bad lyric. There are some rhymes in there that are awful. But that’s not what sold the song.'”

Eric Clapton, “Change the World” (1996):

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