Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Could It Be Magic

First recorded by Featherbed feat. Barry Manilow (1971).
Based on “Prelude in C Minor” by Frederic Bach.
Hit versions by Barry Manilow (US #4/UK #25 1975), Donna Summer (US #52/Dance #3/UK #40 1976), Take That (UK #3 1992).

From the wiki: “‘Could It Be Magic’ was co-written by Barry Manilow and Tony Orlando (based on Chopin’s Prelude in C-Minor) and first recorded by Featherbed, a `ghost’ group consisting of session musicians led by the vocals of a very young Manilow. Manilow, in 1970, was unproven as a pop-song arranger and was therefore not permitted to arrange the original backing track himself upon the song’s first release in 1971. Instead, the original version of the song was produced under the hand of producer Tony Orlando.

“Manilow is said to have hated the Orlando arrangement so severely that he was appreciative of the fact that the song went absolutely nowhere on the music charts. Featuring a bubblegum pop beat, cowbells and a ‘Knock Three Times’ feel, the original lyrics have nothing in common with the subsequent 1973 hit version by Manilow (with its completely different meter and arrangement) although the chorus remained the same.

“Manilow would come to be signed to Bell Records in his own right in 1973, immediately after which a completely reworked version with Manilow’s own arrangement (with new lyrics by Adrienne Anderson) was included on his debut album, Barry Manilow, and released as a single in 1975.”

Frederic Bach, “Prelude in C Minor”:

Barry Manilow, “Could It Be Magic” album version (1975):

Donna Summer, “Could It Be Magic” (1976):

Take That, “Could It Be Magic” (1992):

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