Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

First recorded (as a demo) by Strontium 90 (1976, released 1997).
Hit version by The Police (US #3/UK #1/CAN #1/IRE #1/AUS #2/NED #1/NZ #7 1981).

From the wiki: “Sting wrote the song, he thinks, as early as 1975. Sting (who earned the nickname when wearing a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes while onstage with the Phoenix Jazzmen in the mid-1970s) recalls ‘When I moved to London in 1975, I was struggling to make a living. I auditioned at the Zanzibar in Covent Garden. I sang ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ and the guy said: ‘We need commercial hit songs. We don’t need this kind of stuff.”

“An early demo of the song, recorded in the house of Mike Howlett in the autumn of 1976 by the predecessor band of the Police, Strontium 90, can be heard on Strontium 90: Police Academy released in 1997 on Ark Records.

“Sting recalls, ‘I had written the song long before the Police were successful, but it seemed a bit soft for the band at first. But the demo was really great. It sounded like a No 1 song to me. I took it to the band, who were reticent, still thinking it was soft. I was saying, ‘But listen, it’s a hit.’ We tried to do it from scratch as the Police, but it didn’t have the same energy as the demo. After a degree of hair-pulling and torturing on my part, I got the band to play over the top of my demo.’

“When recorded by the Police in 1981, ‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’ was released as the second promotional single from Ghost in the Machine (1981) in UK and Ireland, while in most other parts of the world it was the debut single from the album. Nonetheless, it became a worldwide hit, the second-highest-charting Police hit (along with ‘King of Pain’) after ‘Every Breath You Take’.”

The Police, “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” (1981):

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