Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Fascination (Bowie)

First performed (as “Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)”) by the Mike Garson Band feat. Luther Vandross (1974).
Hit album version (as “Fascination”) by David Bowie (1975).
Other hit version (as “Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)”) by Luther Vandross (R&B #34 1976).

From BowieSongs: “Luther Vandross had sung his ‘Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)’ during the opening set of Bowie’s Philly Dogs tour, as part of ‘The Mike Garson Band’ (basically, Bowie’s touring band minus Bowie).

“Bowie had first heard Vandross’ song during the Sigma sessions [in 1974 for Bowie’s Young Americans album], as Vandross sometimes ran his fellow backing singers through it during studio downtime. When Bowie asked Vandross his permission to record ‘Funky Music’, the latter was incredulous. ‘What do you mean, ‘let’ you record it. I’m living in the Bronx in a building with an elevator that barely works and you’re asking me to ‘let’ you record one of my songs?’

“Bowie worried it would seem ridiculous for him, a pale white guy, singing something called ‘Funky Music’ So. he rewrote ‘Funky Music’ as ‘Fascination’, and included it on Young Americans when released in 1975. (Vandross would later recall, in an early ’80s interview, ‘He said he didn’t want to be so presumptuous as to say ‘funky music’ since he was a rock artist.’)

“The Mike Garson Band leader, Mike Garson, was David Bowie’s longest and most frequent band member, performing on keyboards with Bowie at well over 1,000 concerts in the US and worldwide.

“Vandross would record a studio arrangement of ‘Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)’ in 1976 for his debut album, Luther. Released as a promotional single, it would peak in the R&B top-40, Vandross’ first chart appearance.”

David Bowie, “Fascination” (1975):

Luther Vandross, “Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)” single version (1976):

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