Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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For Your Love

Written and first recorded (as a demo) by Graham Gouldman (1965).
Hit version by The Yardbirds (US #6/UK #3/CAN #1 1965).

From the wiki: “‘For Your Love’ was written by future 10cc member Graham Gouldman and first recorded by him as a demo. Gouldman wrote the song at the age of 19 while employed by day in a gentlemen’s outfitters near Salford Docks and playing by night with the semi-professional Manchester band The Mockingbirds. Gouldman’s manager, Harvey Lisberg, was so impressed by the song he told Gouldman he should offer it to the Beatles.

“Gouldman had originally intended the song for The Mockingbirds, but their demo was turned down by Columbia Records. It is also believed that producer Mickie Most turned it down on behalf of Herman’s Hermits and that the Animals also turned down an opportunity to record ‘For Your Love’.

“Lisberg did give the demo of the song to publisher Ronnie Beck of Feldman’s, who took it to the Hammersmith Odeon, where the Beatles were performing. By coincidence the Yardbirds were also performing with the Beatles on the Christmas show at the venue. Beck played the song to both the Yardbirds’ manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, and the band. Having a hit song was important to the group at that time and, according to Yardbirds drummer, Jim McCarty, ‘For Your Love’ song provided the group with that potential.

“Keyboardist Dave Liebman has told the story on stage that the harpsichords introduction was a total accident. He was hired to write an organ riff intro for the song, and upon arriving at the recording studio it was realized that there was no organ on site. They searched and all they could find was a harpsichord. Liebman crafted the intro for the Yardbirds, but left before the recording was finished because he thought there would never be a hit rock song that featured a harpsichord. It would be session musician Brian Auger on the finished recording. Auger would later become a solo artist of note with his group Brian Auger & The Trinity.

“Gouldman later observed to Uncut magazine (August 2009): ‘The harpsichord was an absolute stroke of genius. The record just had a weird, mysterious atmosphere about it.’ The success of ‘For Your Love’ would ultimately result in the departure of Yardbird guitarist Eric Clapton, who played on the track with strong reluctance. Dismayed with the group’s shift from R&B to “hit song” rock, Clapton would leave the Yardbirds to join John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.”

The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (1965):

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