Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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I Love You

Originally recorded by The Zombies (1965 |JPN #8 1967).
Hit versions by The Carnabeats (JPN #2 1967), People! (US #18/CAN #7/AUS #1/JPN #1 1968).

From the wiki: “‘I Love You’ was a 1965 song by The Zombies, written by their drummer, Chris White. It was recorded by The Zombies and released as the B-side to ‘Whenever You’re Ready’ but failed to make either the US or UK singles charts and achieved only limited chart success elsewhere. However, the song was translated into Japanese (as ‘Sukisa Sukisa Sukisa’) and recorded in 1967 by Tokyo band The Carnabeats. ‘Sukisa’ would debut locally at #7 before peaking in November 1967 at #2. The success of The Carnabeats’ Japanese version resulted in the original version by The Zombies being re-released in Japan, and it became a best-selling hit and ranked #8 for 1967.

“People! was a one-hit wonder rock band who formed in San Jose, California in 1965. ‘I Love You’ was a bona fide #1 hit in Japan, South Africa, Israel, Argentina and elsewhere in 1968, and in every US ‘market’ … but just not in the same week. According to the liner notes of the 2006 Best of People! Volume 1 album, People!’s version of ‘I Love You’ could have topped the US national charts if not for radio industry rivalries. Bill Gavin and Bill Drake had two competitive radio ‘tip sheet’ companies who did exactly the same thing: Advise radio stations on what new music was bubbling up in popularity and was going to be put into rotation on the radio station playlist. But People! was produced by Mikel Hunter, an upstart who broke all the rules of AM Boss Jock Radio and who was said to be able to predict much more accurately what was going to be a national hit. Gavin and Drake decided to bury Hunter and one way was to advise programmers NOT to play ‘I Love You’.”

The Carnabeats, “Sukisa Sukisa Sukisa” 2012 performance (1967):

People!, “I Love You” (1968):

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