Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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In the Name of Love

First recorded (instrumentally) by Grover Washington, Jr. (1980).
Hit vocal versions by Robert Flack (US #24 1982), co-writers Ralph MacDonald feat. Bill Withers (US #6 1984).

From the wiki: “‘In the Name of Love’ was written by Ralph MacDonald and William Salter (‘Where is the Love’, 1971), and Bill Withers (‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, 1971; ‘Lean on Me’, 1972), and was first recorded and released as an instrumental by saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. in 1980 on his album Winelight.

“A vocal cover was recorded in 1982 by Roberta Flack (‘Killing Me Softly with His Song‘) for her album I’m the One, and, in 1984, by co-writers Ralph MacDonald and Bill Withers recorded ‘In the Name of Love’ for MacDonald’s album Universal Rhythm. Both singles charted in the Billboard Hot 100 in each of those respective years, with the MacDonald/Withers arrangement charting the highest.”

Roberta Flack, “In the Name of Love” (1982):

Ralph MacDonald feat. Bill Withers, “In the Name of Love” (1984):

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