Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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More Than I Can Say

Written and originally recorded by The Crickets (UK #42 1960).
Other hit versions by Bobby Vee (US #61/UK #4 1961), Leo Sayer (US #2/UK #2 1980).

From the wiki: “‘More Than I Can Say’ is a song written by Sonny Curtis (‘I Fought the Law‘) and Jerry Allison, both members of Buddy Holly’s former backing band, The Crickets. They recorded it in 1959 soon after Holly’s death and released it in 1960. Their original version hit #42 on British Record Retailer Chart on 5/12/60.

“In 1961, Bobby Vee (whose other hit singles include ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’ and ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes’) recorded ‘More Than I Can Say’, and it reached #61 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was a bigger hit in the United Kingdom, where the song and its B-side, ‘Staying In’, peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart.

“Meanwhile, Leo Sayer has stated that while looking for an ‘oldie’ to record for his album Living in a Fantasy (1980), he saw a TV commercial for a greatest hits collection by Vee and chose the song on the spot: ‘We went into a record store that afternoon, bought the record and had the song recorded that night.’

“Sayer had had two previous singles reach #1 in the U.S., ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ and ‘When I Need You’, both in 1977. He nearly had a third song achieve this feat, as his cover version of ‘More Than I Can Say’ spent five weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1980 and January 1981, kept from the top spot by ‘Lady’ by Kenny Rogers and ‘(Just Like) Starting Over’ by John Lennon.”

Bobby Vee, “More Than I Can Say” (1961):

Leo Sayer, “More Than I Can Say” (1980):

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