Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Needles and Pins

First recorded by Jackie DeShannon (US #84/CAN #1 1963).
Other hit version by The Searchers (US #13/UK #1 1964).

From the wiki: “‘Needles and Pins’ was written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono. Jackie DeShannon (‘What the World Needs Now’, ‘Bette Davis Eyes‘) recorded the original in 1963 on Liberty Records, but her version stalled at #84 on the Hot 100.

“DeShannon explained (via why her recording didn’t hit:

‘There were a lot of issues with the record company, a lot of marketing things I wasn’t happy with. For instance, ‘Needles And Pins’ was Top 5 in Detroit, Top 5 in Chicago, and Top 5 in every city it was played in. However, unless you’re coordinated across the country and the song hits the charts at the same time, you can’t get the big leaps. My record didn’t have [momentum], because it would be going down in Chicago while it was going up in some other city. So that was a problem.’

“Searchers’ producer Tony Hatch transformed DeShannon’s small hit into a big one for his group. The jingle-jangle production worked wonders even though the 12-string sound came from Mike Pinder and John McNally playing their 6-string guitars simultaneously.”

The Searchers, “Needles and Pins” (1964):

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