Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Ol’ 55

Written and first recorded by Tom Waits (1973).
Hit album version by Eagles (B-side US #1/CAN #1/UK #51/AUS #14 1974).
Also recorded by Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer (2019).

From the wiki: “‘Ol’ ’55’ is a song by American musician Tom Waits. It is the opening track and lead single from Waits’ debut studio album, Closing Time, released in March 1973 on Asylum Records. The title, ‘Ol’ ’55’, refers to the singer’s vehicle, almost certainly Waits’ legendary 1955 Cadillac.

“The song has been covered by numerous artists, most notably by the Eagles for their 1974 album On The Border. The Eagles’ arrangement was released as the B-side of the international hit ‘Best of My Love’.

“Waits has been critical of cover versions of the song, admitting that he was ‘not that particularly crazy about [Eagles’] rendition of it … I thought their version was a little antiseptic … [They are] about as exciting as watching paint dry.’

“In 2019, Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer covered ‘Ol’ 55′ for the Tom Waits tribute album Come On Up to the House – Women Sing Waits.”

Eagles, “Ol’ 55” (1974):

Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, “Ol’ 55” (2019):

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