Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Piece of My Heart

First recorded by Erma Franklin (US #62/R&B #10 1967 |UK #9 1992).
Other hit versions by Big Brother and the Holding Company (US #12 1968), Faith Hill (C&W #1 1994), Shaggy feat. Marsha (UK #7/NZ #6 1997), Melissa Ethridge & Joss Stone (US #32 2005), Beverly Knight (UK #15 2006).

From the wiki: “‘Piece of My Heart’ is a romantic love song written by Jerry Ragovoy (‘Time Is On My Side‘) and Bert Berns and originally recorded by Erma Franklin in 1967. Franklin’s version was a Top-10 R&B hit in the U.S., and also peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her recording of ‘Piece of My Heart’ was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1968. In the UK, the single was re-released in 1992, due to a successful Levi’s jeans commercial, when it peaked at #9 on the UK Singles chart.

“Erma’s solo recording career was hampered by misfortune and by contracts with record labels who did not find the most suitable material for her husky voice. In the mid-1970s Erma left the music industry, apart from occasional engagements with her sister, Aretha.

“The song came to international mainstream attention when Big Brother and the Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin on lead vocals) covered the song in 1968 and had a much bigger hit with it. Billboard magazine called it ‘dynamite’, stating that ‘this raucous dance treatment will rock up the Hot 100.’ The song’s release was the culmination of a hugely successful year for Joplin with acclaimed performances at the Monterey Pop Festival, Anderson Theater in New York, Wake For Martin Luther King Jr. (with Jimi Hendrix) in New York and on TV’s prime-time The Dick Cavett Show. ‘Piece of My Heart’ remained Joplin’s biggest chart success and best-known song until posthumously eclipsed by ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ in 1970.

“‘Piece of My Heart’ has since been remade by several singers, including other hit versions by Faith Hill in 1994, Shaggy featuring Marsha in 1997, Melissa Etheridge & Joss Stone in 2005 (recorded live at the 47th Grammy Awards as part of a tribute medley to Janis Joplin, and distributed as a download-only single), and also by Beverly Knight whose 2006 single peaked Top-20 in the UK.”

Big Brother and the Holding Company, “Piece of My Heart” (1968):

Faith Hill, “Piece of My Heart” (1994):

Shaggy feat. Marsha, “Piece of My Heart” (1997):

Melissa Ethridge & Joss Stone, “Piece of My Heart” (2005):

Beverly Knight, “Piece of My Heart” (2006):