Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Red, Red Wine

Written and first recorded by Neil Diamond (US #62 1966).
Other hit versions by Jimmy James & The Vagabonds (UK #46 1966), Tony Tribe (UK #46 1969), Roy Drusky (C&W #17/CAN #16 1972), UB40 (US #34/UK #1/NZ #1 1984 |US #1 1988).

From the wiki: “‘Red, Red Wine’ was written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond (‘September Morn‘,’I’m a Believer‘,’Until It’s Time for You to Go‘). It has been covered by Tony Tribe, and Jimmy James & the Vagabond (both charting in the UK in the late ’60s), American country singer Roy Drusky (who charted in 1972) and, most famously, by British reggae group UB40, whose version topped the UK and US singles charts – four years apart.

“UB40 recorded their arrangement with a ‘toasting’ verse, edited from the single that reached #1 on the UK Singles chart in August 1983. Released in the US without the ‘toasting’, the recording reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1984. In 1988, however, the song was re-released in the US, this time including the ‘toasting’, and it climbed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“According to UB40. they were only familiar with Tony Tribe’s version; apparently they didn’t realize that the writer – credited simply as ‘Diamond’ – was in fact Neil Diamond.”

Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, “Red, Red Wine” (1966):

Tony Tribe, “Red, Red Wine” (1969):

Roy Drusky, “Red, Red Wine” (1972):

UB40, “Red, Red Wine” official video (1984):

UB40, “Red, Red Wine” “toasting” version live performance @ Wembley Stadium (1988):

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