Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Rock and Roll Music

Written and first recorded by Chuck Berry (US #8/R&B #6 1957).
Other hit versions by The Beatles (AUS #1/NOR #1/SWE #1/FIN/GER #2 1964), Humble Pie (US #105 1975), The Beach Boys (US #5/CAN #11/UK #36 1976), Mental As Anything (AUS #5 1988).

From the wiki: “‘Rock and Roll Music’ was written and recorded by rock ‘n roll icon Chuck Berry.

“The sessions for ‘Rock and Roll Music’ took place in May 1957 in Chicago, Illinois, produced by the Chess brothers – Leonard and Phil – and backing Chuck Berry were pianist Lafayette Leake, bassist Willie Dixon, and drummer Fred Below. Chess records issued the song as a single in September 1957 on both the 45 rpm and 78 rpm formats. It reached #6 on Billboard magazine’s R&B Singles chart and #8 on the Hot 100 chart before the year’s end.

“Five decades later, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Berry’s version at #128 on their list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’. The song is also a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the ‘500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll’.

“The song has been widely covered and is recognized as one of Berry’s most popular and enduring compositions, recorded by many well-known artists including Bill Haley & His Comets, The Beatles, The Beach Boys (who charted in the Billboard Top 10 in 1976 with their cover), Humble Pie, REO Speedwagon, and Manic Street Preachers.

“The Beatles performed the song in many of their early Hamburg shows, and also played it on the BBC program Pop Go The Beatles. In late 1964, exhausted from non-stop touring and recording and short of original material, the Fab Four decided to record several of their old rock and rhythm and blues favorites to fill out their LP release Beatles for Sale, including Berry’s ‘Rock and Roll Music’ (with their producer, George Martin, playing piano). In some countries, ‘Rock and Roll Music’ was released as a single, with ‘I’m a Loser’ as the B-side. The single topped the charts in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Australia, and peaked at #2 in Germany and the Netherlands.

“Australian band Mental As Anything covered the song ‘Rock and Roll Music’ in 1988. It was released as the first single from the bands seventh studio album Cyclone Raymond, peaking at #5 and staying on the Australian Singles chart for 22 weeks.”

The Beatles, “Rock and Roll Music” (1964):

The Beatles, “Rock and Roll Music” live performance on BBC Radio (1964):

Humble Pie, “Rock and Roll Music” (1975):

The Beach Boys, “Rock and Roll Music” (1976):

Mental As Anything, “Rock and Roll Music” (1988):

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