Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Solitaire (The Carpenters)

Written and first recorded by Neil Sedaka (1972).
Also recorded by Petula Clark (1972), The Searchers (1973).
Hit versions by Andy Williams (MOR #23/UK #4 1974), The Carpenters (US #17/MOR #1/UK #32 1975), Elvis Presley (1976 |B-side C&W #10 1979).

From the wiki: “Neil Sedaka recorded ‘Solitaire’ as the title cut for a UK-only 1972 album recorded at Strawberry Studios, Manchester. Members of the band 10cc – Lol Creme, Kevin Godley and Graham Gouldman – accompanied Sedaka while Eric Stewart, also of 10cc, engineered the session.

“Appearing on 1972 album releases by both Tony Christie and Petula Clark, ‘Solitaire’ had its first evident single release in February 1973 with a recording by The Searchers. However, it was the autumn 1973 single by Andy Williams which would reach #4 UK. In 1974, Sedaka’s original 1972 recording of ‘Solitaire’ was included on his comeback album Sedaka’s Back. Later in 1975, a live-in-concert version recorded by him at the Royal Festival Hall was issued as the B-side of ‘The Queen of 1964’.

“The Carpenters recorded ‘Solitaire’ for the 1975 Horizon album. Richard Carpenter, familiar with the song via the versions by Neil Sedaka and Andy Williams, was ‘not crazy’ about it but felt the song would showcase Karen Carpenter’s vocal expertise. He would later assess Karen’s performance on ‘Solitaire’ as ‘one of [her] greatest’ adding ‘she never liked the song [and]…she never changed her opinion.’

“Elvis Presley recorded ‘Solitaire’ in 1976 but his recording remained unreleased until 1979 when it graced the B-side of a posthumous US Country Top-10 hit, ‘Are You Sincere’.”

Petula Clark, “Solitaries” (1972):

The Searchers, “Solitaire” (1973):

Andy Williams, “Solitaire” (1974):

The Carpenters, “Solitaire” (1975):

Elvis Presley, “Solitaire” (1976):

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