Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Stoned Soul Picnic

Written and first recorded (as a demo) by Laura Nyro (1968).
Also recorded by Laura Nyro (1968).
Hit version by The 5th Dimension (US #3/R&B #2 1968).

From the wiki: “Bones Howe, who had engineered the first 5th Dimension hit, ‘Up-Up and Away,’ became the group’s producer and introduced them to this song and to the music of Laura Nyro. After ‘Stoned Soul Picnic’ also became a hit, the group recorded several other Nyro songs (including ‘Sweet Blindness‘, and ‘Save The Country‘) with great success.

“The word surry, used frequently in the lyric (e.g. ‘Surry down to a stoned soul picnic’), is a neologism created by Nyro; its meaning is unclear. The verb surry is spelled differently from the noun surrey (an old-time carriage). When asked what the word meant, Nyro replied, ‘Oh, it’s just a nice word.'”

Laura Nyro, “Stoned Soul Picnic” from Eli & The Thirteenth Confession (1968):

The 5th Dimension, “Stoned Soul Picnic” (1968):

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