Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Barry White

Oh Love (Well, We Finally Made It)

First recorded by Smoke (1972).
Hit version by Love Unlimited (R&B #70 1973).

“‘Oh Love (Well We Finally Made It)’ was written by Barry White, was first recorded by Bob Relf’s group, Smoke, in 1972 (not to be confused with the UK group The Smoke). (Relf was one-half of ‘Bob & Earl’, after the departure of Bobby Day, who famously recorded ‘Harlem Shuffle‘ in 1963 with an arrangement by White.)

“White’s female trio, Love Unlimited, also recorded ‘Oh Love …’ at the same session, using the same backing track performed by Smoke that was later augmented with the addition of a string arrangement by White’s newly formed Love Unlimited Orchestra. But, Love Unlimited’s recording was held back from release, not becoming a promotional single until July 1973 when it would nick the R&B chart, peaking at #70.”

Harlem Shuffle

Written and first recorded by Bob & Earl (US #44/R&B #44 1963 |UK #7 1969).
Other hit version by The Rolling Stones (US #5/UK #13/NZ #1/AUS #6 1986).

From the wiki: “Bobby Byrd and Earl Nelson had both been members of The Hollywood Flames, a prolific doo-wop group in Los Angeles, California whose major hit was ‘Buzz Buzz Buzz’ in 1958. By 1957, Byrd had started a parallel solo career, writing and recording for contractual reasons as Bobby Day. He wrote and recorded the original version of ‘Little Bitty Pretty One‘ (a hit for Thurston Harris), but had a hit of his own with ‘”Rockin’ Robin’ (1958). In 1960, Byrd and Nelson began recording together as Bob & Earl, on the Class record label.