Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

Trains, Boats and Planes

Written and first recorded by Burt Bacharach (UK #4 1965).
Other hit versions by Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas (US #47/MOR #10/UK #12 1965), Dionne Warwick (US #22 1966).

From the wiki: “‘Trains and Boats and Planes’ was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and was first recorded in 1965 by Bacharach who achieved a Top 5 hit in the UK with his single.

“Bacharach and David wrote the song at a time when they had achieved great popular success, and Bacharach in particular was traveling widely to record and promote his songs. The pair intended the song to be recorded by Gene Pitney, who had had several hits with earlier Bacharach and David songs including ‘Only Love Can Break a Heart’. However, Pitney declined to record it, telling Bacharach ‘It’s not one of your better ones.’ Bacharach then recorded it himself, in London, with an orchestra, chorus, and uncredited vocals by female session singers The Breakaways. His arrangement was issued on the album Hit Maker! Burt Bacharach plays the Burt Bacharach Hits in 1965 (reissued in 1968 as Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits), and as a UK-only single.

“Other hit versions were recorded by Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas (also in 1965), and by Dionne Warwick in 1966.

I Call Your Name

First recorded by Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas (UK B-side #1 1963).
Hit album version by The Beatles (1964).

From the wiki: “John Lennon wrote the song prior to the formation of The Beatles. In 1963, he gave the song to Billy J. Kramer of The Dakotas, another Liverpool band signed to Parlophone by George Martin. Later, Lennon was reportedly dissatisfied with the Dakotas’ arrangement of his song as well as its position as a B-side (to the UK #1 ‘Bad to Me’, also written by Lennon-McCartney), so The Beatles recorded their own version, releasing it in the US on The Beatles’ Second Album and in the UK on the EP Long Tall Sally. The Beatles’ recording features George Harrison playing a Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar, giving to the world for the first time the distinctive sound of the famous guitar. ‘I Call Your Name’ was to have been included in the movie soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night but was rejected in favor of ‘You Can’t Do That’.”