Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Blondie

Hanging on the Telephone

First recorded by The Nerves (1976).
Hit version by Blondie (UK #5/IRE #18/AUS #39 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Hanging on the Telephone’ was written by Jack Lee (‘Come Back and Stay’, 1983) and first performed by his short-lived US West Coast Power Pop trio, The Nerves (which included Paul Collins, later of The Beat). The song was the lead-off track on The Nerves’s 1976 EP, the group’s only release (until the 2008 compilation, One Way Ticket, thirty years after the group disbanded).

“New Wave band Blondie later popularized ‘Hanging on the Telephone’ when it released a cover as the second single off Parallel Lines in both the US and UK in 1978. The single failed to chart in the US (except as an album track at album-oriented radio stations) but charted Top-5 in the UK; charting elsewhere, too, in Europe and Australia.”

The Tide is High

Originally recorded by The Paragons (1967).
Also recorded by Uroy (1971), Gregory Isaacs (1978).
Hit versions by Blondie (US #1/UK #1/CAN #1/NZ #1 1980), Atomic Kitten (UK #1 2002).

From the wiki: “‘The Tide is High’ was written by John Holt and was first recorded by The Paragons, the vocal trio of which he was a member, and featured the violin of ‘White Rum’ Raymond.

“The recording was produced by Duke Reid, released as a 7-inch single on Reid’s Treasure Isle and Trojan labels and as the B-side of the ‘Only a Smile’ single. Both tracks were included on the 1970 collection On the Beach. The song became popular in the UK amongst West Indians and skinheads when a ‘deejay’ version recorded by U-Roy was released in 1971. Gregory Issacs also released ‘The Tide is High’ as a single in 1978.

“‘The Tide Is High’ was most famously covered by Blondie in 1980, in a reggae-mariachi style that included horns and strings. It was released as the lead single from the band’s fifth studio album, Autoamerican (1980), providing Blondie with their third #1 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“In 2002, ‘The Tide Is High’ again topped the UK Singles chart when the song was covered by English girl group Atomic Kitten. Released as the second single from their second studio album, Feels So Good, their version of the song also added a new bridge, hence the subtitle ‘Get the Feeling’.”

Uroy, “The Tide is High” (1971):

Gregory Isaacs, “The Tide is High” (1978):

Blondie, “The Tide is High” (1980):

Atomic Kitten, “The Tide is High (Get the Feeling)” (2002):