Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Doobie Brothers

What a Fool Believes

Co-written and first recorded by Kenny Loggins (1978).
Hit version by The Doobie Brothers (US #1 1978).

From the wiki: “‘What a Fool Believes’ was written by Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. The best-known version was recorded by The Doobie Brothers (for the album Minute by Minute), with McDonald on lead vocal, but the song was first recorded and released five months prior by Loggins on his album Nightwatch. McDonald’s original idea for the song was that of a man who is reunited with an old love interest and attempts to rekindle a romantic relationship with her before discovering that a relationship had never really existed. It was Loggins, right before meeting McDonald for the first time, who devised the bridge of the song.

You Belong to Me

First recorded by The Doobie Brothers (1977).
Hit version by Carly Simon (US #6 1978), The Doobie Brothers (US #79 1983).

From the wiki: “‘You Belong to Me’ is a song written by singer-songwriters Carly Simon and Michael McDonald. Originally recorded by McDonald’s rock group The Doobie Brothers for their seventh studio album, Livin’ on the Fault Line, the song was made famous by Simon herself when recorded for her seventh studio album, Boys in the Trees.

Jesus is Just Alright

First recorded by The Art Reynolds Singers (1966).
Also recorded by The Byrds (US #97 1969).
Hit version by The Doobie Brothers (US #35 1972).

From the wiki: “‘Jesus Is Just Alright’ is a gospel song written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded by Reynolds’ own group, The Art Reynolds Singers, on their 1966 album, Tellin’ It Like It Is.

Long Train Runnin’

First recorded (as a demo) by The Doobie Brothers (c. 1970)
Hit versions by The Doobie Brothers (US #8/CAN #8/NETH #10 1973/NZ #15/SA #11), Traks (FRA #62/GER #18 1982), Bananarama (UK #30/IRE #18/ITA #33/POR #10 1991), Doobie Brothers (remix UK #7/IRE #14/BEL #32 1993).

From the wiki: “Back before The Doobie Brothers signed their first recording contract, they were a biker bar band in California. On one occasion, the band went into the studio to record some demos. One would eventually become known as ‘Long Train Running’.

“Lead singer and songwriter Tom Johnston explained that it began as a song with no real lyrics, merely providing filler on the group’s set list in their early days playing live. Names for the song included ‘Rosey Pig Mosely’, ‘Parliament’ and ‘Osborne’.

Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)

Co-written and first recorded by Eddie Holland (1964).
Hit versions by Kim Weston (US #50/R&B #4 1965), The Isley Brothers (R&B #22 1967), The Doobie Brothers (US #11/UK #29 1975), Charity Brown (CAN #5 1975).

From the wiki: “Eddie Holland, of the legendary Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland (‘Leaving Here‘), co-wrote and recorded the original version of ‘Take Me in Your Arms’ in 1964. (Holland’s recording was not released commercially until 2005.) Holland quit performing due to stage fright, opting instead to concentrate on songwriting. Holland-Dozier-Holland were responsible for such mega hits as ‘Baby, I Need Your Loving’, ‘Heat Wave’, ‘Baby Love’, ‘This Old Heart of Mine’ and scores of others.