Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Elton John

Country Comfort

First released (as “Country Comforts”) by Rod Stewart (June 1970).
Also recorded by Orange Bicycle (Sept 1970), Kate Taylor w/ Linda Ronstadt (1971).
Hit album version by Elton John (NZ #15 Oct 1970).

“Written by Elton John, ‘Country Comfort’ would be first recorded and released by two other artists (as ‘Country Comforts’) in the months prior to John’s own release in October 1970: by Rod Stewart (on Gasoline Alley) in June 1970, and by Orange Bicycle in September 1970.

Yellow River

First recorded by The Tremeloes (1970).
Hit versions by Christie, writer (US #23/UK #1/IRE #1/AUS #16/FIN #1/NOR #1/GER #3 1970), The Compton Brothers (C&W #49 1972).
Also recorded by Elton John (1970), R.E.M. (2003).
Also recorded (as “Tuulensuojaan”) by Danny (1970), (as “Fat Karlsson”) by Singing Guitars (1971), Mziuri Ensemble (1973).

From the wiki: “Written by Tremeloes band leader Jeff Christie, the song was first recorded by the group with the intention of releasing it as a single early in 1970. However, after the success of the Tremeloes then-most recent single, ‘Call Me Number One’, and after considering ‘Yellow River’ too pop-orientated for their future direction, the Tremeloes decided instead to follow-up with another of their own compositions, ‘By The Way’, which met only with very modest Top 40 success. Producer Mike Smith took the group vocals off the recording (leaving behind only the instrumental backing track) and added those of Christie, the songwriter, and releasing the song under the name ‘Christie’, his sole UK chart-topper as a solo artist.