Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Eric Carmen

Change of Heart

First released by Samantha Sang (recorded 1977, released B-side 1978).
Hit version by Eric Carmen (US #19/MOR #6/CAN #14 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Change of Heart’ was written by Eric Carmen. It was first recorded in 1977 by Samantha Sang for her album, Emotion, and released as a single in April 1978 as the B-side to ‘You Keep Me Dancing’ (US #57), the follow-up single to her Top-10 international hit Emotion.

“Carmen released ‘Change of Heart’ in September 1978 as the lead single to Change of Heart, his third solo album (after leaving The Raspberries), with Sang on backing vocals.”

That’s Rock ‘n Roll

Written and first recorded by Eric Carmen (DEN #7 1976).
Other hit version by Shaun Cassidy (US #3/CAN #1/AUS #2 1978).

From the wiki: “‘That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was written and first recorded by Eric Carmen in 1976. It later became a US Top-10 hit for teen idol Shaun Cassidy.

“Carmen released his version of ‘That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll’ in some nations as the third single from his first eponymous self-titled debut album, Eric Carmen. The single’s limited release did not include the United States. The song charted at #7 in Denmark. Parts of the song are autobiographical.

“‘That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was covered in 1977 by Shaun Cassidy on his first solo LP, Shaun Cassidy. The song was Cassidy’s second of three consecutive Top-10 hits in the US. Cassidy’s cover also topped the Canadian singles chart and nudged the top of the Australian singles chart.

“In 1988, ‘That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was featured as the B-side of a subsequent major hit by Carmen, ‘Make Me Lose Control’.”

Shaun Cassidy, “That’s Rock ‘n Roll” (1978):

Hey Deanie

First released by Shaun Cassidy (US #7 1977).
Other hit version by Eric Carmen, writer (B-side US #19/MOR #6 1978).

From the wiki: “Written by Eric Carmen, ‘Hey Deanie’ was first recorded by Shaun Cassidy and released as a single from his album, Born Late the last week of November, 1977. It became his third and final Top 10 hit, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Carmen would record ‘Hey Deanie’ himself for his 1978 album, Change of Heart, and it was released as the B side to the album’s title track single which went on to become a Top 20 hit in 1978.”

Never Gonna Fall in Love Again

First single release by Dana (UK #31 March 1976).
Other hit versions by Mark Holden (AUS #13 April 1976); Eric Carmen, writer (US #11/MOR #1/CAN #1/NZ #30 May 1976).
Also recorded by John Travolta (1976, released 1980).

From the wiki: “‘Never Gonna Fall in Love Again’, written by former Raspberry band founder, Eric Carmen, was a UK hit first for pop singer Dana in March 1976. A month after Dana’s release, Australian singer Mark Holden released his promotional single arrangement. Carmen’s own single would be released in May 1976, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June.

“John Travolta also covered ‘Never Gonna Fall in Love Again’ in 1976, on the John Travolta album, but his version was not released as a single until 1980 with no apparent chart impact.

“Frank Sinatra performed ‘Never Gonna Fall in Love Again’ many times in concert in the late 1970s, most notably during the 1976 MDA Telethon broadcast hosted by Jerry Lewis. Fond of Eric Carmen’s songs, Sinatra had arrangements made of both this song and ‘All By Myself’ for concert performances, but never recorded either song.”

Almost Paradise

Co-written and first recorded (as a demo) by Eric Carmen (1984).
Hit version by Mike Reno & Ann Wilson (US #7 1984).

From the wiki: “‘Almost Paradise’ was co-written by Dean Pitchford and Eric Carmen (‘Hungry Eyes‘) for the Footloose movie soundtrack. According to Pitchford: “That song was written in a day, but in an 11-hour, 12-hour day. The next morning we went into the studio and into the office of our director, who had an upright piano installed in his office specifically to hear all the songs as I created them, with my various collaborators. Eric and I went in and we sang – I brought a girlfriend of mine in to sing the female part, and Eric sang the male part, and that sold that song.”

Hungry Eyes

Written and first recorded (as a demo) by Franke & The Knockouts (1987, released 1999).
Hit version by Eric Carmen (US #4/UK #82/CAN #2 1987).

From the wiki: “Songwriters Franke Previte and John De Nicola, of Franke & The Knockouts, wrote and first recorded the song as a demo that would find its way onto the Dirty Dancing movie soundtrack. (The pair also composed ‘(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life’ for the same movie.) Franke & The Knockouts recorded for Millenium Records, which was helmed by Jimmy Ienner, who asked Franke for songs when Ienner began producing the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Previte remembers: ‘Jimmy had closed his label and ‘Hungry Eyes’ was a song on my demo reel, because I was trying to get a new recording contract. No one thought the song had a chance. I guess history proves them wrong.’