Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: John Hiatt

Thing Called Love

Written and first recorded by John Hiatt (1987).
Hit version by Bonnie Raitt (US Rock #11/UK #86 1989).

From the wiki: “‘Thing Called Love’ was written and first recorded by John Hiatt in 1987, featuring Ry Cooder on guitar and Nick Lowe (‘Cruel to Be Kind‘) on bass. The album on which it appeared, Bring the Family, was recorded in four days after McCabe’s Guitar Shop booker John Chelew convinced Hiatt that ‘Thing Called Love’, ‘Thank You Girl’, and ‘Have a Little Faith in Me‘ were some of his best songs.

“Hiatt was recently sober but had burned so many bridges in the music industry he did not think he had a chance of continuing his career. He had been dropped by his label and ‘wondered if I was worth a damn.’ Demon Records in England still loved his work and pledged about $30,000 if he wanted to record; A&M Records would picked up the finished disc for distribution in the US.

Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here

Written and first recorded by John Hiatt (1974).
Hit version by Three Dog Night (US #16/CAN #18 1974).

From the wiki: “John Hiatt was working as a songwriter for Tree International, a record label in Nashville, when his song ‘Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here’ was covered in 1974 by Three Dog Night. The song became a Top 40 hit, earning Hiatt a recording contract with Epic Records. Since then Hiatt has released twenty-one studio albums, two compilation albums and one live album, and his songs have been covered by a variety of artists in multiple genres, including Joe Cocker (‘Have a Little Faith in Me‘), Bonnie Raitt (‘Thing Called Love’), The Jeff Healy Band (‘Angel Eyes’), Bob Dylan, The Searchers, Willy DeVille, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Joe Bonamassa, Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Buffett, Nick Lowe, Chaka Khan, and many others.

Have a Little Faith in Me

Written and first recorded by John Hiatt (1988).
Hit versions by Joe Cocker (UK #67 1994), Mandy Moore (US #39 2003).

From the wiki: “‘Have a Little Faith in Me’ is a song written and performed by John Hiatt (‘Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here‘) that first appeared on his 1987 album Bring the Family.