Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: John Mellencamp

Let It All Hang Out

First recorded by The Hombres (US #12 1967).
Other hit version by Jonathan King (UK #26 1969).
Also recorded by John Mellencamp (1989).

From the wiki: “Formed in 1966, The Hombres comprised Jerry Lee Masters, Gary Wayne McEwen, B. B. Cunningham, Jr., and John Will Hunter, and ‘Let It All Hang Out’ was written by the four of them. The song’s spoken intro – ‘A preachment, dear friends, you are about to receive on John Barleycorn, nicotine and the temptations of Eve’ – dates to the 1947 novelty recording ‘Cigareetes, Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women’ by Red Ingle and His Natural Seven.

“The song was first covered – with much the same production arrangement – in the UK by Jonathan King (‘Hooked On a Feeling‘, ‘Everyone’s Gone to the Moon’) in 1969, and also appeared on his 1989 compilation album, The Butterfly That Stamped. Yet another cover version was recorded by The Nails in the mid 1980s. The song also appears as a hidden track on John Mellencamp’s 1989 album Big Daddy.

Wild Night

Written and first recorded by Van Morrison (US #28/CAN #20/NETH #24 1971).
Other hit versions by Martha Reeves (R&B #74 1974), John Mellencamp & Me’Shell Ndegeocello (US #3/MOR #1/CAN #1/UK #34/AUS #18 1994).

From the wiki: “‘Wild Night’ was first recorded by Van Morrison during a session with Lewis Merenstein as producer at Warners Publishing Studio in New York City in autumn 1968. The version released on Tupelo Honey was recorded in spring 1971 at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco with Ted Templeman as producer. Tom Maginnis in Allmusic describes the song as ‘an effusive three and a half minutes of Stax-inspired R&B.’