Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff

Overture from “Tommy”

First recorded by The Who (1969).
Hit version by The Assembled Multitude (US #16 1970).

From the wiki: “‘Overture’ was written by Pete Townshend and first recorded in 1969 by The Who. ‘Overture’ is one of three instrumental tracks Townshend wrote and the group recorded for their landmark rock opera LP Tommy. It was the lead track when the album was released in May 1969. More than year later, in October 1970, ‘Overture’ was released as the B-side of the promotional single ‘See Me, Feel Me’ – which did not chart – and retitled ‘Overture from Tommy‘.

“Three months before its release as a Who B-side single, the Assembled Multitude, an instrumental ensemble group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, scored with a reworking of ‘Overture’. Their promotional A-side single peaked at #16 in August, 1970 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.”

Now That We Found Love

First recorded by The O’Jays (1973).
Hit versions by Third World (US #47/#9 R&B/UK #10 1977), Heavy D & the Boyz (US #11/R&B #5/UK #2/AUS #6/NETH #2/NOR #10 1991).

From the wiki: “‘Now That We Found Love’ (also known as ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’) was written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff (‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, ‘Me and Mrs. Jones’, ‘Love Train’), and was first recorded by The O’Jays in 1973 for their album Ship Ahoy.

“Subsequent cover versions have included a 1977 reggae-flavored dance hit by Third World, and a worldwide breakthrough rap hit in 1991 for Heavy D.”

A Brand New Me

First recorded by Jerry Butler (1969).
Hit version by Dusty Springfield (US #24/MOR #3 1970).

From the wiki: “Written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Jerry Butler, ‘A Brand New Me’ was first recorded by Butler in 1969. Dusty Springfield would cover the song later that year, adding it as the title track to her album A Brand New Me. It is Springfield’s only album on which every song was produced by the same production team: Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Gamble also co-wrote every track on the album, and the Gamble-Huff duo would go on to have success with many groups and singers in the 1970s, including Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The O’Jays, MFSB and The Three Degrees. The single, ‘A Brand New Me’, would be Springfield’s last Top 40 chart success until her 1987 collaborations with Pet Shop Boys (‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’) and Richard Carpenter (‘Something in Your Eyes’).”

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me

First recorded by Dee Dee Warwick (US #88/R&B #13 1966).
Also recorded by Jerry Butler (1967), Jay & the Techniques (1968).
Hit versions by Madeline Bell (US #26/R&B #32 1968), Diana Ross & The Supremes with The Temptations (US #2/R&B #2/UK #3 1968).

From the wiki: “Written by Philly Soul songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff (‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, ‘Love Train’, ‘Now That We Found Love‘), and producer Jerry Ross (‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie‘, ‘Sunny‘), ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’ was originally a Top-20 R&B hit for Dee Dee Warwick in 1966. It was released as the follow-up single to her Top-10 hit ‘I Want To Be With You’. Co-writer Ross produced the track while Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson provided background vocals. Warwick’s recording reached #13 R&B and crossed over to the Billboard Top 100 in December 1966.

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