Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Marianne Faithfull

Scarborough Fair

First recorded by Gordon Heath & Lee Payant (1955).
Also recorded by Audrey Coppard (1956), Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger (1957), Martin Carthy (1965), Marianne Faithfull (1966).
Hit versions by Simon & Garfunkel (US #11/MOR #5 1966), Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (US #16/MOR #2 1968).

From the wiki: “‘Scarborough Fair’ is a traditional English ballad about the Yorkshire town of Scarborough. The earliest commercial recording of the ballad was by Gordon Heath and Lee Payant, expatriate Americans who operated a cafĂ© and nightclub, L’Abbaye, on the Rive Gauche in Paris, for their album An Evening at the Abbaye in 1955, using an 1891 melody by Frank Kidson (a folk song collector from Leeds). The same arrangement was also included on A. L. Lloyd’s 1955 album The English And Scottish Popular Ballads. Lloyd

“But, the version using the melody later developed by Simon & Garfunkel in ‘Scarborough Fair/Canticle’ was first recorded on a 1956 album, English Folk Songs, by Audrey Coppard. This arrangement was also recorded by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger (‘Killing Me Softly with His Song‘) on The Singing Island (1957) (but it is likely that it was Coppard who learned the song from MacColl, who had published a book of Teesdale folk songs after hearing the song sung in the 1940s). In April 1966, Marianne Faithfull (‘As Tears Go By‘) recorded and released her own take on ‘Scarborough Fair’ for her album North Country Maid about six months prior to Simon & Garfunkel’s release of their single version of the song in October 1966.

As Tears Go By

First recorded (as a demo titled “As Time Goes By”) by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (1964).
Hit versions by Marianne Faithful (US #22/UK #9 1965), The Rolling Stones (US #6/MOR #10 1965).

From the wiki: “‘As Tears Go By’ was one of the first original compositions by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Up until that point The Rolling Stones had chiefly been performing Blues standards. A story surrounding the song’s genesis has it that Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham locked Jagger and Richards in a kitchen in order to force them to write a song together, even suggesting what type of song he wanted: ‘I want a song with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex.’

“The result was initially named ‘As Time Goes By’, the title of the song Dooley Wilson sings in the film Casablanca. It was Oldham who replaced ‘Time’ with ‘Tears’. According to Jagger biographer Philip Norman, the song was mainly created by Jagger, in co-operation with session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan (who plays the 12-string guitar on the demo).

“Oldham subsequently gave the ballad (a format that the Stones were not yet known for) to Marianne Faithfull, then 17, for her to record as a B-side. Without even asking if she could sing, Andrew asked her if she wanted to cut the record. The success of the recording caused the record company, Decca, to switch the song to an A-side, where it became a very popular single on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Reason to Believe

Written and first recorded by Tim Hardin (1965).
Also recorded by Bobby Darin (1966), Marianne Faithful (1967).
Hit versions by Rod Stewart (as “(Find a) Reason to Believe” studio, US #62 1971), Rod Stewart (live, US #19/MOR #2/UK #51 1993).

From the wiki: ‘Reason to Believe’ is a song written and first recorded by American folk singer Tim Hardin in 1965. After having had his recording contract terminated by Columbia Records, after refusing to release an album of material he had recorded for them, Hardin achieved some success in the 1960s as a songwriter based in Greenwich Village. The original recording of ‘Reason to Believe’ comes from Hardin’s first authorized debut album, released on Verve Records, Tim Hardin 1, recorded in 1965 and issued in 1966 when he was 25.