Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: P.J. Proby


First recorded by P.J. Proby (1967, released 2008).
Hit versions by Tom Jones (US #15/MOR #8/CAN #2/UK #2/IRE #1/GER #1 1968), The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (UK #7 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Delilah’ was written by Barry Mason and Sylvan Whittingham, to the music by Les Reed, who also contributed the title and theme of the song (a ‘murder ballad’), and earned Reed and Mason the 1968 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. It was first recorded by P.J. Proby in 1967, for his album Believe It Or Not, in sessions produced by co-writer Reed.

“Proby hated the song thinking it sounded like a German bierkeller [‘beer cellar’ song] and refused its release. (Proby’s original version remained unreleased for the next 40 years until its eventual release in 2008 on the compilation album P.J. Proby: The Best of The EMI Years.) Reed knew it was a hit-in-waiting and offered the song to Tom Jones. Reed was also the musical director on Tom`s cover version which explains why both the Proby and Jones arrangements sound identical.