Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Singing Guitars

Yellow River

First recorded by The Tremeloes (1970).
Hit versions by Christie, writer (US #23/UK #1/IRE #1/AUS #16/FIN #1/NOR #1/GER #3 1970), The Compton Brothers (C&W #49 1972).
Also recorded by Elton John (1970), R.E.M. (2003).
Also recorded (as “Tuulensuojaan”) by Danny (1970), (as “Fat Karlsson”) by Singing Guitars (1971), Mziuri Ensemble (1973).

From the wiki: “Written by Tremeloes band leader Jeff Christie, the song was first recorded by the group with the intention of releasing it as a single early in 1970. However, after the success of the Tremeloes then-most recent single, ‘Call Me Number One’, and after considering ‘Yellow River’ too pop-orientated for their future direction, the Tremeloes decided instead to follow-up with another of their own compositions, ‘By The Way’, which met only with very modest Top 40 success. Producer Mike Smith took the group vocals off the recording (leaving behind only the instrumental backing track) and added those of Christie, the songwriter, and releasing the song under the name ‘Christie’, his sole UK chart-topper as a solo artist.