Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Tom Waits

Downtown Train

Written and first recorded by Tom Waits (1985).
Also recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter (1987), Patty Smyth (US #95 1987), Bob Seger (1989, released 2011 MOR #11), The Piano Has Been Drinking (recorded as “Rude Jolf”) (1990), Everything But the Girl (1992).
Hit version by Rod Stewart (US #3/UK #10/CAN #1 1989).

From the wiki: “‘Downtown Train’ is a song written and first recorded by Tom Waits, released on his album Rain Dogs in 1985. The promo video for the song was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and features the boxer Jake LaMotta.

Ol’ 55

Written and first recorded by Tom Waits (1973).
Hit album version by Eagles (B-side US #1/CAN #1/UK #51/AUS #14 1974).
Also recorded by Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer (2019).

From the wiki: “‘Ol’ ’55’ is a song by American musician Tom Waits. It is the opening track and lead single from Waits’ debut studio album, Closing Time, released in March 1973 on Asylum Records. The title, ‘Ol’ ’55’, refers to the singer’s vehicle, almost certainly Waits’ legendary 1955 Cadillac.

“The song has been covered by numerous artists, most notably by the Eagles for their 1974 album On The Border. The Eagles’ arrangement was released as the B-side of the international hit ‘Best of My Love’.