Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: UB40

Baby, Come Back

First recorded by The Equals (1966 |UK #1 1968).
Other hit version by Pato Banton & UB40 (UK #1 1994).

From the wiki: “‘Baby, Come Back’ was written by Eddy Grant (‘Police On My Back‘, ‘Electric Avenue’), and originally performed and recorded by him and the rest of his band – The Equals – in 1966. The song was first released in 1966, a year after the band formed, but did not chart. However, after impressive sales in the rest of Europe (where it reached the Top 10 in Belgium and The Netherlands), the single was re-issued in the UK and reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in July 1968. The song was covered in 1994 by Pato Banton who was joined by Robin and Ali Campbell of UB40, Banton dubbing verses between the Campbells singing the original hook and chorus. Topping the UK Singles chart beginning in November 1994, Banton’s cover was the 4th biggest-selling UK single of 1994.”

(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love

Recorded as (“Plaisir d’Amour”) by Emilio De Gogorza (1902).
Also recorded (as “Plaisir d’Amour”) by Joan Baez (1961).
Hit versions (in English) by Elvis Presley (US #2/MOR #1/UK #1 1961), Andy Williams (UK #3 1970), The Softones (R&B #53 1973), The Stylistics (R&B #52/UK #4 1976), UB40 (US #1/UK #1/IRE #1/AUS #1 1993).
Also recorded (as “I Want to Live”) by Aphrodite’s Child (NETH #1 1969).

[Note: The above recording is not by Emilio De Gogorza. It is a 1945 arrangement recorded by French cabaret tenor Emile-Jean Vanni-Marcoux.]

From the wiki: “‘(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love’ was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George Weiss (‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight‘, ‘What a Wonderful World’) based on a popular romance melody by Jean Pierre Claris de Florian, ‘Plaisir d’Amour’, first performed in 1784 and first recorded in 1902 by Emilio De Gogorza. English-language lyrics were written by Weiss, who claimed that neither the movie producers nor Elvis’ associates liked the song demo. But, nonetheless, Elvis insisted on recording the song for the movie Blue Hawaii.

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

First recorded by Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys (1947).
Also recorded by Hank Williams (1951), Elvis Presley (1976), Eva Cassidy (2008).
Hit versions by Willie Nelson (US #21/C&W #1 1975), UB40 (ARU #1 2013).

From the wiki: “‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ is a song written by songwriter Fred Rose, and first recorded by Roy Acuff in 1947. The song was also recorded in 1951 by Hank Williams for the Mother’s Best Flour Hour radio program.

Red, Red Wine

Written and first recorded by Neil Diamond (US #62 1966).
Other hit versions by Jimmy James & The Vagabonds (UK #46 1966), Tony Tribe (UK #46 1969), Roy Drusky (C&W #17/CAN #16 1972), UB40 (US #34/UK #1/NZ #1 1984 |US #1 1988).

From the wiki: “‘Red, Red Wine’ was written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond (‘September Morn‘,’I’m a Believer‘,’Until It’s Time for You to Go‘). It has been covered by Tony Tribe, Jimmy James & the Vagabond and, most famously, by British reggae group UB40, whose version topped the US and UK singles charts.

“According to UB40. they were only familiar with Tony Tribe’s version; apparently they didn’t realize that the writer – credited simply as ‘Diamond’ – was in fact Neil Diamond. UB40 added a ‘toasting’ verse which was edited from the single that reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1983. Released in the US without the ‘toasting’, the recording reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1984. In 1988, the song was re-released in the US, this time including the ‘toasting’, and it climbed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.”

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