Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Take Me Down

Written and originally recorded by Exile (1980).
Also recorded by Johnny Bristol (1981).
Hit version by Alabama (US #18/C&W #1/CAN #1 1983).

From the wiki: “Written by Exile band members Mark Gray and J.P. Pennington (‘Kiss You All Over’, ‘The Closer You Get‘), the song was originally recorded by Exile in the early 1980s. The Exile version was released the song as a single, but it failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100.

“Johnny Bristol is most famous as a songwriter and record producer for the Motown label in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (Bristol is the male voice on the Supremes’ version of ‘Someday We’ll Be Together‘ – which he co-wrote – singing response to Diana Ross’ lead vocal.) His composition ‘Love Me for a Reason’ saw global success when covered by The Osmonds including a #1 in the UK charts in 1974. Bristol’s most successful solo recording was ‘Hang On in There Baby’ recorded in 1974, which reached the Top-10 in the United States and #3 in the United Kingdom. By the 1980s, Bristol was finding more success in Europe with the club hits ‘Love No Longer Has a Hold on Me’ and “Take Me Down’ in 1981.

“Alabama’s 1983 recording is by far the most popular and most successful recording – topping the Country charts in the US and Canada, and peaking at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100.”

Johnny Bristol, “Take Me Down” (1981):

Alabama, “Take Me Down” single (1983):