Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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The Harder They Come

Written and first recorded (as “The Bigger They Come, The Harder They Fall”) by Jimmy Cliff (1971).
Hit versions by Jimmy Cliff (1972), Joe Jackson (NETH #35/SWE #18 1980).

From the wiki: “‘The Harder They Come’ is a Reggae song by the Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff, first recorded and released as the B-side to the original release of ‘Sitting In Limbo’ in 1971. Cliff re-recorded (and retitled) the song in 1972 for inclusion in the movie soundtrack for The Harder They Come. ‘The Harder They Come’ has been ranked #341 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

“Joe Jackson recorded a cover of “The Harder They Come” in 1980 with his band and released it as a single. It did not chart in the UK but did chart in the Netherlands and Sweden.”

Jimmy Cliff, “The Harder They Come” (1972):

Joe Jackson, “The Harder They Come” (1980):

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