Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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The Look of Love

First performed (in Casino Royale) by Dusty Springfield (1967).
First single release by Nina Simone (1967).
Hit versions by Dusty Springfield (US #22/CAN #26 1967), Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 (US #4 1968).
Also recorded by Isaac Hayes (1970).

From the wiki: “‘The Look of Love’ was written by Burt Bacharach, and was originally intended to be an instrumental for the James Bond spook, Casino Royale but, later, Hal David added the lyrics. The song was first recorded by Springfield originally for the Casino Royale soundtrack by Phil Ramone, the soundtrack’s engineer, who recorded the song separately from the rest of the film tracks with Springfield accompanied by only piano, saxophone and percussion.

“Springfield re-recorded the song in London the same year with a more full arrangement, releasing the track as the B-side of ‘Give Me Time’. That version charted in the US and Canada. But, prior to the release of Springfield’s single, Nina Simone recorded and released her own version of ‘The Look of Love’ in 1967 for her album Silk & Soul. Simone’s single had no chart impact.

“According to co-writer, Bacharach, the melody was inspired by watching Ursula Andress while he viewed an early cut of the film. ‘The Look of Love ‘ received a Best Song nomination in the 1968 Academy Awards. In 2008, it was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

“The highest-charting version of ‘The Look of Love’ was recorded in 1968 by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. The lead vocal on this single was handled by Janis Hansen, not Lani Hall; a rarity in the early Brasil ’66 canon. Isaac Hayes covered the song for his 1970 album …To Be Continued. While Hayes used the same lyrics, his cover included a unique instrumental which has since become heavily sampled on contemporary R&B and Hip-hop records.”

Nina Simone, “The Look of Love” (1967):

Dusty Springfield, “The Look of Love” single release (1967):

Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, “The Look of Love” (1968):

Isaac Hayes, “The Look of Love” (1970):