Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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The Road

Written and first recorded by Danny O’Keefe (1972).
Hit album version by Jackson Browne (1978).

From the wiki: “‘The Road’ was written by Danny O’Keefe, who recorded the song for the album O’Keefe. The song foreshadowed O’Keefe’s fate, as he found himself living the song when he toured to promote his 1972 hit ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues‘. O’Keefe recalled: ‘For me the road was basically go out for six weeks and after six weeks you were usually sick of the road and sort of beat to death and poor, because unless you stay out there for a long period of time it’s very hard to recoup those expenses that you have when you’re carrying a band.'”

Jackson Browne, “The Road” (1978):