Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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This Masquerade

Written and first recorded by Leon Russell (B-side US #11/CAN #5 1972).
Also recorded by Helen Reddy (1972).
Hit versions by The Carpenters (B-side US #1/UK #2/CAN #1/AUS #1 1973), George Benson (US #10/R&B #3 1976).

From the wiki: “‘This Masquerade’ was written by Leon Russell (‘A Song for You‘), and first appeared on the B-side of the single ‘Tight Rope’ from Russell’s 1972 hit album Carney. Known mostly as a session musician early in his career, as a solo artist Russell crossed genres to include Rock and Roll, Blues, and Gospel music. As a first call studio musician in Los Angeles, Russell played on many of the most popular songs of the 1960s as a member of the Wrecking Crew, including Glen Campbell’s 1967 hit single ‘Gentle on My Mind‘, where Russell was credited on piano as ‘Russell Bridges’.

“‘This Masquerade’ has been recorded by many other artists. Helen Reddy recorded the first cover of it on her 1972 I am Woman album. The Carpenters included their version of it on the 1973 album Now & Then, as well as on the B-side of their #1 hit, ‘Please Mr. Postman’, in 1974.

“The song had its greatest success as also a Top 10 Pop and R&B hit for jazz guitarist/vocalist George Benson, who recorded it for his 1976 signature album Breezin’. It won Benson a Grammy Award in 1977 for Record of the Year, as well as nominations for Song of the Year and for Best Pop Vocal Performance (Male).”

Helen Reddy, “This Masquerade” (1972):

The Carpenters, “This Masquerade” (1973):

George Benson, “This Masquerade” single version (1976):

George Benson, “This Masquerade” album version (1976):

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