Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Try Some, Buy Some

First recorded by Ronnie Spector (US #77 1971).
Hit album version by George Harrison (1973).

From the wiki: “George Harrison wrote ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ during sessions for All Things Must Pass, his successful 1970 triple album, also co-produced by Phil Spector. The song’s austere melody was influenced by Harrison composing on a keyboard instrument rather than guitar. Ronnie Spector recorded this and other Harrison compositions, such as ‘You’ and ‘When Every Song Is Sung’, in London for a planned comeback album on the Beatles’ Apple Records. The project was co-produced by her husband at the time (Phil Spector) whose temporary withdrawal from music-making in 1966 had forced Ronnie to reluctantly abandon her own career.

“Sessions for the proposed Spector album took place at London’s Abbey Road Studios, beginning on 2 February 1971. In addition to his own contribution as guitarist, Harrison enlisted some of the musicians with whom he had recorded All Things Must Pass: Gary Wright, on keyboards; Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon; Voormann and Carl Radle (the latter another member of the Dominos), alternating on bass; and Badfinger’s Pete Ham on second guitar and percussion. Another participant was Leon Russell, familiar to Phil Spector as a regular member of the Wrecking Crew during the mid 1960s. Recording continued at Abbey Road on 3 February, during which Lennon joined the proceedings, allegedly on piano.

“The planned comeback album ended there, due to the same erratic behaviour from Spector – or ‘health issues’, as have been described – that had also hindered work on All Things Must Pass. According to Harrison’s recollection in his memoir, I, Me, Mine: ‘we only did four or five tracks before Phil fell over …’ Of the songs recorded (a total of five), rather than the more obviously commercial ‘You’ (which Harrison himself would later record and release as a single in 1975), Spector chose ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ as the single.

“Apple Records issued ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ on 16 April 1971 in Britain, and three days later in America. Despite Disc and Music Echo endorsing it as a ‘terrific first solo single’, ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ failed to place on the UK Top 50. The song did, however, debut on the Billboard Hot 100, on 8 May, and reached#77, remaining on the chart for just four weeks.

“After the Spector single’s dismal showing, the proposed album was cancelled. Ronnie Spector’s ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ remained out of print for almost 40 years, until its reissue on the 2010 Apple compilation Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records.

“In 1973, Harrison replaced Spector’s vocal with his own, over the original instrumental track, and included the result on his second post-Beatles solo album, Living in the Material World.”

George Harrison, “Try Some, Buy Some” (1973):

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