Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Wild Night

Written and first recorded by Van Morrison (US #28/CAN #20/NETH #24 1971).
Other hit versions by Martha Reeves (R&B #74 1974), John Mellencamp & Me’Shell Ndegeocello (US #3/MOR #1/CAN #1/UK #34/AUS #18 1994).

From the wiki: “‘Wild Night’ was first recorded by Van Morrison during a session with Lewis Merenstein as producer at Warners Publishing Studio in New York City in autumn 1968. The version released on Tupelo Honey was recorded in spring 1971 at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco with Ted Templeman as producer. Tom Maginnis in Allmusic describes the song as ‘an effusive three and a half minutes of Stax-inspired R&B.’

“Martha Reeves covered the song on her first solo album Martha Reeves. When she released it as a single in 1974, it reached #74 the R&B charts. Reeves’ recording gained wider popularity when it was featured in the 1991 film Thelma and Louise. ‘Wild Night’ was also recorded in 1994 by John Mellencamp and Me’shell Ndegeocello and released as a single during the summer of 1994 where it remained in the Top 40 for 33 weeks.

“‘Wild Night’, as originally recorded by Morrison, was rated at #747 on Dave Marsh’s 1989 book, The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever.”

Martha Reeves, “Wild Night” (1974):

John Mellencamp & Me’Shell Ndegeocello, “Wild Night” (1994):

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