Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #44: Original Versions of Songs That Later Were U.S. Pop Crossover Hits For Others

Thirteen Original Versions of Songs That Later Were U.S. Pop Crossover Hits For Others

One thing I love about music is the opportunity for discovery. A prime example is learning that what I thought was an original song isn't one. Below are the original versions of songs that later became U.S. hits for other artists.

1. Bette Davis Eyes by Jackie DeShannon- Co-written in 1974 by Ms. DeShannon and recorded by her in a somewhat honky tonk style the same year, this tune was a massive hit for Kim Carnes in 1981 (spending 9 weeks at #1).

2. Brother Louie by Hot Chocolate: This song about interracial love was a UK hit in 1973 for Hot Chocolate. However, the cover by the one-hit wonder band Stories later that year went all the way to #1 in America. The main difference between the two versions is that the original has a spoken word interlude by British blues musician Alexis Korner.

3. Everytime You Go Away by Hall & Oates: Written by Daryl Hall, this song first appeared on the duo's 1980 LP "Voices". Five years later British soul singer Paul Young took the song all the way to #1 in the U.S.

4. Good Lovin' by The Olympics- First recorded in 1965 by The Olympics (best known for their 1958 hit "Western Movies"), the Young Rascals had their first of three #1 pop hits when they remade the tune the following year.

5. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On by Cherrelle- My first exposure to this tune was when Cherrelle had a top 10 R&B hit with it in 1984. The following year, Robert Palmer had a #2 pop hit with his remake (complete with an accompanying video featuring more of the eye candy that we saw in the clip for "Addicted To Love").

6. I Feel For You by Prince- When Chaka Khan... Chaka Khan recorded her version (which hit #3 on the pop chart in 1984), I learned (courtesy of Casey Kasem) that Prince penned the tune. However, it wasn't until I purchased Prince's collection "The Hits/The B-sides" that I heard his version (which he recorded in 1979).

7. I Love Rock and Roll by The Arrows- This British trio recorded the original version of the tune in 1975. Six years later, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' faithful remake became their biggest hit (spending 7 weeks at the top).

8. Kitty by Racey- If you are asking yourself, "what the hell is Kitty?", that's understandable. First recorded by the British group Racey in 1979, it was covered by Toni Basil (under the title "Mickey") later that year. Until I learned that the original version was by a male group, I always wondered about the line in the song "Any way you wanna do it/I'll take it like a man." Although Toni recorded "Mickey" in 1979, it didn't become a #1 hit and an anthem for cheerleaders everywhere until 1982.

9. Louie, Louie by Richard Berry- First recorded in 1957 as a Jamaican-style mid tempo number by Berry (who wrote the tune two years earlier), the song tells the story of a sailor returning to the island to see his lady. Although the song has been recorded countless times, the best known rendition is the frat rock remake by The Kingsmen (who took it to #2 on the pop chart in 1963).

10. Nobody But Me by The Isley Brothers- I didn't discover the original version of this tune (written and recorded by The Isleys in 1963) until a few years ago. It quickly became one of my all-time favorite songs. In late 1967, the Human Beinz totally remade it (complete with then current dances to reflect the 4 year span between their version and the original). Their version reached #8 on the pop chart in 1968.

11. Tainted Love by Gloria Jones- In 1981, synth pop duo Soft Cell hit #8 with one of the songs that helped define the decade of Reaganomics and Rubik's Cube. However, the original version was recorded in an uptempo style by soul singer Gloria Jones 17 years earlier. She later became both a backup vocalist and girlfriend of glam rock star Marc Bolan.

12. That's What Friends Are For by Rod Stewart- In 1985, Dionne Warwick and Friends (Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder) took this song to #1 on the pop chart. I didn't realize that theirs was a remake until I heard Rod's original version over the closing credits of the 1982 comedy "Night Shift" (starring Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, and Shelley Long).

13. You're the One by Petula Clark- In 1965, Clark (who also co-wrote it) had a minor U.K. hit with her version. That same year, the vocal quartet The Vogues recorded the song and hit #4 on the U.S. charts.

Feel free to comment on these or any other original versions/remakes of songs that you know.

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Jessica said...

I have more to say later...I'm at work now. I just had to I was scrolling through your post and I got to Louie, came on my Aol Radio. The Kingsmen version. Spooky! lol. :D

pjazzypar said...

Wonderful TT! Man I didn't know that Hall and Oates did "Every Time You Go Away" or that someone other than Soft Cell performed "Tainted Love" (which is my jam by the way). My favorite "Brother Louie" is by the one hit wonder The Stories.

Holly Smith said...

Wow! I didn't know about any of these (that they were remakes that is). My favorite is "That's What Friends are For". I had it on 45 record when it came out. I had no idea that Rod Stewart actually wrote that song!
Great finds!

The Gal Herself said...

#12 -- I can't imagine it! Closing my eyes, trying, trying … Nope. Too weird. This is a terrific idea for a TT, though. Must dig up that alternate version of Tainted Love! (Thanks for stopping by my TT ... and doing so in such a prompt manner that The Streak continues!)

anthonynorth said...

A lot of facts I didn't know there. Very interesting.

gdaybloke said...

One that's killing me nowadays - I'm hearing some country music chantuesse singing "I want you to burn" on the radio - a song that was originally done about 10 years ago in Australia

Lost Hemisphere's 15th T13 - What are YOU looking for?

SJ Reidhead said...

I actually know a few of these!

The Pink Flamingo

Janet said...

I loved Brother Louie by Hot Chocolate...funny, I ended up marrying a guy name Lou who is black.

Mercysworld said...

Great T13! I have been a huge fan of Hot Chocolate for years.
See you again next week :)

Jay said...

I didn't know the story behind any of those songs. Very cool!

pussreboots said...

#11 jumped immediately to mind. I heard the original on a local big band / swing station. They were playing original versions that have become popular as covers. Happy TT.

Lori said...

Gosh, you are one heck of a music historian (smile). The info about "Tainted Love" and "Louie, Louie" really came as a surprise.

My Busy Life said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Daily Motion is for sure better than YouTube, might not have as big of a selection yet, but the quality is better and less problems with the vid clips. I loved your TT, Prince is my all time favorite artist- I have been to a few of his concerts, he is beyond talented, we don't see many singers these days that write their own music, play numerous instruments, and sing. What a shame.....thanks again for stopping by!

Chelle Y. said...

#12 reminds me of high school! :)

X. Dell said...

Funny. I was suspecting "Billy Don't Be a Hero" to be in there somewhere (Paper Lace/Haywoods).

Just kidding.

gLaDieZz said...

I like Rod Steward. Gladys Knight and Elton John is also familiar names!

marcia@joyismygoal said...

I remember both versions of 7,9,11,&12 that was good research

The Rock Chick said...

Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll" is one of my favorite songs ever. I knew a few of these were remakes, including Jett's, but I don't think I had ever heard any of the originals. I'm gonna have a listen! I have a feeling some of these are gonna be shockers when I listen to them, I think...

Happy TT! Jessica

Dane Bramage said...

I heard the Gloria Jones "Tainted Love" at the cafeteria when they were playing the 60's station a couple years ago. Until then I had no idea Soft Cell's was a cover. "I feel for You" was news to me. Great list and thanks for visiting my iPod Mystery Artist edition of my Thursday Thirteen.

Jessica said...

I love Bette Davis Eyes! :) I always thought it was Kim Carnes' song. :D I will have to look up the original version.

maggie said...

Looks like you put some time and effort into this great list, and it was well worth it. Much fun. Happy TT!

Lori Watson said...

Thanks for stopping by my TT. I had already stopped by yours, but had nothing witty to say beyond, "Cool!". :-D

I didn't know most of these were done before and found it interesting!

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

This was an awesome post! I love music and I learned some thing on this one! Great trivia. Good TT!

shaunesay said...

That's interesting, I've had that happen to, hear some weird versio of a song I knew and then find out that that weird version was actually the original! I didn't know that about the Robert Palmer song, and I really liked that one too!

Thanks Malcolm! Happy Thursday!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I like Paul's version of ETYGA so much better. They play the original of Tainted Love on The Pickle more than I'd like to hear.

BTW...did you know Hall & Oates wrote a rather silly song called I'm Sorry for Justin Hayward?

Gina said...

Very interesting TT ! I like That's What Friends Are For. I've got to listen to the Rod Stewart version.

Thanks for swinging by my TT

Firefly Mom said...

Great TT! Although I'm very familiar with the remakes, I had no idea that some of them even *were* remakes!

Thanks for visiting my TT!

Malcolm said...

Jessica: That is weird that the Kingsmen's version of "Louie, Louie" played while you were checking out this post. Around the time that Kim Carnes' version of "Bette Davis Eyes" was popular, I found out that Jackie DeShannon did it first. Back in the mid 90s, I was shopping at Best Buy and saw a "Best of" CD by Jackie. Although I liked many of the songs on the CD, the main selling point for me was that it contained her version of BDE and I had never heard it before.

Pjazzy: Thank you! I also prefer the Stories' version of "Louie, Louie" over the original (although it's good too). What gives the remake the edge to me is the "wah wah" guitar effect and Ian Lloyd's Rod Stewart-like vocals.

Holly: Although Rod recorded it first, he wasn't the songwriter (Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager penned the tune). I picked up Rod's version when I got a free copy of Vol. 2 of his "Very Best of" collection. Dionne & Friends' remake is a borderline guilty pleasure of mine.

The Gal Herself: Although I like Rod's version of "That's What Friends Are For", I like Dionne and Friends' remake better. The 4 stars singing it together just fits so well with the message of the song.

Anthony: Thanks for visiting.

Christopher: I wonder if you are referring to Jo Dee Messina's version of "Burn" (she recorded it in 2000, three years after Tina Arena did).

SJ: Congrats!

Janet: The story about your marriage to Lou is ironic. I hope the two of you are living happily ever after.

Roache: Another fave Hot Chocolate song of mine is "Every 1's A Winner"... it's got a great guitar riff.

Jay: You probably have figured out that I live for this kind of stuff.

Pussreboots: I love it when radio shows do specialty programs like that.

Lori: As a teen in the 80s, I used to listen to a few oldies shows on the radio. I believe it was while listening to Dick Bartley's Solid Gold Saturday Night that I discovered the orig. version of "Louie, Louie". I don't know if you remember it, but Barry White of all people also rec. a version of it in 1981.

The Mocha Mom: Unfortunately, I have never seen Prince live. When he performed during halftime of the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, he definitely took it to another level.

Chelle: Thanks for commenting.

X. Dell: Trust me, if I had the orig. Paper Lace version, I just might have included it.

Gladiezz: Thanks for stopping by.

Marcia: Thank you! When putting together T 13s like this one, part of the fun is the research that I do.

The Rock Chick: In case you haven't had time to download any of them yet, I think that 1,6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 are the most radically different from the remakes.

Dane: Prince's version of "I Feel For You" has a groove that makes it perfect music for when I'm driving.

Maggie: Thank you... yes, this was a proverbial "labor of love".

Lori: Thanks for paying a return visit and commenting. I hope you take the opportunity to check out the downloads that I included.

Leigh: From one trivia buff to another, thank you very much!

Shaunesay: Although I like both versions of "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On', the original by Cherrelle is more believable to me because it's from a woman's perspective.

Mistress of the D: I prefer Paul Young's version also, even though I'm not all that crazy about his either. My two fave Paul Young songs are "Everything Must Change" and "Come Back and Stay".

Yes, I knew about the Justin Hayward/Hall and Oates connection because of you. I believe you mentioned it on your blog or in the comments section of one of my posts.

Gina: When I visited the Media Fire site to see which songs on this T 13 have been downloaded, I found that Rod Stewart's version of "That's What Friends Are For" is in the lead.

Firefly Mom: Thanks for returning the favor and commenting on my T 13.

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