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16 Articles

Angel of the Morning original

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Angel of the Morning original & two hit covers

In 1967, songwriter Chip Taylor wrote “Angel of the Morning”. The song was about premarital sex, a topic mainstream media at the time still considered as taboo. “Angel of the Morning” earned American singer Merrilee Rush a Grammy nomination in 1968. Country rock singer Juice Newton released the most successful version in 1981. She also received a Grammy nomination for the song in the same category as Rush. However, Brooklyn-born Evie Sands released the “Angel of the Morning” original back in 1967.

The Glory of Love original

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The Glory of Love original was a jazz standard

American songwriter, violinist and pianist Billy Hill wrote “The Glory of Love” in 1936. I’m most familiar with the song from 12-year-old Mayim Bialik’s performance in the 1988 film Beaches. I was surprised to learn that Bialik didn’t actually perform vocals, just the dance routine in her bright pink flapper dress. Melissa Garcia sang vocals. In 1951, a version by doo-wop group the Five Keys hit number one on the R&B charts for four non-consecutive weeks. However, back in 1936 Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded “The Glory of Love” original, with vocals by Helen Ward.

Check out Benny Goodman music

Note: this article looks at “The Glory of Love” jazz standard, not Peter Cetera’s 1986 soft-rock hit of the same name.

Don’t Leave Me This Way original

Don’t Leave Me This Way original & two covers

In the mid 70s, American songwriters Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert wrote “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. It’s a song about yearning and loss for a loved one who has left the relationship. The song is gender neutral – the object of desire is simply addressed as “baby”. This worked out well seeing male, female, straight and gay artists performed “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. English duo the Communards released a Hi-NRG version that was the UK’s biggest selling single of 1986. Up and coming Motown artist Thelma Houston released a disco version in 1977 which was also a number one hit. However, in 1975 Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes recorded the “Don’t Leave Me This Way” original with vocals by Teddy Pendergrass.

Check out Communards music

Wind Beneath My Wings Original

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A Wind Beneath My Wings original from Kamahl

American songwriters Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley penned “Wind Beneath My Wings” in 1982. In 2002, this was apparently the most-played song at British funerals, and even in 2019 ranked in the top 10 funeral songs. “Wind Beneath My Wings” is Bette Midler’s signature song. But did you ever know that the “Wind Beneath My Wings” original was recorded by none other than our very own Kamahl?

Gloria Original

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A Gloria Original in Italian

In the 1970s, Italian musicians Umberto Tozzi and Giancarlo Bigazzi wrote a love song called “Gloria”. In 1979, Tozzi recorded the original version of “Gloria”, a song where the protagonist longs for a woman named Gloria. A few years later, New Yorker Laura Branigan recorded an English cover. Unlike the “Gloria” original, Branigan addresses Gloria, who’s all messed up over some guy, directly. Tozzi’s version was very popular, especially in Europe. But Branigan’s 1982 single sold over two million copies in the United States alone.

Manic Monday Original

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Two Manic Monday Originals

In 1984, Prince wrote “Manic Monday”, anthem of beleaguered office workers everywhere. The song became a breakout hit for American pop group, the Bangles, in 1986. However in 1984, an American trio called Apollonia 6 recorded the “Manic Monday” original. And prior to that, Prince himself recorded an impressive demo that could be considered another “Manic Monday” original.

Check out the Bangles Greatest Hits

A Touch of Paradise Original

Mondo Rock’s Touch of Paradise Original

“A Touch Of Paradise” is about an unknown place that is … well, paradise. Ross Wilson (Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock frontman), Gulliver Smith (Australian prog rock band Company Caine’s frontman) and Roger McLachlan (Little River Band bass player) wrote the song in the late 1970s. “A Touch Of Paradise” appeared on John Farnham’s iconic 12th studio album, 1986’s Whispering Jack, released during his splendiferous mullet heyday. Rock band Mondo Rock released the “A Touch Of Paradise” original in 1982. It appeared on their third studio album Nuovo Mondo.

Check out Whispering Jack albums and merch

What’s Love Got to Do With It Original

Introduction

1984’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is a song about a woman who enjoys sexy times without emotional attachment. Written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, the song is synonymous with Tina Turner. So much so that the 1993 movie about her life was given the same title. “What’s Love Got to Do With It” revived Turner’s music career and established her as an 80s icon. However, before Turner’s version, British pop group Bucks Fizz recorded the “What’s Love Got to Do With It” original.

Check out Tina Turner music and merch

Ring My Bell Original

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Introduction

Who can forget Collette and her bike pants? Well, a lot of people, I suppose. But her version of “Ring My Bell” came out when I was 14 so it will be forever part of my teenage memories, as perplexing as I found the bike pants. At the time, I didn’t realise that in 1979 Anita Ward performed the “Ring My Bell” original version. I guess this is because of the age I was when Collette’s version came out. Is that as bad as thinking Gwyneth Paltrow performed the original “Bette Davis Eyes“?

There were quite a few covers of “Ring My Bell”. In Australia and New Zealand, at least, Collette’s would be the most well-known version. However, a fantastic dub version by Blood Sisters came out the same year as Ward’s version. Also, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince released a rap version in 1991.

You Give Love a Bad Name Original

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Introduction

In 1986, American songwriter and producer Desmond Child wrote “You Give Love a Bad Name”. It was a song about a woman who jilted her lover. “You Give Love a Bad Name” became Bon Jovi’s first hit. It propelled the band to stardom and gave rise to the “hair metal” scene. However, Child write the “You Give Love a Bad Name” original for Bonnie Tyler. It had different lyrics and a different title, “If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)”. Rather than being a song about a woman leading on a man, this unknown original was about Tyler wanting to swap gender roles with her male lover. Less than three months after the release of “If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)” came the release of “You Give Love a Bad Name”.