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Hanging on the Telephone original

The Hanging on the Telephone original found on a mixtape

In 1973, Jack Lee wrote “Hanging on the Telephone” for his band, the Nerves. The band released the “Hanging on the Telephone” original on their self-titled 1976 EP, but it was a commercial failure. Despite their limited lifespan and success, the Nerves were ahead of their time. They became founding members of the US West Coast power pop and new wave scenes. Blondie discovered the “Hanging on the Telephone” original on a mixtape and recorded their version in 1978. It was an international hit.

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

It’s Oh So Quiet Original

Introduction

In 1948, German performer Horst Winter (aka Harry Winter) recorded a song composed by Hans Lang with lyrics written by Erich Meder. The song was “Und Jetzt ist es Still”. Lyricist Bert Reisfeld translated it into English and called the song “It’s Oh So Quiet”. In 1951, American actress, comedian, dancer and singer Betty Hutton performed the first English version of “It’s Oh So Quiet”. And then in 1995, the song was further popularised by Icelandic singer Björk. Seeing it was the first version recorded, we’re considering Winter’s “Und Jetzt ist es Still” as the “It’s Oh So Quiet” original.

Check out music by Björk

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

Mickey Original

Introduction to the “Mickey” Original

Toni Basil’s “Mickey”, with its cheerleader video clip, is one of the most iconic songs of the 1980s. But the “Mickey” original wasn’t “Mickey” at all. It was “Kitty”, a song performed by English new wave band Racey in 1979.

“Mickey”, or rather “Kitty”, was written by songwriters Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. The duo wrote a string of hits in the 70s and 80s for performers like The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Mud, New World, Arrows, Smokie, Tina Turner, and Huey Lewis and the News.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun Original

Introduction

Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a 1980s feminist pop anthem accompanied by a Grammy-winning music video. It has close to 40 cover versions, including Weird Al Yankovic’s parody “Girls Just Want to Have Lunch”. But the unknown original version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was sung by a man. This put a completely different slant on girls wanting to have “fun”.

The Tide is High Original

Introduction

American new wave band Blondie released “The Tide is High” in 1980. It was the lead single from Blondie’s fifth studio album Autoamerican, and reached number one in the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. In 2002 British girl group Atomic Kitten released a poppier cover of “The Tide is High”. This version was also a number one hit. But did you know that Blondie’s version is a cover as well? Jamaican DJ Duke Reid composed “The Tide is High” original song back in the 1930s and in 1967 John Holt arranged it for his group The Paragons.