“The House of the Rising Sun” tells a tale of life gone wrong in New Orleans. In 1964 by British rock group the Animals made the song a number one hit in the UK, US and Canada. In a period where R&B was transitioning to rock, It is considered the first folk-rock hit. But what about the unknown original version of this song?
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.
Kim Carnes’ version of “Bette Davis Eyes” came out in 1981. It was the lead single from Carnes’ sixth studio album Mistaken Identity. The song was US Billboard’s biggest hit in 1981. It also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland. In addition, “Bette Davis Eyes” won two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1982. It was the third-best-selling single of the 1980s, after Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” and the Diana Ross/Lionel Richie duet “Endless Love”.
But did you know that “Bette Davis Eyes” original version was first recorded back in 1974 by 60s hit singer Jackie DeShannon? It was written and composed by DeShannon and singer-songwriter Donna Weiss for DeShannon’s 1975 album New Arrangement. They came up with the idea to write the song after seeing Bette Davis in the 1942 film Now, Voyager.
Hello Friends. Welcome to Unknown Original. Since you found your way here, it looks like you’re interested in the histories and mysteries of music. Yay for that! This website explores unknown originals and covers that became more famous.