Broad Oak's 'Backtracks' have proved to be very popular. Either readers are all oldies like me or the younger generation is looking at what we had and wondering why current music is so lifeless.
So here is my own collection of backtracks, but with a difference. You may be familiar with the cover versions of these 'oldies but goodies' and some of the covers are very famous indeed, but the versions here are the originals, with one 'cover' version thrown in at the end - but it is a cover to beat all covers!
Bessie Banks - Go Now.
No it wasn't written by Denny Laine or any of the other members of The Moody Blues when their version reached number one in 1964/65. It was written by Larry Banks and Milton Bennet for Bessie Banks and first released by her in January of 1964.
Arthur Alexander - Anna.
The Beatles recoded this on their Please Please Me LP in 1963 one year after the original was released. https://secondhandsongs.com/work/1462/versions
Sam Cooke - What A Wonderful World.
A hit record for Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits in 1965 but Sam Cooke's original is much better, obviously!
The Valentinos : It's All Over Now.
Written by Bobby Womack and Shirley Womack, The Rolling Stones recorded the song in 1964 and had a huge hit with it. The story is that Bobby Womack did not want the Stones to record it but when the first royalty cheque arrived he declared that they could record all of his songs if they wanted to! https://secondhandsongs.com/work/4487
Dust My Broom - Elmore James.
A classic blues riff on slide guitar most famously covered by Jeremy Spencer in 1968 with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.
Carl Perkins - Blue Suede Shoes.
Every budding rock and roller learns to play this song but Carl's is still the best! https://secondhandsongs.com/work/699
Big Mama Thornton: Ball And Chain
She wrote the song in the late 50s and recorded it then but it was not released. This version is from 1968
House of the Rising Sun is 'traditional' which means nobody is sure of its provenance.
Eric Burdon and the Animals probably did their own 1964 version after hearing the Leadbelly recording or possible that of Bob Dylan
Big Joe Williams - Baby Please Don't Go
First recorded in 1935 but Williams recorded the song a second time in 1941 and it was this second version which was recorded by Van Morrison and Them in 1964. https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/18398
And just to show that cover versions can sometimes surpass the original song here is Jeff Lynne's ELO with Roll Over Beethoven which not only pays homage to the great Chuck Berry but blends the song with Beethoven's fifth symphony. Now that is pure genius!