Dem 51
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GOP 49
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My Gift Is My Song, September 1: Annie's Song(s)

We should probably give a clue, each week, as to how hard we think the "song commonality" puzzle is. The latest was up there; on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is "Even a USC faculty member could figure it out" and 10 is "Probably only solvable by a UCLA faculty member," last week was about an 8, we would say.

The commonality was that each of the songs was recorded by the original artist, and then re-recorded by the original artist at a later date. In most cases, this was due to business disputes between the artist and their labels. A rundown:

  1. Not Guilty: This was recorded by George Harrison in 1968 as part of the sessions for The White Album, but was not included on that record. Like many songs recorded during those sessions, it was a solo effort, even if it would have been released under the band's name. 11 years later, Harrison decided he wanted the song to see the light of day, but he couldn't pry the masters out of the hands of Apple Corps, so he just recorded it again. The original recording eventually became available on the Beatles' outtake/rarities album Anthology 3.

  2. Bye Bye Love: The Everly Brothers' first two albums were done with Cadence Records, an independent label. When they moved to Warner Bros., the new label wanted to re-release the Brothers' biggest hits, but couldn't get the masters. So, those songs were all re-recorded, and then released as The Very Best Of The Everly Brothers in 1960. There are actually also two Beatle/George Harrison versions of the song, and most readers had better luck verifying that than verifying that the original was recorded twice.

  3. You're Not Sorry: Due to an ongoing dispute over the masters of her original recordings, Taylor Swift has been re-doing all of her early records and re-releasing them with the added tagline "Taylor's Version." "You're Not Sorry" was therefore originally on Fearless in 2008, and then re-done for Fearless: Taylor's Version.

  4. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: This one wasn't really about business disputes; Neil Sedaka just had some thoughts on how he could re-imagine the 1962 original. So, he did exactly that in 1975. Cab Calloway did this half a dozen times with "Minnie the Moocher," with the last release being a disco version. If we could have made Minnie the Moocher work as a headline, we would have, but it just wasn't happening.

  5. Rock of Ages: In the middle of a disagreement with their record label over royalties for streaming songs, Def Leppard re-recorded what they called "forgeries" of their greatest hits. So, "Rock of Ages" was first recorded in 1983, then "forged" in 2012. The band's notion was to provide the forgeries to the streaming services, and claim all the royalties for themselves. But they eventually worked out their differences with their label, and so there ended up being only a handful of forgery remakes.

  6. Everything Happens to Me: It's not too often that you see Sinatra and Taylor Swift in the same sentence, but when Ol' Blue Eyes founded his own record label (Reprise), he too re-did most of his songs so he would have full ownership. "Everything Happens to Me" was first recorded in 1940, then again 17 years later.

  7. Child is the Father of the Man: The Beach Boys (really just Brian Wilson and some session musicians) recorded this for their aborted album project Smile in late 1966 or early 1967. Wilson then had decades of psychological issues, but when he resumed his musical career, he decided to re-do the song as a solo effort. That was released in 2004, and then Smile (and, thus, the original version of the song) ended up being released after all, as The Smile Sessions in 2011.

The first 10 readers to correctly identify the commonality:

  1. F.W. in Franklin, WV
  2. M.B. in Menlo Park, CA
  3. S.A. in Downey, CA
  4. J.S. in Pittsburgh, PA
  5. D.F. in Vancouver, BC, Canada
  6. C.S. in Lancaster CA
  7. L.A.J. in Bourbonnais, IL
  8. A.R. in Los Angeles, CA
  9. D.E. in Lancaster, PA
  10. S.G. in Durham, NC

We would guess this week's commonality is a little easier; perhaps a 5. If you have a guess, send it here! (Z)

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