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Mediocre songs that are later rewritten into great songs

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  • Mediocre songs that are later rewritten into great songs

    I'll Start with an example :



    Lennon wrote a song while he was in India called 'Child of Nature'. He used the melody of a local Indian tune that he had heard. It wasn't considered for inclusion on the White Album, because Paul had written a song called Mother Nature's Son. Besides - I don't think John's lyric was that good. Nice tune - weak lyric.

    Some years later he re-wrote the lyric as 'Jealous Guy', which IMO is a great song.



    What other great songs are there that are re-writes? Not upgrades of the original, but altogether new song themes.



    And the other way round - Are there any great songs where the lyric was retained, but the music totally re-written?



    Are any of the songs that turn up on this forum total re-writes?
    'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
    CHARLIE PARKER

  • #2
    This was the 3rd attempt try Larry Hart made at writing a lyric for this lovely tune by Richard Rodgers.






    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3t0cBC6g5U





    This was Hart's 4th and final attempt at a lyric.






    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yElpXH_HJ4





    It was Rodger's and Hart's only hit song.
    “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

    Comment


    • #3
      ^^^

      That's a perfect example of a lyric shifting from pretty good to fantastic.

      I might see if versions 1 & 2 are accessible.



      Long before I entered these current attempts at songwriting, I enjoyed the work of the Italian painter, Morandi.

      He painted the same subject matter many times over during his lifetime.



      Having recently retired from a 40 year design career myself, it taught me to not only look at the problem in different ways, but also explore different avenues for the solution, because in the doing, often the best solution emerges from left field.

      Hence with songwriting, for me, everything remains a work in progress.
      'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
      CHARLIE PARKER

      Comment


      • #4
        I found the background story :





        ... about Blue Moon



        The remarkable saga of Blue Moon epitomizes what Rodgers & Hart went through when they were under contract to M.G.M.

        In its first version the melody that became Blue Moon was intended for Jean Harlow to sing in Hollywood Party. It was called Prayer. Neither Miss Harlow nor Prayer appeared in Hollywood Party.



        In its second life the "Prayer/Blue Moon" tune was given a new lyrics and became the title song of the 1934 M.G.M film Manhattan Melodrama, which starred Clark Gable , William Powell and Myrna Loy, and was the movie that John Dillinger had been watching when he was gunned down outside the Biograph Theatre In Chicago.

        The song was also know as "It's Just That Kind Of Play", but was cut from the film before it was ready for release.



        Manhattan Melodrama Was also reasonable of the third setting of the "Prayer/ Blue Moon" tune. Under its new title "The Bad In Every Man" It was sung by Shirley Ross in the film.



        The fourth lyric setting of the melody came about when Jack Robbins, Head of the M.G.M.'s publishing company, liked the tune and said he would promote it if Hart would write a more commercial lyrics. The result was Blue Moon.
        'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
        CHARLIE PARKER

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        • #5
          SKYLARK. Johnny never shared with anyone how many rewrites it took, but it took him a full year before it was 'publishable.' (My favorite version below.)



          Happy New Year! to my favorite Ol' Brit, living in the land down under (where it's summer, right?) and already 2013. 14 hours ahead of us, here in the world's coldest major city (where the windchill is minus 31 tonight. You don't want to know how cold that is!).



          My other favorite

          Comment


          • #6
            ^^^

            Thanks for sharing those songwriting thoughts by Corey Stewart. The shoe fits........

            And a Happy New Year to the northern hemisphere. No - I don't like to think what -31F feels like.



            We are having a pleasant day of 90F today but rising to 108F on Friday. That's when we stay indoors.

            This is a coastal city in the southern part of Australia, and generally the winds come in from the sea, but when they change and come from the north, they are desert winds that bring desert heat. Fortunately they only usually last a day or two, but occasionally they can last for a week, and only during the months of January & February.
            'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
            CHARLIE PARKER

            Comment


            • #7
              David Wilcox says one of his songwriting techniques is to take someone elses song he likes; re-write a completely new lyric for it; then scrap the old melody and write new music for the new words.



              A double re-write.
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGxDwt26FZc
              http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marshallsongs
              http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/marshallsongs

              Comment


              • #8
                When Dave Brubeck was working on his album Time Out, which was about exploring different time signatures, Paul Desmond came in one day with a little saxophone tune called "Take Five."



                Brubek liked it but felt the melody line Desmond played as the middle section should be brought up front.



                I don't know if that qualifies as a "mediocre" song that became great, but switching those sections of the song around seems to have been the right idea.






                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faJE92phKzI
                “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                Comment


                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by LCK
                  View Post

                  ......seems to have been the right idea.




                  A perfect understatement for the most often played jazz tune ever.
                  'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
                  CHARLIE PARKER

                  Comment


                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by oldgitplayer
                    View Post

                    A perfect understatement for the most often played jazz tune ever.




                    Speaking of most-often played tunes, this song nearly didn't make it.



                    Johnny Mercer, who wrote the lyric, tells the story of how the film was shown to a preview audience, and it was kind of a dud. The audience found it less than inspiring. There was a meeting afterwards to figure out what could be done to improve the film, and the producer, Marty Rackin said:



                    "Well, I'll tell you one thing, that damn song can go!"



                    Fortunately for Mercer (whose songwriting career had kind of stalled), the song stayed in the picture.



                    I realize this doesn't count as a mediocre song getting a second chance. It counts as a second-rate producer getting a second-chance at not screwing up a perfectly good picture by making a very bad musical decision. Very bad. Very, very bad.






                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkQybG1Cglk
                    “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                    Comment


                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by LCK
                      View Post

                      Speaking of most-often played tunes, this song nearly didn't make it.




                      The thought throws me into a 'It's a Wonderful Life' state of mind, and I discover how much is different with "Moon River' being absent from the soundtrack of millions of lives.
                      'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
                      CHARLIE PARKER

                      Comment



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