Simultaneous Song Versions

      • When I was a younger lad, me and my friends would sometimes discuss the possibility of 1: writing some songs, 2: recording various versions (country, dance,pop,classic rock, hip-hop) and seeing if the same songs were roughly “equally” popular in the different styles. The main problems were twofold: we didn’t know how to play any instruments, and we were incredibly lazy about any activity in which there were no explosives involved.
        We never got around to doing it.
        But since then, others have tried.
        By this I mean a current song that is released in different versions, to suit different radio stations that have different formats. For one easy example, Shania Twain has several songs in two versions: a twangy country version and a pop/rock version.
        Who started releasing different “versions” first, and has any song successfully crossed three styles? I’ve heard of instances of the same song done in pop/easy listening, pop/country and pop/dance('tho dance versions are often lame remixes with a few keyboard effects tossed in, rather than an actual re-recording of the song). Has any song been successful in three styles? How about four styles? - MC

The first thing that came to mind when I read the OP was Climie Fisher’s Rise to the occasion (circa 1989). It came out in a ballad version and a more poppy dance version with a beat computer having its way with it.

The first thing that came to my mind was in the early '80s Alannah Miles and Robin Lee both released the song “Black Velvet” at the same time.

Robin Lee made it way up on the country charts and it was a hit on the pop charts for Alannah Miles. There may have been other people who paved the way for this, but it is the earliest that comes to mind for me.

Some other later examples:

John Michael Montgomery wrote and released “I Swear”, then a pop version was released by All 4 One, IIRC

Lonestar released “Amazed” first on the country charts, then later on the pop side with a different arrangement.

Well let’s see… the first that came to mind was Ricky Martin releasing a lot of his singles in Spanish and English.

Then there’s Guns N’ Roses with “Don’t Cry” and “Don’t Cry (alternate lyrics)”.

Suzanne Vega released “Tom’s Diner” as a single to alukewarm response. The remix of the song became a hit, though.

And of course, in rap, Tag Team released “Whoomp! There it is!” about the same time that 95 South released “Whoot! There it is!” (Not to mention Tag Team’s subsequent version “Whoomp! The Addams Family! There it is!” I still can’t believe that one.)


Different styles.

My bad. I read the question wrong. Don’t I feel silly!

well, a long time ago, these ‘covers’ were popular with white artists covering black artists’ songs. but i’m sure you know that. i’m sure there were a few r&b/rock versions released around the same time, but i can’t cite anything specific.

that’s the reason they’re called covers, IIRC, because the 2nd artist to record it wanted to cut in on the profits of the 1st recorded, and popular, tune.

I remember hearing two different versions of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Name” floating around when it was first really popular – the regular version and a strummy acoustic one. I liked the latter, because the drums in the regular version were pretty clunky.