A couple of years ago, I put together a twin-spin of two records that were in fact the same song: After the Fire’s version of Falco’s “Der Kommissar,” and Laura Branigan’s “Deep in the Dark” — identical melodies, utterly different lyrics. Nothing wrong with that so long as everyone who’s supposed to get paid gets paid.
Sometimes it goes beyond that. Tommy Hunt, on his own after a stint with the Flamingos (“I Only Have Eyes For You”) cut this lovely little number for Scepter, under the direction of producer Luther Dixon; it stayed in the vault for many years, finally emerging as a classic of what the Brits call “Northern Soul.”
It was, in fact, a Northern Soul compilation that landed that recording on my shelf. And about half a bar into it, I said to myself, “Self, you already have this, don’t you?”
Well, sort of:
Apart from that organ riff, it’s the same instrumental background, under the direction of producer Luther Dixon for Wand, a Scepter subsidiary. As a Chuck Jackson hit, it reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1962.