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20 Songs Originally Written for Other Artists has put together a list of 20 songs that artists originally wrote for someone else, but ended up keeping for THEMSELVES, for one reason or another.  In many cases, the song became a big hit with its initial writer.

Here’s a few from their the list:

–“The Long and Winding Road”,  The Beatles . . . Paul McCartney wrote it for Tom Jones, who essentially turned it down.

–“Born in the U.S.A.”,  Bruce Springsteen . . . He originally wrote it for a movie called “Light of Day”, starring Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett.  He ended up keeping it and submitting something else.


–“Superstition”,  Stevie Wonder . . . He wrote it for Jeff Beck, but Motown talked him into recording it himself.  Jeff later released a version of it.

–“Cover Me”,  Bruce Springsteen . . . He wrote it for Donna Summer, but decided to keep it.

–“Dim All the Lights”, Donna Summer . . . She wrote it for Rod Stewart, but decided to keep it.

–“Run to You”,  Bryan Adams . . . He wrote it for Blue Oyster Cult, but they didn’t like it.  The song was also rejected by .38 Special before Bryan took it for himself.

–“All Those Years Ago”,  George Harrison . . . He wrote it for Ringo Starr, but it didn’t work with Ringo’s vocals.  When George took it back, he rewrote the lyrics to turn it into a tribute to John Lennon, who had just been murdered. Ringo and Paul McCartney joined him on the track.

–“Hungry Heart”,  Bruce Springsteen . . . He wrote it for The Ramones, but his manager advised him to keep it.

–“Hurdy Gurdy Man”,  Donovan . . . He wrote it for a folk group called “Hurdy Gurdy,” but it didn’t work out, so he recorded it.

–“The First Time”,  U2 . . . They initially planned to give it to Al Green.

–“Golden Years”,  Davie Bowie . . . He wrote it for Elvis, but he turned it down.

–“Fire”,  Bruce Springsteen . . . He originally wrote it for Elvis, who died before he recorded it.  Bruce then gave it to The Pointer Sisters, and their version did become a hit.  He also recorded it himself.

–“Massachusetts”,  The Bee Gees . . . They wrote it for an Australian band called The Seekers, who didn’t take it.  Well after the Bee Gees made it a hit, the Seekers recorded it as a tribute to Maurice Gibb after he passed away in 2003.

“I Can Dream About You”,  Dan Hartman . . . He wrote it for Hall & Oates.

For more info, go to  The first 10 entries are on the same page, with the rest on a second page.  There’s also audio of each song.

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