Saturday, October 11, 2008

Born to Cover

Hey, do you know who was the first person to record "Born to Run"? Nope, not the Boss, but Allan Clarke, the lead singer of the Hollies and a childhood friend of Graham Nash. Springsteen began performing the song onstage in early 1974, but he didn't get around to cutting his epic take on it until that summer. In the interim, Clarke tried to pull a Manfred Mann and recorded both "Born to Run" and "Blinded by the Light."

His record label, not knowing what it had (which may not have been much, if you can imagine the voice behind "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" singing "Born to Run"), failed to release Clarke's version until Springsteen's had come out the following year. The Clarke records quickly faded into oblivion.

Clarke did go on to sing lead vocals on the Alan Parsons Project hit "Breakdown." So that's something.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

I wonder if Springsteen would have given him permission to release it first; as songwriter, he had the power to decide who got to release the first version.