• Dennis Howard

Songs You Might Not Have Known Were Covers Part 3

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

We continue our look at hit songs that have made an impact on life, but you might not have known they are covers. Let's dive in.

Dreamland - This song is known as classic reggae song that has been recorded by the Wailers with Bunny wailer on lead in 1966. Bunny Wailer recorded the song for his classic Black Heartman album 1975. Most people associate the song with The Wailers' legend, and the song reached mythical levels for reggae fans. Marcia Griffiths did an excellent version fo the song for Steppin album and Third World band also did a great version fo the song.

 American r&b group El Tempos recorded the original version of the song entitled 'My Dream Island'. This obscure band included Al "Bunk" Johnson (guitar, lead vocal); Willie "Fish" Lowe (keyboards); Leroy Brown (drums); and Otis "O.T." Toliver (bass) – who later played with Dyke & The Blazers. For years most reggae fans believed that Bunny Wailer was the writer of this song primarily since the original was almost unknown.   



A Love I Can Feel - This is another classic from the vault of Studio One sung by the legendary John Holt in 1970 and re-recorded by him in 1974. It was the title of his album for the Studio One label. The original song was one of the early studio productions for the Temptations at Motown Records in Detroit in 1963. The song titled 'I Want a Love a Can See' was written and produced for the Temptations by the legendary William Smokey Robinson. However, the song with Paul Williams on lead vocals did not chart for the group. 

Although 'I Want a Love I Can See' did not chart nationally, the song was slow-burner in some parts of the United States. The song eventually was a financial success outselling singles that had charted for the group. Other covers of this song include  Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jackie Edwards, Creation Rebel, Dawn Penn, and Bitty McLean. However, John Holts version remains the gold standard. 



No No No You Don't Love Me -this song has an amazing story and lineage behind it is genuinely a product fo what ethnomusicologist and cultural theorist Dennis Howard. Dawn Penn recorded the most popular version of this song in 1990 for Steelie and Cleavie's tribute to Studio One entitled Steelie and Cleavie Play Studio One Vintage. The single appeared on several compilation albums including Profile Records, Heartbeat Records. 

In 1994 the song was released as a single on Big Beat/Atlantic and became a major international hi topping the chart in over sixteen (16) countries. But this version was not the first recording of the song for Dawn Penn. She first recorded the song for Studio One in 1967. 

 After a seventeen-year break from, the business Penn re-recorded the song for several producers including Shocking Vibes Records and Jammy Records. The Jammys version of the song had several remixes with featured acts including Bounty Killer, Ken Boothe and Dennis Brown. 

The song was not an original form Penn despite her attempts to claim it as her own. Penn version came from blues singer Wille Cobbs, 'You Don't Love Me', released in 1960, which was an adaptation of an earlier song from Bo Diddley called 'She Fine she's Mine' released in 1955. Bo Diddley's version of the song incorporated Afro Caribbean elements, including bongos and clave which completes the circle of the Black Electronic continuum. The song has been the source of copyright conflicts with both Cobbs and Penn claiming that they wrote the original. 



Now That We Found Love Known in the Caribbean and diaspora as a classic crossover hit by reggae band Third World. The single was released in 1978 and peaked at number 10 in the UK and number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100

Written and produced By Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff the original recording was done by r&b group the Ojays in 1973. 




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