“I Think We’re Alone Now” was a huge hit for Tommy James and the Shondells in 1967. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day just covered it.
I was unaware of the long history of “The First Cut Is the Deepest”. I know it from the 1976 version by Rod Stewart, recorded years after his finest albums and before he slipped into disco. It was written by Cat Stevens and first recorded by P. P. Arnold in 1967.
It’s a stretch to call Canned Heat’s 1970 “Future Blues” a cover of Willie Brown’s 1930 song but it certainly incorporated a lot of it, especially the lyrics. If you like the Willie Brown recording, try this album from Yazoo, Masters of the Delta Blues: The Friends of Charlie Patton
R.E.M. covered the obscure 1969 song “Superman” on their Lifes Rich Pageant album. I know 1960s music well and I had never heard of the band or song. Their version closely tracks the original one.
I first heard “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?” on Ry Cooder’s 1970 album. The original version was by Blind Alfred Reed from 1929. Cooder’s early albums contain several Depression-era songs. They were no longer well-known when he recorded them so it was great that he gave them new life.
The original version was by Tommy Tucker who is best know for “Hi Heel Sneakers”.