Sometimes, an artist will want to give a song a second chance. Maybe it just didn't pan out as a single the first time, or maybe it's just so good that it needs another release.
Distinct from Rearrange the Song
in that the re-release isn't always a re-recording, although the two tropes may overlap.
- Randy Travis' first single for Warner Bros. Records, "On the Other Hand", flopped upon initial release. After its followup, "1982", became a top 10 hit, he persuaded the label to re-release "On the Other Hand". The re-release became his first #1 hit.
- Similarly to the above, Chris Young released "Voices" in 2008. It barely made the top 40, but the next two singles after it went to #1. Based on the momentum of those two, he asked to re-release "Voices" in 2010... and in February 2011, it became his third #1.
- Keith Urban found that "You Look Good in My Shirt" (from the album Golden Road) was getting positive reception whenever he played in concert, and several stations were playing it even though it wasn't a single at the time. (It was going to be the fifth single off Golden Road, but the label instead chose to release a new single from a new album. Even so, a few stations played the original version of "Shirt" anyway and got it to #60 as a result.) He re-recorded the song in 2008 and released it from a Greatest Hits Album.
- And around the same time, Brad Paisley re-recorded an album track, "Waitin' on a Woman", and released the new version as a single.
- Alan Jackson wanted to release "Home" from his debut album, but decided against it because Joe Diffie had a song called "Home" out at the same time. Alan later included the original on a Greatest Hits Album and released it as a single in 1996.
- And later on, he re-recorded "A Woman's Love", an album cut from 1998's High Mileage (and the B-side to "Right on the Money"), and released the re-recording in 2007.
- Pam Tillis first released "One of Those Things" in the 1980s when she was on Warner Bros. Records, but it didn't chart. She later re-recorded the song for her first Arista Records album, and the re-recording was a top 10 hit.
- Obscure 80s band Sheriff made "When I'm With You" in 1983; it flopped and the band broke up. A DJ started playing the song again in 1988 and it shot to #1. Two of the former members were promoting a new band at the time called Frozen Ghost, and they declined to reunite with the other members of Sheriff to promote the song.
- Bobby "Boris" Pickett's 1962 Trope Namer song "Monster Mash" was re-released several times and hit the Billboard charts again in 1970 and 1973.
- Peter Andre's 'Mysterious Girl' may feel that it's been re-released multiple times (what with having 14 different versions released over various mediums) but it's only been re-released once in 2004.
- Switchfoot's "Dare You to Move" was the first track from their album Learning to Breathe. Feeling that "that song hadn't lived its shelf life yet", Switchfoot re-recorded it (but the new version sounds so much like the original version, you really have to pay attention to hear the difference) for their next album The Beautiful Letdown. This turned out to be their breakout album, and "Dare You to Move" became a certified-gold single.
- Jimmy Buffett did this with his song "The Captain and the Kid" (about Buffett's childhood relationship with his grandfather, a retired cargo ship captain), which first appeared on his less-than-successful second album "Down to Earth". It was later included on Buffett's much more successful seventh album "Havana Daydreaming", where it was released as a country single. It was released for a third time on his even more successful greatest hits collection, "Meet Me in Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection".
- Steve Wariner's first single was "I'm Already Taken" back in 1978. He re-recorded and re-released it in 1999.
- Kenny Chesney re-recorded his 1994 single "The Tin Man" for his first Greatest Hits Album and released the new version in 2001. The re-release has the distinction of being his only single release of the 2000s not to reach Top 10.
- Anberlin's "The Feel Good Drag" was a track off their 2005 album Never Take Friendship Personal that the band liked and regretted never releasing as a single. They re-recorded it a few years later to be the first single off their major label debut, and it became their biggest hit.
- For some reason, Garth Brooks decided to release "Wild Horses", an album cut from his 1990 No Fences disc, in 2001.
- From 1986 to 1992 there was a major trend of rereleased songs becoming big hits in the US, including three that hit #1 (the aforementioned "When I'm With You", "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & The Beaters, and "Red Red Wine" by UB40). They generally fell into two groups: Revival by Commercialization ("At This Moment", "Stand By Me"-Ben E. King, "Twist & Shout"-Beatles, "Do You Love Me?"-Contours, "What a Wonderful World"-Louis Armstrong, "Unchained Melody"-Righteous Brothers, "Bohemian Rhapsody"-Queen), and Top 40 stations putting older songs into their rotation ("Red Red Wine", "When I'm With You", "Where Are You Now?"-Synch, "Into The Night"-Benny Mardones).
- Jake Owen originally recorded "Eight Second Ride" for his debut album "Startin' With Me." He re-recorded it for his second album "Easy Does It" and released it as a single.
- Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" first appeared on their 1975 self-titled album. A live version, which appeared on their 1997 album The Dance, was released as a single in 1998 and peaked at # 51 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Dolly Parton released "I Will Always Love You" twice: in 1974 and again in 1982. Both versions went to #1 on the country charts. She recorded a third version in 1995 as a duet with Vince Gill, which got to #15 despite not being released as a single.
- Dog Days Are Over by Florence + the Machine got re-released in early 2010 with a new more to theme video.
- Kelly Clarkson re-recorded her 2005 single "Because of You" as a duet with Reba McEntire. The duet version was sent to country radio in 2007.
- In 2005, after D's first bassist (Rena) left and was subsequently replaced (by Tsunehito), the members rerecorded and rereleased their entire discography (which, at the time, consisted of two EPs, one full-length album, and their then-latest single). Later on, in 2012, the band rereleased their 2006 single "Ultimate Lover". The international edition of the Huang di ~yami ni yumareta mukui~ mini-album also includes four of D's older but well-known songs ("Night-ship 'D'", "Yami yori kurai doukoku no acapella to bara yori akai jounetsu no aria", "Dearest you", and "Sleeper"), although this was mostly because the original releases are all extremely difficult to obtain outside Japan.
- Neil Sedaka's first version of "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" is fast and upbeat. The re-released version is a Softer And Slower Cover.
- Britney Spears re-released "Radar", from the 2007 album Blackout, as a single from her album Circus in 2009.
- Faith No More's Cover Version of "I Started A Joke" was initially released in 1995, as a B-Side of "Digging The Grave". It then became the band's final single in 1998, promoting the Greatest Hits Album Who Cares A Lot?.
- Another B-Side re-released as a single to promote a Greatest Hits Album was Soundgarden's "Bleed Together": It was originally an outtake from Down On The Upside and first saw release as a b-side to "Burden In My Hand". Then it was one of two b-sides placed on the Greatest Hits Album A-Sides and became a single of its own. The song was an outtake to begin with because the band couldn't find a mix they were happy with until after Down On The Upside came out (as well as because they thought the album might end up being a little too long anyway).
- The Verve Pipe's Signature Song "The Freshmen" took two re-releases and re-recordings before it became a hit (though only the last of these was promoted as a single anyway). The first version was an acoustic arrangement that appeared on their 1992 album I've Suffered A Head Injury. A full-band version was recorded for Villains in 1995, but the song was recorded yet a third time when it was released as a single in 1996: The single arrangement was similar to the album version, but was about 30 seconds shorter, added distorted guitar to the chorus, and was recorded with a different Record Producer (Jack Joseph Puig instead of Jerry Harrison). The earlier versions of this song have sort of become rarities: First, when I've Suffered A Head Injury was re-released in 1995, three songs were cut, including the original version of "The Freshmen"; Then Villains was re-released with the single version replacing the album recording. However, the 1995 version of the song was at least re-released as a B-Side, where it was re-titled "The Freshmen (Studio D Version)".
- Fugazi first released "Provisional" on their 1989 Margin Walker EP, then re-recorded it for 1990's Repeater, giving it the title "Reprovisional". The band may have decided they weren't happy with their original performance and/or production, because both versions are extremely similar in arrangement.
- The second single from Mark Chesnutt's sixth album Thank God for Believers was "It's Not Over", which originally appeared on his second album, Longnecks & Short Stories. He didn't even re-record it — it was the original version, re-appearing on an album released over six years later.
- A remixed version of Real Life's 1983 hit "Send Me An Angel" hit the charts in 1989.
- Three different versions of the Evanescence song "Whisper" exist: On the Sound Asleep EP, the Origin demo album, and the Fallen album.
- Modern English re-recorded its 1982 song "I Melt With You" for a 1990 album.
- Moving Pictures' 1982 "What About Me" was re-released in 1989.
- Marilyn Manson released "The Nobodies" as a single in 2000 and 2005: The first time it was a single, it was promoting the album Holy Wood (In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death) and was identical to the album version. The second time, it was The Not Remix ("The Nobodies - 2005 Against All Gods Mix") and was promoting Lest We Forget: The Best Of. Oddly, that Not Remix was exclusive to the single, and Lest We Forget still included the original mix of the song.
- In 1989, Buck Owens re-recorded his 1963 Breakthrough Hit "Act Naturally" as a duet with Ringo Starr, followed immediately by a re-recording of hs 1965 hit "Gonna Have Love".
- Countless Christmas songs in the Country Music genre were rereleased several times, thus causing them to re-chart for several years in a row. Among them were "Christmas in Dixie" and "Angels Among Us" by Alabama (the former was first released in the early 80s, but began re-charting in the late 90s), "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Vince Vance and the Valiants, "Here's Your Sign Christmas" by Bill Engvall, and "Redneck 12 Days of Christmas" by Jeff Foxworthy. After said songs were wrecking the charts every year with their re-entries, Billboard finally changed the chart methodology around Christmas 2000 to stop Christmas songs from re-entering. However, this still hasn't stopped new Christmas releases from clogging up the Country Airplay charts every year…
- Suicidal Tendencies' Still Cyco After All These Years is almost entirely a re-recording of their self-titled debut album from ten years earlier, plus remakes of two songs from the album Join The Army and a straight re-release of a song that was originally a B-Side. At the time, the original self-titled album was out of print, a lot of their current fan base had never even heard it, and the band didn't have the rights to reissue the original recordings themselves. While they tried to be as faithful to the original versions as possible, there were inevitable differences since vocalist Mike Muir was the only original member left in the band, and even Muir himself had significantly changed his singing style over the course of 10 years.
- Billy Joel rereleased "Shameless" as a single in 1991 after Garth Brooks' cover hit the top of the country charts. The new single cover consisted of a letter from the record company congratulating Joel on his first country hit as a songwriter.
- Jeff Bates originally recorded "Long, Slow Kisses" on his 2003 debut album Rainbow Man. He re-recorded it a year later and released the re-recording as a single from his second album, Leave the Light On.
- After David Bowie became a Glam Rock star, his former record company re-released both his first major hit "Space Oddity", and Old Shame comedy number "The Laughing Gnome".
- After The Human League became a Synthpop success with "Don't You Want Me", their record company re-released "Being Boiled", a single previously released by the group's earlier, and very different, Industrial music incarnation. It still reached the top ten.