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Re-release the Song

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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. Maybe the timing for the first release had the song head-to-head against too many similar songs. Or maybe the topic or tone wasn't liked by audiences the first time around.

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.
  • The rock band Sheriff recorded "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. Instead, the members of Sheriff that decided they wanted to play together again reunited under the new name Alias, and had a couple hits in the early 90s.
  • 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.
  • Two of Feeder 's hits, "Just A Day" and "Shatter", were originally released as B-Sides, but then released as singles in their own right for the "Gran Turismo 3 Soundtrack" and "The Singles" respectively. At the time of their B-Side releases, fans regarded them as Wasted Song s and though unrelated, there were band petitions asking for them to be singles.
  • 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.
  • 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" by Ben E. King, "Twist & Shout" by The Beatles, "Do You Love Me?" by the Contours, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers, "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen), and Top 40 stations putting older songs that weren't big hits the first time around into their rotation ("Red Red Wine" by UB40, "When I'm With You" by Sheriff, "Where Are You Now?" by Synch, "Into The Night" by Benny Mardones).
  • "Welcome to the Jungle", the major label debut from Guns N' Roses, only made a moderate impact on release in the spring of '88. Following the chart-topping success of "Sweet Child of Mine" that summer, "Jungle" was re-released in the fall and peaked at #7 at year's end.
  • 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.
  • "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 re-released their entire discography (which, at the time, consisted of two EP's, one full-length album, and their then-latest single). Later on, in 2012, the band re-released 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 Signature Song "I Melt With You" for a 1990 album. (The original is the best-known version)
  • Moving Pictures' 1982 hit "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 his 1965 hit "Gonna Have Love."
  • Countless Christmas songs in the Country Music genre were re-released 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.
  • 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 re-released "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, a number of his older records saw reissues that brought them bigger success than when they were first put out. Most notably, RCA Records re-released Bowie's self-titled second album (rechristened Space Oddity) and The Man Who Sold the World in 1972, with Trend Covers featuring his Ziggy Stardust stage persona (despite both albums sharing no immediate relation to Ziggy), Deram Records (on whom his self-titled debut album was released) reissued the Old Shame novelty single "The Laughing Gnome", and B&C records reissued the original single release of "Moonage Daydream"/"Hang On to Yourself" with the sides switched (both songs were featured on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in re-recorded forms).
  • 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.
  • The first single from Prince's break-out album 1999 was the title song, which only hit #44 during its first release. After "Little Red Corvette" became a top ten hit, however, the party anthem was re-released and hit #12.
  • Drew Davis Band released their debut single "Back There All the Time" twice: first in 2005 on an independent label, then again in 2008 on Neal McCoy's short-lived 903 Music imprint just before it closed. The second release made #58 on the country charts.
  • Lee Greenwood re-released his Signature Song "God Bless the USA" after 9/11. The re-release actually debuted at #16 on the country and pop charts (then an unusually high debut on the former chart).
  • Whitney Houston's version of "The Star Spangled Banner" was also rereleased after 9/11 as a benefit for the victims, reaching a new peak of #6 on the Hot 100, her last top 10 single during her lifetime. The original version was made for the 1991 Super Bowl, at the start of the Gulf War, and its glowing reception led to it being released as a single.
  • Foo Fighters had at least two cases of songs being re-recorded.
    • The The Colour And The Shape album track "Walking After You" for the The X-Files: Fight the Future soundtrack a year later, also releasing the new version as a single. The re-recording is similar in feel, but has a less sparse arrangement: While the Colour And The Shape version was performed solely by Dave Grohl (guitar, vocals, and drums) and Nate Mendel (bass), the re-recording was performed by the full band and also featured Craig Wedren on backing vocals and Jerry Harrison, the song's producer, on piano.
    • In 1999, a song called "Make a Bet" (whose origins date back to the early 90s!) was the B-side on "Learn to Fly". Two years later, the soundtrack of Out Cold had a re-recording of that song under the title "Win or Lose", which would also be a B-side on "All My Life".
  • Easton Corbin had this happen in an unusual way. "Are You with Me", an album cut off his second album All Over the Road, enjoyed success in Europe in 2014 when Belgian DJ Lost Frequencies remixed it as a dance track. The song's success there led to Corbin also including his version of the song on his third album, About to Get Real, and releasing it as a single in 2016.
  • For some reason, John Wesley Ryles' 1968 debut single "Kay" was re-released via a different label than the original a decade later.
  • Kacey Musgraves' 2015 single "Dime Store Cowgirl" was released twice, due to it failing to enter the charts on its original release. It failed to chart the second time around, either.
  • Suffocation has been rerecording older material almost continuously since their first full-length release, 1991's Effigy of the Forgotten, which featured three re-recordings of songs from their 1991 EP Human Waste ("Infecting the Crypts", "Mass Obliteration" and "Jesus Wept") and two songs from their 1990 demo Reincremated ("Reincremation" and "Involuntary Slaughter"), balanced against four new songs. 1995's Pierced From Within included rerecordings of "Synthetically Revived" (from Human Waste) and "Breeding the Spawn" (the title track from their production-challenged 1993 effort, one of only two full albums to contain no rerecords). 1998's Despise the Sun EP (their last recording before breaking up for five years) featured their final Human Waste rerecord, "Catatonia". After reuniting in 2003, they forewent any rerecordings on their comeback album, 2004's Souls to Deny, then resumed rerecording Breeding the Spawn songs on their self-titled 2006 album ("Prelude to Repulsion" and "Anomalistic Offerings", the latter of which only saw rerelease in Japan), 2009's Blood Oath ("Marital Decimation"), 2013's Pinnacle of Bedlam ("Beginning of Sorrow") and 2017's ...Of The Dark Light ("Epitaph Of The Credulous").
  • Savage Garden originally released "To the Moon and Back" in 1997 as the followup to their Top 10 hit "I Want You", but the song failed to get higher than #37 in the US and #55 in the UK. One year later, when their third single "Truly Madly Deeply" became an international #1 hit, they decided to follow it up by releasing "To the Moon and Back" once more. It performed marginally better in the US the second time out and peaked at #24, but it actually outpeaked "Truly Madly Deeply" in the UK by making it to #3.
  • Indie band The Bluebells took a country-tinged cover of Bananarama's "Young at Heart" to #8 on the UK singles chart in 1984. In 1993, the song was re-issued after being used in a popular Volkswagen commercial and it shot to #1. The band had actually disbanded in 1986, but reunited to perform the song a few times on Top of the Pops.
  • The Australian synthpop band Empire of the Sun had a hit across Europe in 2009 with their song "Walking on a Dream". While well regarded by critics, it really didn't catch on in the United States at the time. In 2016, the song was used in a Honda commercial and became a worldwide hit all over again, this time in America, where it made it to #65 on the pop chart and #3 on the alternative chart.
  • The Hives' "Hate To Say I Told You So" and "Main Offender", alongside their parent album Veni Vidi Vicious, were released in 2000 by Swedish independent label Burning Heart Records. Neither song charted, but the 2001 compilation Your New Favorite Band (which also included both songs) hit the UK charts at number 7, so they re-released the singles and the album itself in 2002.
  • Canadian country group High Valley released "Make You Mine" and "She's with Me" in their home country in 2014. Between 2016 and 2017, Warner (Bros.) Records re-released both songs in the States.
  • Along with his 1989 live album Jarre Live, Jean-Michel Jarre re-released his 1976 hit single "Oxygène 4" — not the Docklands live version on the album, but the proper studio recording from 1976 — with a new music video (the one with the penguins).
  • By the end of 1993, the promotional campaign for Dream's debut album D:ream On, Vol. 1 had pretty much run its course, yielding a handful of midtable chart singles. Then first single "Things Can Only Get Better" (which had originally peaked at #24) was reissued - in the week after Christmas, when there is traditionally a lack of big releases. This time round, the single caught fire, going to number one, becoming their Signature Song, and belatedly making the parent album a hit too. The follow-up single "U R The Best Thing" was also a reissue - already the most successful of the original run of singles, having made #19, the second time round it climbed to #4.
  • When the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie and subsequent soundtrack album with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton came out in 1978, Capitol Records re-released The Beatles' original 1967 album with a decal reading "the original classic." This was due to teenagers of the time mistakenly thinking that Frampton and the Bee Gees created the music in it. United Artists would subsequently put Yellow Submarine (with the credit "starring Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band") back into the TV syndication circuit.
  • After Chicago hit the Top 10 with “Make Me Smile” and “25 Or 6 To 4” from their second album in 1970, Columbia Records re-released “Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?” from their debut album. It reached #7 after failing to chart the previous year. In 1971, they also hit #7 with “Beginnings,” which had stalled at #71 in 1969.
  • Paul McCartney: "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Coming Up" were solo songs which also saw live releases by Wings. "Another Day / Oh Woman, Oh Why", his debut single, was also made available for Record Day 2012.
  • Aerosmith's first single "Dream On" peaked at #59 upon its 1973 release. After the band made it big with Toys in the Attic, "Dream On" was reissued, and became the band's first top ten hit. It even paved the way to the Toys single "Walk This Way" get a rewind amidst the next album's singles, and also reach the top 10.
  • Alien Ant Farm reissued "Movies", the first single of their album ANThology, thrice, each time with a different video - only the last, after they finally broke out with their cover of "Smooth Criminal", made any impact.