Laura Nyro’s Smash Hits – For Barbra Streisand! Three Dog Night! Fifth Dimension!

laura-nyro-7

Some of the catchiest pop songs of the late 60’s and early 70’s were written by one person, the terrific Singer/Songwriter Laura Nyro:

Laura Nyro

Laura Nyro’s Hit Singles For Others!

Nyro released a number of great album – and I wanted to look at some of her best songs, the ones that were smash hits for other Artists!

Of course, Laura had her own successful recording career, with terrific hit albums like these:

Laura Nyro music

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Laura’s At The Top Of The Charts!

Laura had many songs in the top ten, including a chart-topping #1 smash, because Nyro’s biggest hits were for other Artists! I enjoy hearing the differences between Laura’s version and the cover version by others, especially when that “cover” is by Barbra Streisand…

barbra_streisand-stoney_end-front

Barbra’s “Stoney End!”

Nyro wrote it, Babs made it the title of her album, and the song was a big hit!

Laura Nyro Stoney End Barbra Streisand

Here is the audio-only version from Nyro, which was on her debut album, “More Than A New Discovery” in 1966, then re-released as just “Laura Nyro” in 1969:

Laura Nyro single Stoney End

Streisand’s Top Ten Hit!

Barbra Streisand released her single version, which went to #6 on the charts…

Here is a short snippet of the song, performed in concert by Babs:

Finally, here is a full-length live performance by Barbra, which goes right into “The Way We Were”…

More-Than-A-New-Discovery-by-Laura-Nyro

Laura’s incredible debut album included many songs that would become hits for other artists, including several for one pop ensemble!

The 5th Dimension

Time To Enter “The 5th Dimension!”

The pop group “The 5th Dimension” had a string of big hits in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The five original members were Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, LaMonte McLemore, and Ron Townson.

And who was responsible for most of them? Laura Nyro!

The 5th Dimension Wedding Bell Blues

Laura Nyro’s #1 Smash Hit!

The 5th Dimension went to the top of the charts with the #1 single “Wedding Bell Blues”, which Laura also sang on an album – but their rocketed to #1!

Here is a clip of the group performing the song on TV – as a skit!

Thanks to “danbanrock1” for posting YouTube!

I personally love this ad with Laura for the song – sorry, I couldn’t find a larger version:

Laura Nyro Wedding Bell Blues

Laura almost single-handedly made The 5th Dimension stars. The group also had hits with the Nyro songs “Stoned Soul Picnic”, “Blowing Away”, “Sweet Blindness” and “Save the Country”…

Thanks again to “danbanrock1”, here is the group performing “Stoned Soul Picnic”, which made it to #3 on the pop charts in 1968:

5th dimension stoned soul picnic

The group named their album after the song, and Nyro’s hit “Sweet Blindness” was also on the album…

Blood sweat and tears

Blood, Sweat & Laura!

The rock group “Blood, Sweat & Tears” had one of their biggest hits thanks to Laura – the band went all the way to #2 on the charts with Nyro’s classic song “And When I Die”.

Here’s a vintage clip of the band performing the song live on TV:

One of my favorite names for a group is this one:

Eli's Coming Three Dog Night

So Cold It’s A “Three Dog Night!”

Yep, that’s where the band’s name came from, a folk tale that you cuddled with your dogs on cold nights!

The group hit the top ten in 1969 with Laura’s quirky song “Eli’s Comin” –

Here’s the band performing the song in concert:

Eli's Comin' Laura Nyro

Three Dog Night stripped the song down to its rock essence, while Nyro makes the song much funkier and soulful. Laura’s version is included on her brilliant album, “Eli & The Thirteenth Confession”.

Laura Nyro music

So there you go, a look at some of Laura’s songs that were smash hits for other Artists…some were faithful to Laura’s original version, which some – yes you Three Dog Night – dramatically changed them – it’s great to have both to listen to and compare!

A recent tribute album brought more of her great songs back:

Reimagining Laura Nyro

Billy Childs won a Grammy for his great tribute album – see some videos from it here:


https://johnrieber.com/2014/09/09/re-imagining-laura-nyro-a-brilliant-map-to-the-treasure-laura-nyros-beautiful-tribute/

I have posted other stories about Laura as well, such as her legendary audition for music mogul Clive Davis – in the dark!

clive davis memoir

The music legend recounts that story in his memoir – read about it here:

https://johnrieber.com/2014/06/03/laura-nyros-legendary-audition-for-music-mogul-clive-davis-janis-joplins-jealousy/

Laura Nyro influenced many Artists, particularly my favorite, Todd Rundgren:

todd-rundgren-interview-rock-cellar-2

Read about their musical friendship, and listen to the song he wrote about here, by clicking on my story here:

https://johnrieber.com/2013/10/25/brilliant-laura-nyro-todd-rundgrens-muse-their-beautiful-musical-history-together/

Finally, I also posted about one of the most traumatic music moments in Laura’s career:

monterey_pop blu-ray

A new blu-ray answers the question: was Laura booed off the stage at th legendary Monterey Pop festival? Read about it here:

https://johnrieber.com/2014/04/15/laura-nyros-brilliant-monterey-pop-performance-and-legendary-musical-myth/

Leave a comment and let me know who performed Laura’s song best!

Laura Nyro performs Monterey Pop



Categories: 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Music, New York, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized

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7 replies

  1. Laura is so unique and personal. Laura does Laura best

    • Lisa, I have posted multiple stories about Laura – this one was to show how many Artists recorded her songs – it’s a compliment to her – I wasn’t suggesting she was a “writer-for-hire” – don’t want you to have that impression

  2. Laura did Laura best.

  3. I won’t even admit how much I paid for a near mint CD of “Mother’s Spiritual” because of the Todd Rundgren connection. Back in the ’80s, I was at a lecture of his when he mentioned it as one of his personally most notable albums.

Trackbacks

  1. Laura Nyro’s “Eli And The Thirteenth Confession!” Todd Rundgren’s Love Letter To Laura’s Masterpiece! – johnrieber
  2. Nirvana! Laura Nyro! Harry Nilsson! Coconuts And “Swirling Jacksons”! Song’s With An “N”! – johnrieber

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