Written by Luther Dixon and Florence Greenberg, it was girl group The Shirelles that got this song onto the airwaves. They released the song as a single in 1962 and watched it climb the charts until it stood at the top.
The Shirelles must have been pleased since apparently it only took them one try to get the vocals out the way they wanted them. The song might not be that long – only two minutes and forty-two seconds – but that can feel like forever if you need to get it perfectly perfect.
“Mama Tried” – Merle Haggard
There are few country music stars more well-known than the great Merle Haggard. Country music has to have some pain in it, and this song was all about the pain Haggard caused his mother when he was put in prison for three years. However, the song is not exactly autobiographical, just heavily influenced by Haggard's life.
No matter what the story is, it only took Haggard one try in the booth to get this legendary song just right. After it was released, it reached number one on both the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks lists.
“Crazy For You” – Madonna
It's been called the ultimate slow-dance song, and it's also been ranked as the eleventh-best Madonna single of all time...and it only took once in the studio.
“Crazy For You” has tons of accolades, like landing on VH1's “100 Greatest Love Songs. It was even nominated for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1986 Grammy Awards, but it lost to Whitney Houston's song, “Saving All My Love for You.” It was the first song Madonna released as a single, and it proved to be a new direction for the singer. Becoming her second number-one single, it charted all over the world.
“You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet” – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
With a B-side containing the instrumental “Free Wheelin',” “You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet” was a number-one hit for BTO and was also the band's only major hit in the United Kingdom.
The song wasn't even supposed to be recorded – Bachman sang it mostly as a joke in one take, but the producer listened to it and liked it, saying it felt brighter than a lot of the other songs. Bachman says that he sang it terribly, stuttered, and laughed, but it all managed to give the song a very real, light-hearted feeling.
“Skyscraper” – Demi Lovato
This one is a bit inaccurate since Lovato did actually record several different versions of this hit single. However, during the first one, Lovato broke down and started crying, as she was tackling a number of emotional issues, for which she would seek help and treatment.
After completing treatment, she returned to the song and recorded it again for real, reportedly only needing a single take once she went back to it. She kept the original recording, stating that it was symbolic to her. Her breathy, tenuous vocals throughout the song speak to the struggles she went through while working on it.