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August 12, 2021 1:38 pm  #1


Only You

Ever come across a song on the radio that you're you've heard before but couldn't place? The other day I heard the song Only You by Amber Hardy, which had a reggae vibe to it that sounded familiar but I couldn't connect the dots. I Googled it and found that it was a new reading of a song which I had heard by The Flying Pickets which was a semi-hit for them in 1984. Further, I found that the original song was written and recorded by British band Yazoo in 1982. I find it pretty remarkable that the original was synth-pop, the Pickets did it a capella and Amber applied a reggae groove, and they are all turned out uniformly excellent. Can you think of any other songs that were rendered in a number of different genres, and turned out good in every case?

 

August 12, 2021 3:18 pm  #2


Re: Only You

I can think of a couple, although there were only two very different versions of the ones I'm thinking of. 

The first is Blue Moon, a dreamy ballad by Rogers & Hart written in 1934 and a hit for people like Billy Eckstein and Mel Torme. But of course, the version we all know is by the Marcels, which took this mellow song and turned it into one of the greatest doo wop tunes in history. It's my understanding that neither composer was especially happy with that version, although I'm sure they enjoyed the royalty checks. 

The other one is "Misty," this slow and placid ditty that was a huge hit for Johnny Mathis. There could not be a more different (or better) version than a country rock recording by Ray Stevens, which leaves Mathis' efforts in the dust in my opinion. How the latter was not a bigger hit I will never understand. It's still one of my favorites and it shows how a slow almost mournful tune can be turned into a rocking, banjo-strumming hit. 

 

August 12, 2021 5:32 pm  #3


Re: Only You

Roman wrote:

Ever come across a song on the radio that you're you've heard before but couldn't place? The other day I heard the song Only You by Amber Hardy, which had a reggae vibe to it that sounded familiar but I couldn't connect the dots. I Googled it and found that it was a new reading of a song which I had heard by The Flying Pickets which was a semi-hit for them in 1984. Further, I found that the original song was written and recorded by British band Yazoo in 1982. I find it pretty remarkable that the original was synth-pop, the Pickets did it a capella and Amber applied a reggae groove, and they are all turned out uniformly excellent. Can you think of any other songs that were rendered in a number of different genres, and turned out good in every case?

Although Yazoo's version of the song isn't well-known here, it did get to #67 on Billboard -- but it was under the name Yaz, which they had to use in North America for legal reasons. Their vocalist, Alison Moyet, ended up becoming better-known here as a solo artist; she reached the top 40 with Invisible in 1985.
 

 

August 12, 2021 6:06 pm  #4


Re: Only You

aflem wrote:

The other one is "Misty," this slow and placid ditty that was a huge hit for Johnny Mathis.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/b3/Play_misty_for_me.jpg/220px-Play_misty_for_me.jpg

 

August 13, 2021 7:07 am  #5


 

August 16, 2021 1:02 am  #6


Re: Only You

A long time favorite of mine is the Jerome Kern song "The Way You Look Tonight".  It first was a #1 hit for Fred Astaire in 1936.  In 1957 it was on the Ray Conniff LP "'S Marvelous" and the album was certified "gold".  Then in 1961 it proved to be a solid Doo-Wop hit for the Jaguars.  It didn't do much as a single, but was a key track for the first "Oldies But Goodies" LP which was on the albums chart for 183 weeks and peaked at #12,  The Lettermen had the hit single with it, reaching #8 in Cashbox in 1961.

 

August 16, 2021 9:32 am  #7


Re: Only You

Jaguars version is amazing.  The Frank Sinatra version has become a well known standard.

 

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