♫ Chances Are ♫ (Redux)

Nights of interrupted sleep have left me exhausted tonight, so while I had a new song planned for today’s music post, it will have to wait, and instead I will replay one I played two years ago by Johnny Mathis.  Sorry, guys …


Released in 1957, this was Mathis’ first #1 hit single and was included on his compilation Johnny’s Greatest Hits, which is regarded as the original Greatest Hits album.  It was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. The song reached No. 4 on Billboard‘s Best Sellers in Stores survey, along with its flip “The Twelfth of Never”, which was the song I actually intended to play tonight, but when I listened to it, it made me sad, so I opted for this one instead.

Chances Are
Johnny Mathis

Chances are ’cause I wear a silly grin
The moment you come into view
Chances are you think that I’m in love with you

Just because my composure sort of slips
The moment that your lips meet mine
Chances are you think my heart’s your Valentine

In the magic of moonlight when I sigh, hold me close, dear
Chances are you believe the stars that fill the skies are in my eyes

Guess you feel you’ll always be the one and only one for me
And if you think you could
Well, chances are your chances are awfully good

Chances are you believe the stars that fill the skies are in my eyes

Guess you feel you’ll always be the one and only one for me
And if you think you could
Well, chances are your chances are awfully good

The chances are your chances are awfully good

Songwriters: Al Stillman / Robert Allen
Chances Are lyrics © Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc.

♫ Break Up To Make Up ♫

A few days ago in a conversation with David, he mentioned in passing a song called ‘Make Up to Break Up’ and said he thought it was by The Stylistics.  It vaguely rang a bell with me, so I trotted over to Google to find it and listen.  Well, the song is actually Break Up to Make Up and David was right, it is by The Stylistics.  Now, I love the Stylistics, have played their music at least a few times here before, but I’ve never played this one, for while I don’t dislike it, it isn’t my favourite — a bit too slow for my tastes, I think.  Thus, it would have ended there and you would be seeing an entirely different song tonight, but … once I listened to it, I found it stuck in my head … even in my sleep!  Only … I kept singing it backward, as “make up to break up …”  So, if you like this one, thank David, and if you hate it, you can blame him!

Unfortunately, I don’t have much background trivia about this song, but I do have a bit of background about The Stylistics.  The Philadelphia soul group formed in 1968 and achieved their greatest success in the 1970s.  The original lineup was comprised of singers Russell Thompkins Jr., Herb Murrell, Airrion Love, James Smith, and James Dunn. All of their US hits were ballads characterized by the falsetto of Russell Thompkins Jr. and the production of Thom Bell.

In 1974, the year after Break Up to Make Up, Thom Bell stopped working with the Stylistics and the group began to struggle after that.  Their U.S. success began to wane, while their popularity in Europe, and especially the United Kingdom, increased.  Their single, Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love) went to #1 in the UK, but only reached #51 in the U.S.

In 1980 the group reunited with Thom Bell and signed with Philadelphia International Records subsidiary TSOP Records. They released the single Hurry Up This Way Again that year which brought them back into the R&B Top 20 (peaking at #18).  Both James Dunn and James Smith departed due to conflicts over the direction of the group. The group continued, recruiting new member Raymond Johnson. But Johnson departed in 1985, leaving the group a trio. Love, Murrell and Thompkins continued to tour until 2000, when Russell Thompkins, Jr. left the group.

Released in February 1973, this was written by Thom Bell, Linda Creed, and Kenneth Gamble.  The song hit #5 in the U.S., #34 in the UK, and only #37 in Canada.  It was also recorded in the same year by Johnny Mathis, and though I much prefer The Stylistics version, I will offer both here.

Break up to Make Up
The Stylistics

Tell me what’s wrong with you now, tell me why I
Never seem to make you happy though heaven knows I try
What does it take to please you? Tell me just how
I can satisfy you woman, you’re drivin’ me wild

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools
Break up to make up that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

When I come home from workin’, you’re on the phone
Talkin’ about how bad I treat you, now tell me I’m wrong
You say it’s me who argues, I’ll say it’s you
We have got to get together or baby, we’re through

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools
Break up to make up, that’s all we do
Yeah, first you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
Yeah, first you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Kenny Gamble / Thom Bell / Linda Creed
Break up to Make Up lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp.

♫ The Twelfth Of Never ♫

The “Twelfth of Never” is an expression that defines the date of a future event that will never happen at all.

This song was written in 1956 and recorded by Johnny Mathis the following year.  Mathis did not like the song at first, saying …

“I didn’t like it because it was all so repetitious, and nothing seemed to happen. And I was really Joe College at that time. I was right out of college and I was hot to trot. I wanted to do something, you know, rah-rah-rah, something earth-shattering – at least pyrotechnical.”

Twelfth of Never
Johnny Mathis

You ask me how much I need you, must I explain?
I need you, oh my darling, like roses need rain
You ask how long I’ll love you, I’ll tell you true
Until the Twelfth of Never, I’ll still be loving you

Hold me close, never let me go
Hold me close, melt my heart like April snow

I’ll love you ’til the bluebells forget to bloom
I’ll love you ’til the clover has lost its perfume
I’ll love you ’til the poets run out of rhyme
Until the Twelfth of Never and that’s a long, long time

Until the Twelfth of Never and that’s a long, long time

Songwriters: Jerry Livingston / Paul Webster
Twelfth of Never lyrics © Guy Webster/Webster Music

♫ Chances Are ♫

Released in 1957, this was Mathis’ first #1 hit single and was included on his compilation Johnny’s Greatest Hits, which is regarded as the original Greatest Hits album.  It was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. The song reached No. 4 on Billboard‘s Best Sellers in Stores survey, along with its flip “The Twelfth of Never”, which was the song I actually intended to play tonight, but when I listened to it, it made me sad, so I opted for this one instead.

Chances Are
Johnny Mathis

Chances are ’cause I wear a silly grin
The moment you come into view
Chances are you think that I’m in love with you

Just because my composure sort of slips
The moment that your lips meet mine
Chances are you think my heart’s your Valentine

In the magic of moonlight when I sigh, hold me close, dear
Chances are you believe the stars that fill the skies are in my eyes

Guess you feel you’ll always be the one and only one for me
And if you think you could
Well, chances are your chances are awfully good

Chances are you believe the stars that fill the skies are in my eyes

Guess you feel you’ll always be the one and only one for me
And if you think you could
Well, chances are your chances are awfully good

The chances are your chances are awfully good

Songwriters: Al Stillman / Robert Allen
Chances Are lyrics © Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc.

♫ Too Much, Too Little, Too Late ♫

Released as a single in 1978, this song was a comeback of sorts for Johnny Mathis, as it was his first chart-topping hit in the US since 1957’s Chances Are.  Mathis teamed up with Deniece Williams for this song, written by Nat Kipner and John Vallins.

Kipner & Vallins’ demo of the ballad first caught the attention of UK label Polydor Records, and they had one of their signees, an English Pop duo, record a version of the song. Then Kipner’s son, songwriter Steve Kipner, recommended that the song be placed with an American music publisher. Shortly thereafter, Mathis showed an interest in recording the song, and the Pop duo’s version was never released.

The song reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, Adult Contemporary chart, and R&B chart. Outside the U.S., the song peaked at number nine on the Canadian Singles Chart and number three on the UK Singles Chart.

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
Johnny Mathis, Deniece Williams

Guess it’s over, call it a day
Sorry that it had to end this way
No reason to pretend
We knew it had to end some day, this way

Yes, it’s over, the kids are gone
What’s the use of tryin’ to hang on?
Somewhere we lost the key
So little left for you and me and it’s clear to see

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to lie again with you
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to try again with you
We’re in the middle of ending something that we knew

It’s over

Oh, it was over

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to ever try again
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, let’s end it being friends
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, we knew it had to end

Ah, it’s over

It’s over

Yes, it’s over, the chips are down (whoa)
Nearly all our bridges tumbled down

Whatever chance we try, let’s face it widened-eye
It’s over (It’s over)
It’s over

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to ever try again
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, let’s end it being friends
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, we knew it had to end

And it’s over

And it’s over

And it’s over

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late to ever try again
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, let’s end it being friendssad

Songwriters: Nat Kipner / John Mcintyre Vallins
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late lyrics © Homewood House Music