♫ The Long And Winding Road♫

No redux tonight!  I finally finished my morning post and responding to comments early enough to have the energy left to properly research a song!

Tonight’s selection is strange, in that it is a Beatles recording, yet while it reached the #1 spot in the U.S., it did not chart in the Beatles home country, the UK!  For me, at least, this is one of those that can get stuck in my head for days at a time, for I mostly love the tune, never knew the full lyrics until tonight!

From their 1970 album Let It Be, this was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.  The road McCartney is talking about is the B842 which runs down the east coast of Kintyre and on into Campbeltown near his Scottish farmhouse.  Says McCartney …

“I just sat down at my piano in Scotland, started playing and came up with that song, imagining it was going to be done by someone like Ray Charles. I have always found inspiration in the calm beauty of Scotland and again it proved the place where I found inspiration.”

Paul McCartney offered this song to Tom Jones in 1968 on the condition it be his next single. He had Without Love (There is Nothing) set for release so he turned down the offer, something he would later regret. Speaking with Media Wales in 2012, Jones explained:

“I saw him (McCartney) in a club called Scotts Of St. James on Jermyn Street in London. I said to him When are you going to write me a song then Paul? He said, aye I will then. Then not long after he sent a song around to my house, which was ‘The Long And Winding Road,’ but the condition was that I could do it but it had to be my next single.

Paul wanted it out straight away. At that time I had a song called ‘Without Love’ that I was going to be releasing. The record company was gearing up towards the release of it. The timing was terrible, but I asked if we could stop everything and I could do ‘The Long And Winding Road.’ They said it would take a lot of time and it was impractical, so I ended up not doing it. I was kicking myself. I knew it was a strong song.”

The Beatles recorded this in January 1969 as a fairly simple ballad. By 1970, The Beatles were breaking up and and Phil Spector was brought in to go through the tapes and produce the album. Spector was known for his “Wall Of Sound” recording technique, where he added many instruments and layered the tracks to create a very full sound. On this track, he took out most of The Beatles instruments and added a string section and choir (The Mike Sammes Singers). The result was very different from what the group originally had in mind.

Even though he wrote this song, Paul McCartney didn’t go to the sessions where Spector produced it. When McCartney heard the results, he made it clear that he hated what Spector did to his song, and tried to get the original version, which was mixed by engineer Glyn Johns, on the album. The band was already falling apart, and this caused further turmoil within the group, as Harrison and Lennon both supported Spector. Paul has not changed his stance over the years, and still believes Spector butchered it. Lennon and Harrison felt otherwise, and each had Spector produce their next solo efforts. Lennon said of Spector’s work on Let It Be:

“Phil was given the s–ttiest load of badly recorded s–t with a lousy feeling to it, and he made something of it.”

Some of the many artists who covered this song: Tony Bennett, George Benson, Cilla Black, Ray Charles, Cher, Judy Collins, Peter Frampton, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Cissy Houston, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Liberace, The London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Manilow, Mantovani, Johnny Mathis, Bill Medley, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, Billy Ocean, Stu Phillips, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Kevin Rowland, Sarah Vaughan, Andy Williams and Nancy Wilson.  Whew … that’s quite a list!

In an interview shortly before he became British Prime Minister, after five years as Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron told Q magazine that this is his favorite Paul McCartney song. He explained:

“It has a wonderful melody and emotion and pretty much sums up the life of the Leader of the Opposition.”

The Long and Winding Road
The Beatles

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway, you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
The Long and Winding Road lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ♫

According to BMI music publishing, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ was played on U.S. radio and television more times than any other song in the 20th century. It got over 8 million plays from the time it was released in 1964 until 2000. (This figure includes all versions, not only the Righteous Brothers)

The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this song at the request of Phil Spector, who was looking for a hit for an act he had just signed to his Philles label: The Righteous Brothers.

Inspired by Baby I Need Your Loving by The Four Tops, Mann & Weil came up with this song about a desperate attempt to rekindle a lost love.  The title You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ was just a placeholder until they could think of something better, but Spector thought it was great so they went with it. With most of the song written, Mann and Weil completed the song at Spector’s house, where Phil worked with them to compose the famous bridge (“Baaaby… I need your love…”).

The song was the first Righteous Brothers release on Philles, and it shot to #1, giving both the duo and the songwriting team of Mann & Weil their first #1 hit. It was Spector’s third #1 as a producer: he had previously hit the top spot with To Know Him Is To Love Him by The Teddy Bears and He’s A Rebel by The Crystals.

Phil Spector was determined to make this his finest production to date, and wanted it to be better than anything released by current top producers like Berry Gordy, George Martin, Andrew Loog Oldham and Brian Wilson. He chose the Righteous Brothers for their tremendous vocal talents, and enlisted his old Jazz guitar idol Barney Kessel to play on the song. Other musicians to play on the track included Los Angeles session pros Carol Kaye (acoustic guitar), Earl Palmer (drums) and Ray Pohlman (bass).  Cher, who did a lot of work with Spector early in her career, can also be heard on background vocals near the end of the song.

Phil Spector put a tremendous amount of effort (and about $35,000) into this production, but the final product was so unusual that he began to wonder if he had a hit. Seeking a second, third and fourth opinion, he played the song for the following people:

1) The song’s co-writer Barry Mann, who was convinced the song was recorded at the wrong speed. Spector called his engineer Larry Levine to confirm that it was supposed to sound that way.

2) His publisher Don Kirshner, who Spector respected for his musical opinion. Kirshner thought it was great, but suggested changing the title to “Bring Back That Lovin’ Feelin’.”

3) The popular New York disc jockey Murray the K.  Spector confided in Murray that the song was almost four minutes long (despite the label saying it was 3:05), and wanted to make sure he would play it. Murray thought the song was fantastic, but suggested moving the bass line in the middle to the beginning.

Spector heard all three opinions as criticism, and got very nervous. “The co-writer, the co-publisher and the number-one disc jockey in America all killed me,” Spector said in a 2003 interview with Telegraph Magazine. “I didn’t sleep for a week when that record came out. I was so sick, I got a spastic colon; I had an ulcer.”

When the song’s writers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil sang this for the Righteous Brothers, low-voiced Bill Medley loved it, but Bobby Hatfield was puzzled, as the duo typically shared lead vocals and he was relegated to a minor part in this song. Hatfield asked, “What do I do while he’s singing the entire first verse?” Phil Spector replied, “You can go directly to the bank.”

According to Spector, The Righteous Brothers didn’t even want to record the song, as they fancied themselves more in the realm of rock and doo-wop.

Some of the artists who covered this include Elvis, Dionne Warwick, Hall and Oates, and Neil Diamond, among others. Warwick’s version hit #16 in 1969, Hall and Oates’ hot streak began when their remake hit #12 in 1980.

The song hit #1 in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
The Righteous Brothers

You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips
You’re trying hard not to show it
But baby, baby I know it

You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa-oh

Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you
And now you’re starting to criticize little things I do
It makes me just feel like crying
‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dyin’

You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa-oh

Baby, baby, I’d get down on my knees for you
If you would only love me like you used to do, yeah
We had a love, a love, a love you don’t find everyday
So don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t let it slip away

Baby, baby, baby, baby
I beg you please, please, please, please
I need your love, need your love
I need your love, I need your love
So bring it on back, so bring it on back
Bring it on back, bring it on back

Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
‘Cause it’s gone, gone, gone
And I can’t go on, whoa-oh

Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
‘Cause it’s gone, gone, gone

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Phil Spector / Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves ♫ (Redux)

I played this song one year ago yesterday, as a tribute to Cher on her then-73rd birthday, so it seemed a sound idea to play it again this year, though I’m a day late.  Oh wait, I was a day late last year, so I must be two days late this year!  Hmmmm … anybody see a pattern here?  Actually, it was quite by accident that I am playing it tonight.  I was going through my file of songs people have mentioned that they would like to hear, and I noticed that some time ago, Scottie had requested Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves.  That’s when I discovered I had played it last year, and why.  So, once again, I give you … Cher!


Now, my inclination was to play the Sonny & Cher song, I Got You Babe, or The Beat Goes On.  But, I had already played the first some time ago, and as I thought more about it … well, it was Cher’s birthday, not Sonny’s.  So, to honour Cher, I picked my favourite, Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves.

According to SongFacts …

This was Cher’s first #1 solo hit, and part of a big comeback. 1967 was the last time she had a hit either on her own or with Sonny & Cher. She released a financially disastrous movie in 1969 called Chastity, and that same year released an album that tanked. That year she and Sonny revived their nightclub act, which Cher credits with improving her vocal skills. In 1971 the couple got a deal for their own variety show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and Cher got a record deal. The show launched in August and was a ratings success; “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” came out in September, and in early November, it became the #1 song in America for two weeks. The show stayed on the air until 1974, and Cher charted six more times in the ’70s before a career lull that set the stage for an even more remarkable comeback in the late ’80s.

This was written by a music producer named Bob Stone, who also wrote Dottie West’s 1981 country hit “Are You Happy Baby?” Cher’s producer was Snuff Garrett, who was known for hiring Phil Spector to work at Liberty Records. Garrett was looking for a song that would accentuate Cher’s husky voice and exotic image, and Stone delivered it. The song was originally titled “Gypsies and White Trash,” but Garrett had Stone revise it to make the title less offensive.

I like this song, more for the beat and the tune than for the lyrics.

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
Cher

I was born in the wagon of a travellin’ show
My mama used to dance for the money they’d throw
Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Picked up a boy just south of mobile
Gave him a ride, filled him with a hot meal
I was sixteen, he was twenty-one
Rode with us to Memphis
And papa woulda shot him if he knew what he’d done

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

I never had schoolin’ but he taught me well
With his smooth southern style
Three months later I’m a gal in trouble
And I haven’t seen him for a while, uh-huh
I haven’t seen him for a while, uh-huh

She was born in the wagon of a travellin’ show
Her mama had to dance for the money they’d throw
Grandpa’d do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Songwriters: Bob Stone
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves ♫

I did not play a song on Sunday night/Monday morning, for by the time I finished my Jolly Monday post, responding to comments, catching up email, I was exhausted and struggling for breath due to the humidity, so I went to bed instead.  I hang my head in shame as I realized that it was singer Cher’s 73rd birthday … an occasion that deserved at least a bit of a tribute.  However, I will not kick myself over it, for I am only human with the limitations of an almost-68-year-old woman, and … I can make up for my lapse tonight!

Now, my inclination was to play the Sonny & Cher song, I Got You Babe, or The Beat Goes On.  But, I had already played the first some time ago, and as I thought more about it … well, it was Cher’s birthday, not Sonny’s.  So, to honour Cher, I picked my favourite, Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves.

According to SongFacts …

This was Cher’s first #1 solo hit, and part of a big comeback. 1967 was the last time she had a hit either on her own or with Sonny & Cher. She released a financially disastrous movie in 1969 called Chastity, and that same year released an album that tanked. That year she and Sonny revived their nightclub act, which Cher credits with improving her vocal skills. In 1971 the couple got a deal for their own variety show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and Cher got a record deal. The show launched in August and was a ratings success; “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” came out in September, and in early November, it became the #1 song in America for two weeks. The show stayed on the air until 1974, and Cher charted six more times in the ’70s before a career lull that set the stage for an even more remarkable comeback in the late ’80s.

This was written by a music producer named Bob Stone, who also wrote Dottie West’s 1981 country hit “Are You Happy Baby?” Cher’s producer was Snuff Garrett, who was known for hiring Phil Spector to work at Liberty Records. Garrett was looking for a song that would accentuate Cher’s husky voice and exotic image, and Stone delivered it. The song was originally titled “Gypsies and White Trash,” but Garrett had Stone revise it to make the title less offensive.

I like this song, more for the beat and the tune than for the lyrics.

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
Cher

I was born in the wagon of a travellin’ show
My mama used to dance for the money they’d throw
Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Picked up a boy just south of mobile
Gave him a ride, filled him with a hot meal
I was sixteen, he was twenty-one
Rode with us to Memphis
And papa woulda shot him if he knew what he’d done

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

I never had schoolin’ but he taught me well
With his smooth southern style
Three months later I’m a gal in trouble
And I haven’t seen him for a while, uh-huh
I haven’t seen him for a while, uh-huh

She was born in the wagon of a travellin’ show
Her mama had to dance for the money they’d throw
Grandpa’d do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Songwriters: Bob Stone
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group