Unchained Melody

Unchained Melody

Infobox Single
Name = Unchained Melody

Cover size =
Caption =
Artist = The Righteous Brothers
from Album = Just Once in My Life
A-side = Hung on You
B-side =
Released = July 17, 1965
Format = 7"
Recorded =
Genre = Blue eyed soul
Length = 3:34
Label = Philles
Writer = Hy Zaret Alex North
Producer = Phil Spector
Certification =
Chart position =
* #14 (UK Singles Chart)
* #4 (US Billboard Hot 100)
* #1 (UK Singles Chart) (re-issue)
* #1 (Australian ARIA Singles Chart) (re-issue)
Last single = Just Once In My Life (1964)
This single = Hung on You/Unchained Melody (1965)
Next single = Ebb Tide (1965)
Misc =

"Unchained Melody" is a popular song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. It is one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some counts having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3246887.stm BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Brothers in good company with hits ] ]

In 1955, North used the music as a theme for the obscure prison film "Unchained". Todd Duncan, the baritone who performed in the original "Porgy and Bess", sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. [Robert Rodriguez, [http://books.google.com/books?id=xLaSd2Qyb3AC&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=todd+duncan+unchained+instrumental&source=web&ots=M888sbPZh3&sig=KyWuaRIozpSa-_wKBfWtlQQhXMk#PPA90,M1 The 1950s' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Rock & Roll Rebels] , "Brassey's", p90 ] Les Baxter (Capitol Records catalog number 3055), released an instrumental version which reached #2. Al Hibbler followed close behind with a [http://78records.cdbpdx.com/list/UNCHAINEDMELODY_AlHibbler_DECCA_29441.mp3 vocal] version (Decca Records catalog number 29441) that reached #3 on the Billboard charts. He was followed soon after by Jimmy Young whose version hit #1 on the British charts. Roy Hamilton's version (Epic Records catalog number 9102) reached #6, while June Valli (RCA Victor Records catalog number 20-6078) took it to #29. [cite book
last = Whitburn
first = Joel
authorlink = Joel Whitburn
title = Top Pop Records 1940-1955
publisher = Record Research
location = Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
year = 1973
] Rockabilly legend Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps recorded it for their second album in 1956 — Vincent's version is played at mid-tempo and features a tremolo picking guitar part. It is also probably the most unusual cover version, as the chorus was omitted. Harry Belafonte sang it at the 1956 Academy Awards where it finished fifth in the voting for the Academy Award for Best Original Song of 1955. In 1963, an uptempo, doo-wop version hit the regional charts (eastern U.S.) by Vito & the Salutations, eventually becoming part of the soundtrack for "Goodfellas" in 1990.

The song regained popularity when another version was produced by Phil Spector in 1965, credited to the Righteous Brothers, but performed as a solo by Bobby Hatfield, who later recorded versions credited solely to him. It climbed to #4.

"Unchained Melody" reappeared on the Billboard charts in 1990 after The Righteous Brothers' recording was used in the box office blockbuster film "Ghost". Two versions charted in the US that year. There was the reissue of the 1965 original Righteous Brothers single which received a lot of airplay, but sales were minimal since it was only available as a 45 RPM single. This version peaked at #13. There was also a 1990 re-recording of the song which was available only as a cassette single. The re-recorded version saw minimal airplay, but excellent sales. It peaked at #19. For eight weeks, both versions were on the Hot 100 simultaneously. This re-release of the song topped the U.S. adult contemporary chart for two weeks in 1990. It reached #1 in the UK, becoming the UK's top selling single of 1990; it also later reached #1 in Australia, staying at number-one for seven weeks through November 1990 and into January 1991.

On June 21, 1977, just six weeks before his death, Elvis Presley performed "Unchained Melody" for what would be his last television appearance, "Elvis In Concert." However, the recording that was ultimately released as a single and included on the "Moody Blue" album (the last released while he was alive) was from an earlier appearance at Ann Arbor, Michigan, featuring him on piano, as it was invariably the case when Presley sang the song in concert.

In 1995, the song was performed by Robson Green and Jerome Flynn in the UK drama series "Soldier Soldier". This version was subsequently released as a single and quickly reached #1 in the UK, becoming one of the country's all time biggest selling records.

The song has become a favorite among auditioners for TV singing contests. It has often been said by Simon Cowell to be his favorite song, leading it to be a favourite among those hoping to impress him in auditions for "Pop Idol", "American Idol", and "The X Factor". It was performed on the original series of "Pop Idol" by runner-up Gareth Gates, who later released it as a single. It was also sung on "Australian Idol" by finalist Dan England and 2006's winner Damien Leith, and on "American Idol" by Clay Aiken during the Season 2 Top 3 finals, after which he advanced to the Top 2 (finals), as well as Kellie Pickler on Season 5 Top 6 Love Songs Week, for which she was eliminated.

The song appeared in a Ford Fiesta commercial featuring two German engineers moulding a car together, in a parody of "Ghost".

In 2004 "Rolling Stone" placed the song at #365 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Cyndi Lauper was nominated for a 2005 Grammy award for "Best Instrumental Composition Accompanying a Vocal" for her interpretation of the song, which appears on the "At Last" album. In 2006, singer Barry Manilow covered the song on his album "Greatest Songs of the Fifties", and it reached #20.

The song has been #1 on lists of love songs featured on Channel 4 and Five, and also is said to be a favorite of Kevin Jafarey (RCG).

The song is on the game Karaoke Revolution Volume 3.

Notable covers and derivations

* Al Green also covered it, available on "Forever Legends: Al Green", and perhaps elsewhere.
* There is also an uptempo doo-wop version by Vito & the Salutations. The song was recorded by The Lettermen as a track on their 1962 album "Jim, Tony, and Bob." The Manhattan Transfer adopted this uptempo approach in their recording of the song for the album "Bop Doo-wopp" (1983).
*The song was covered by Gene Vincent in 1956. It was released on his album "Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps".
*A somber a capella version of the song was covered by the late 1950s band The Fleetwoods.
*The song has the unique distinction of being a UK number-one hit for four different acts: Jimmy Young (1955); the Righteous Brothers (1990; recorded in 1965); Robson & Jerome (1995); Gareth Gates (2002).
*In 1969, Roy Orbison recorded his own version of the song. It appears on "Roy Orbison's Many Moods" (1969).
*Sonny & Cher recorded an unusually upbeat rendition of the song in 1968.
*Portions of the song were woven into the song "Chinese Café" by Joni Mitchell.
*In 1990, country music artist Ronnie McDowell covered the song.Infobox Single
Name = Unchained Melody

Cover size =
Caption =
Artist = LeAnn Rimes
from Album =
A-side =
B-side =
Released = 1997
Format = CD, digital download
Recorded = 1996
Genre = country
Length = 3:34
Label = Curb
Writer = Hy Zaret Alex North
Producer = Wilbur C. Rimes
Certification =
Chart position = (US country)

Last single = One Way Ticket (Because I Can)
This single = Unchained Melody
Next single = Put A Little Holiday In Your Heart
Misc =
*Country singer LeAnn Rimes also recorded the song for her 1997 album "".
*The late Joe Dolan, one of Ireland's biggest ever stars, recorded a version for his debut album "The Answer to Everything" in 1968
*Amy Grant references the song in her 2003 single "Simple Things".
* Willie Nelson covered the song on his 1978 album "Stardust".
*Irish rock group U2 recorded a cover of the song as a B-side on the "All I Want Is You" single in 1989. The song was first performed live by the band during the Zoo TV Tour, where a brief form of the song was frequently sung after "One," such as the performance on the "" video. The song was played in full by U2 about 20 times during their PopMart Tour, but has since only returned to their live shows a handful of times in its original brief form. [cite web| url=http://www.u2-vertigo-tour.com/Unchained_Melody-s41.html |title=Unchained Melody |publisher=U2-Vertigo-Tour.com |accessdate=2007-06-26]
*In 2006, Il Divo made a cover version in Italian named "Unchained Melody (Senza Catene)" in their second album, "Ancora".
*The rock duo Heart (Ann and Nancy Wilson) had a very popular 'live' version of "Unchained Melody" on their "Greatest Hits-Live" album of late 1980. It charted as a single in March of 1981.
*In 1997, Gerry & The Pacemakers covered the song on their album "How Do You Do It".
*Elaine Paige recorded a version for her 'Cinema' album (referring to its appearance in 'Unchained'. This version has a 4/4 timing rather than the 6/8 time signature of most other versions, and notable differences in the lyrics of the middle eight ("Lonely mountains gaze at the stars, at stars/ Waiting for the dawn of the day/ All alone I gaze at the stars, at the stars/ Dreaming of my love far away").
*Dread Zeppelin covered the song.
*Joseph Williams did a cover of this song for his solo album "Two Of Us", released in 2006.
*The Supremes covered it on their album I Hear a Symphony.


External links

* [http://www.last.fm/music?q=Unchained%20Melody&m=music Last.FM "Unchained Melody" search page.]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20060226112230/http://www.mplcommunications.com/behind_song_unchained.asp Behind the song, MPL Communications]
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11710153 'Unchained Melody' Lyricist Dies at 99] , "All Things Considered", July 3, 2007, National Public Radio (U.S.). The audio linked from that page includes snippets of various artists performing the song.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Unchained Melody — ist der Titel eines von Hy Zaret (Text) und Alex North (Musik) im Jahr 1955 komponierten Popsongs, von dem gleich vier Versionen den Status eines Millionensellers erreichten. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Entstehungsgeschichte 2 Erste Plattenaufnahmen 3… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Unchained Melody — Исполнитель The Righteous Brothers Дата записи 1955 Язык песни английский Автор …   Википедия

  • Unchained Melody — est une des chansons les plus enregistrées du XXe siècle avec plus de 500 versions différentes. Dans une seule semaine dans les années 1950, pas moins de 4 versions ont figuré dans les classements aux États Unis et au Royaume Uni. Écrite à l …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Unchained Melody — (Melodía desencadenada) es una de las canciones con más versiones (hasta 500 se han registrado) del siglo XX. La música fue escrita por Alex North con letras de Hy Zaret para una película de 1955 llamada Unchained. En 1968 la interpretó… …   Wikipedia Español

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