Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Don't Know Much" by Bill Medley

Song#:  0541
Date:  03/28/1981
Debut:  90
Peak:  88
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  As The Righteous Brothers, Medley and partner Bill Hatfield racked up some of the best loved hits of the 60s such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Unchained Melody." In addition to the duo, Medley maintained a minor solo career but he never had a major hit on his own, obviously excluding his 1988 #1 duet with Jennifer Warnes, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." This single marks the first chart appearance for this song, but Medley's version failed to get much attention. It would later turn into a major hit for Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville in 1989.

ReduxReview:  I originally knew this song from the version done by Bette Midler in 1983 (#77), so I've always been partial to that version and wasn't a big fan of the Ronstadt/Neville pairing on it (I find Neville's voice grating and to pair it with the brilliant Ronstadt plays like a beauty and the beast joke). I had not heard this one and was thinking it may be a bit old-fashioned with a 60s icon trying to keep it going in the 80s. But I was pleasantly surprised by this version. I'd even say it rivals the Midler take. I couldn't find the original version anywhere and had to find/buy the single and post it. It was a good purchase.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:   As mentioned, The Righteous Brothers hit #4 in 1965 with their version of "Unchained Melody" (originally a #1 instrumental hit in 1955 by Les Baxter and a #3 vocal hit the same year for Al Hibbler). The classic song got its name because it was a theme written for a 1955 film called "Unchained" (and it was nominated for a Best Song Oscar that year). The Brothers' version ended up featured in the 1990 hit film "Ghost" and that revived interest in the song. Their original version would re-chart and reach #13, while simultaneously a re-recorded version hit at #19 and was a gold-seller.


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