Saturday, 19 June 2010

Without, please, Without

I'm off on a short, but much needed, holiday today but I wanted to leave you with something, as they say, for the weekend.

It's a bit of a cop out, as this particular recording has never been released on vinyl, rather it comes from a US TV special: ABC's 1977 all-star extravaganza The Beatles Forever, featuring such top ranking performers as Tony Randall, Bernadette Peters, Diane Carroll, Paul Williams, Mel Tillis, Ray Charles and Anthony Newley.

And it's Anthony Newley we look to today for his outrageously awful reading of the George Harrison classic Within You, Without You. The whole programme sucks, especially the two dreadful Beatles' medleys performed by the majority of the cast, but Newley (ex-husband of Joan Collins) really should have known better. No stranger to the pop charts, Newley had enjoyed a successful career as a vocalist, beginning in 1959 with the UK top 5 I've Waited So Long, followed by a sting of hits including Personality, Why (originally a 1959 U.S. hit for Frankie Avalon) and Do You Mind, written by Lionel Bart. He even won a Grammy in 1963 for the self-penned What Kind of Fool Am I, wrote the lyrics to Goldfinger, the Nina Simone classic Feeling Good and wrote or co-wrote a shed load of musicals, including Stop the World - I Want to Get Off and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, nominated for an Oscar for Best Musical Score.

So how did someone with such a pedigree get involved in such dross as this, especially in the same year that he was voted the Male Musical Star of the Year in Las Vegas? The mind boggles.


  1. Shirley Bassey did Golfinger, twit

  2. Darryl said in his post that: "he wrote the lyrics to Goldfinger", not that he sung it!

    (though perhaps Bassey wrote the lyrics as well for "Golfinger"!)

    And, while this version is indeed horrible, Newley does have that vibrato-leaden delivery which does somewhat mimic a sitar sound.

  3. This one reminds me of the times when I was a youngster watching the rehearsals of a local danceband. They casted a singer, and it turned out he was normally singing operas.

    The first song he had to do was "Kreuzberger Nächte" (I hope for your health you`re not familiar with it, but quality- wise it was in the same league as "The Smurf song").

    The result was quite similar to your post.
    Btw, the guy didn`t get the job.
    Thanks, Darryl !

  4. Golf... Inger! He's the man, the man with the under par touch. A semi-pro's touch!


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