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From '' Bongos ''
Label: Command ‎– RS 809 SD
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1960

A1 Tenderly
A2 Bidin' My Time
A3 Sylvie
A4 All Of Me
A5 Greensleeves
A6 Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea
B1 Blue Moon
B2 Unchained Melody
B3 Don't Blame Me
B4 Londonderry Air
B5 The Very Thought Of You
B6 You And The Night And The Music


"Unchained Melody" is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret.
With Todd Duncan singing the vocals, the song was nominated for an Oscar in 1955, but the Best-Song award went to the hit song "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing".

In 1955, North used the music as a theme for the prison film Unchained, hence the name. Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. Les Baxter, released an instrumental version which reached #2. Then song recordings were released by Al Hibbler reaching #3 on the Billboard charts, Jimmy Young which hit #1 in the United Kingdom, and Roy Hamilton reaching #1 on the R&B Best Sellers list and #6 on the pop chart.

It was the July 1965 version by The Righteous Brothers that became a jukebox standard for the late 20th century, regaining massive popularity when used in the 1990 blockbuster film Ghost. It will also be featured as a musical number in the upcoming GHOST The Musical.

Early versions

Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. Les Baxter released an instrumental version which reached #2. Al Hibbler followed close behind with a vocal version 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 reached number one on the R&B Best Sellers list and #6 on the pop chart. June Valli took it to #29. Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps recorded it for their second album in 1956. It is also probably the most unusual cover version, as the bridge was omitted. Harry Belafonte sang it at the 1956 Academy Awards where it was nominated 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. Perry Como recorded the song in 1955, and English jazz musician Cliff Townshend of The Squadronaires also released a popular version in 1956.

Other versions

One early cover was by teen idol Ricky Nelson, whose version was issued in 1958 on the album Ricky Nelson.

The Supremes covered the song for their album I Hear A Symphony, released in 1966.

Roy Orbison recorded a version of it for his album Many Moods, released in May 1969.

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 was invariably the case when Presley sang the song in concert.

In 1981, a live version of the band Heart peaked at #83 on the Billboard Top 100.

In 1986, Leo Sayer released a version of the song with a contemporary re-working of the "wall of sound".

U2 also covered the song as a B-side to their 1989 single, "All I Want Is You". They have played the track live several times, including one performance which was captured on their 1993 concert film Zoo TV: Live from Sydney.

In 1995, the song was performed by Robson Green and Jerome Flynn in the UK drama series Soldier Soldier.

Sarah McLachlan

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.
The Smashing Pumpkins also released a cover of the song in their Live Smashing Pumpkins album series.

Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox recorded a version in 2007 as Atlas Sound and gave it away on his blog.

Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge performed the song in concert as a tribute to Bobby Hatfield, and it appeared on their 2008 "Greatest Hits Live" CD.

Clay Aiken recorded the song on his 2010 album Tried and True.

The Pop Opera group, Amici Forever recorded the song in Italian, under the title, 'Senza Catene'.

Joni Mitchell incorporated the chorus and parts of the melody in 'Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody'.

Constantine Maroulis during a guest performance on American Idol on April 7, 2011.


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