Saturday, December 15, 2007

Unchained Melody

"Unchained Melody" (written by Alex North & Hy Zaret) is one of the most beautiful and emotional songs of all-time. Most of you I'm sure have heard the Righteous Brothers' classic rendition of it. If not, here it is.




There are over 500 versions of this song, but maybe the best, certainly the most powerful is by Vito & the Salutations. This is a master class in interpretation. I warn you -- you're going to need a hanky.


29 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was just wrong.

--Nikki

HEATHER said...

BWHAHAH!
SAD & WRONG on so many levels, but intensly hilarious!

Simon said...

It's ... (sob!) ... so ... (SOB!) ... BEAUTIFUL!!

A. Bu-bu- bu-bubu- buck Short said...

It left me weak and weepy.

Absolutely criminal that this was never featured on a single PBS doowap special. I've got a good mind to leave the room, even if that means missing a pledge break.
Thank you. And I'm not just saying that. I'm typing it.

gottacook said...

The only arrangement I heard for many years, growing up, was the one by Burt Bacharach, with Dionne Warwick on vocals. It's got this neat little asymmetrical instrumental bit as an intro and between verses.

The Crutnacker said...

Honestly, that's the most unchained version I've ever heard.

Sadly, it should be straightjacketed.

I love Doo Wop. Alas, born 15 years too late.

Schottzie03 said...

I got my hanky out...but ended up waving it in the air as I danced manically.

You should've done an intro! Take it to the post!

eChuckler said...

That was terrific, actually. The words actually work as a Doo Wop song! My world, it is now upside-down.

RAC said...

Oh, by the way, which one is Vito?

Cathy Krasnianski said...

oy.

gwangung said...

Ah! So THAT's where the Manhattan Transfer stole it from!

l.a. guy said...

More like Un-hinged Melody.

Anonymous said...

That made me doo-wop all over myself...

blogward said...

I'd pay to hear their version of 'Ave Maria'.

Anonymous said...

http://members.aol.com/rnbhighway/salutationspic.jpg

Anonymous said...

How romantic!

Hurry up and get your butt home - I'm horny.

Hallie

Barefoot Billy said...

If Bobby Hatfield had sung this instead of "We've Got Tonite" during the Cheers episode titled, Wedding Bell Blues, Rebecca WOULD have married Robin.

This might be the second song I'll play on my little upcoming radio show...

estiv said...

I used to play this version for people who loved the movie GHOST just to annoy them. It also shows that some doo-wop singers did have a sense of humor about doo-wop.

Anonymous said...

Don't-wop.

Karen said...

Man, Ken, I know you're a comedy writer, but your set-up truly did not prepare me for that.

I am ashamed to say, however, that it got my toes to tapping.

And now I feel dirty all over.

Max Clarke said...

There are two versions of Unchained Melody that deserve attention.

1. The song was featured in the old movie that I think was titled "Unchained." It was the story of a prison in California which experimented with low security, no guards, nothing to prevent the inmate from leaving except his own judgment. An inmate sang the song inside the prison. Touching.
2. Joni Mitchell featured it in a song she did from her Fast Horses album, the song title was something about a China Cafe. She weaves it gently into her own song, closing with it. That's the first time I heard it, way back in the 80s, but it allowed me to trace it and get the RB version.

estiv said...

The song was featured in the old movie that I think was titled "Unchained."

Which featured in its lead role the former football star Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch--yet another very romantic detail associated with this song.

A. Buck Short said...

Why does "Crazy Legs Hirsch" make me think of a klezmer breakdancer?
Good. Now you try to get that image out of your own head.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Look for the Al Hibbler version, too.

Anonymous said...

gosh darn, if that wasn't the song and version that joe pesci's character in 'goodfellas' lost his virginity, i ain't sure what is.

and i apologize for that sentence.

jbryant said...

Yoiks. The funny thing about this version is that they changed the tune so much, they could've used different lyrics and passed it off as an entirely different song, thus keeping the songwriting royalties for themselves.

Speaking of which, for years there was some a-hole going around passing himself off as Hy Zaret, lyricist of Unchained Melody. Caused a lot of grief for the real Zaret, who died this summer just shy of his 100th birthday.

Ronzoni Rigatoni said...

I can't believe this. I hated that goddam song when it was NEW! Probably the most overplayed song of that generation. I haven't heard it in possibly 50 years, until now. I STILL hate it, any version, by anybody.

I gonna send both versions to my kiddies to illustrate how much I had to suffer and endure, unlike their pampered and perfumed selves, while attempting to grow up.

Nonchalant Savant said...

Wow. That was new.

A doo-wop polka. Who knew?

angelmeg said...

You are an evil evil man, and your sense of humor rocks my world.

I am so glad that I found your blog. It is one of the fringe benefits of the writier's strike.

I will worship you from afar forever now. If I can ever stop laughing.