Black Velvet (song)

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"Black Velvet"
Single by Alannah Myles
from the album Alannah Myles
B-side "If You Want To"
Released December 17, 1989 (U.S.)
February 26, 1990 (UK)
Format CD maxi, 7" single, 12" maxi
Recorded October 1988
Genre Blues rock
Length 4:49
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) David Tyson, Christopher Ward
Producer(s) David Tyson
Alannah Myles singles chronology
"Love Is"
(1989)
"Black Velvet"
(1989)
"Still Got This Thing"
(1990)

"Black Velvet" is a blues verse with a rock chorus written by Canadian songwriters Christopher Ward and David Tyson, recorded by Canadian singer songwriter Alannah Myles. It was released in December 1989 as one of four singles from Myles' 1989 eponymous CD from Atlantic Records. It became a number one hit for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1990 and reached number one on the Album Rock Tracks chart, as well as number one in Canada and number two on the UK Singles Chart.

The song hit No. 1 for two weeks on the Billboard charts in March 1990. Myles won the 1990 Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocalist for the song. Since its release, the song has received substantial airplay, receiving a "Millionaire Award" from ASCAP in 2005 for more than four million radio plays.[1]

Background and writing[edit]

Co-writer Christopher Ward was inspired on a bus full of Elvis fans riding to Memphis attending the 10th anniversary vigil at Graceland. Upon his return to Canada, he brought his idea to Alannah and producer David Tyson, who wrote the chords for the bridge.

Content[edit]

The song is a commemorative story about Elvis Presley. The first verse discusses the beginning of Elvis's life – "Mama's dancing with baby on her shoulder" – the second talks about the height of his career – "Mama's baby is in the heart of every schoolgirl; Love Me Tender leaves 'em crying in the aisles." The bridge references his death: "In a flash he was gone. It happened so soon. What could you do?" The first verse also gives reference to Jimmie Rodgers "on the Victrola up high."

Track listings[edit]

Charts and sales[edit]

Preceded by
"Escapade" by Janet Jackson
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 24, 1990 – March 31, 1990
Succeeded by
"Love Will Lead You Back" by Taylor Dayne
Preceded by
"Vogue" by Madonna
Norwegian VG-Lista number-one single
Weeks 20–27/1990
Succeeded by
"Om" by Niklas Strömstedt
Swedish number-one single
May 23, 1990 – June 6, 1990
Succeeded by
"It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette
Preceded by
"The Power" by Snap!
Swiss number-one single
June 3, 1990 – June 24, 1990
Succeeded by
"Un'estate italiana" by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini

Other versions[edit]

"Black Velvet"
Single by Robin Lee
from the album Black Velvet
Released 1990
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 4:43 (album version)
Label Atlantic
Producer(s) Nelson Larkin[30]
Robin Lee singles chronology
"Before You Cheat on Me Once"
(1989)
"Black Velvet"
(1990)
"How About Goodbye"
(1990)

Country music artist Robin Lee, also signed to Atlantic at the time, covered "Black Velvet" in 1990 on her third studio album, also titled Black Velvet. Lee's version peaked at No. 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart.

Idols South Africa winner Anke Pietrangeli covered the song on her album Tribute to the Great Female Vocalists in 2009. [31]

"Black Velvet" has also been recorded by Valentina Gautier (as "Hey tu" Italian), Gee Gee & Soluna featuring Soluna Samay, Bert Heerink (as "Rocksterren" Dutch), Vicky Rosti (as "Yön helmaan" Finnish), Jackie Thomas, and Sandi Thom.

"Black Velvet" was also roughed up and recorded by Canadian Rock artist Kami and released on her single "Death Toll Rising" on January 2013.

Chart performance/ Robin Lee version[edit]

Chart (1989–1990) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[32] 21
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) 12

In popular culture[edit]

The song appears on the video games Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore and Lips: Party Classics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alannah Myles – About". Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  3. ^ "Alannah Myles – Black Velvet – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 50, No. 22, September 25, 1989". RPM. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet". Tracklisten.
  7. ^ "Lescharts.com – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet" (in French). Les classement single.
  8. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  9. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved July 3, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 20, 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  12. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet". VG-lista.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet". Singles Top 60.
  15. ^ "Alannah Myles – Black Velvet – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "21, 1990/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  17. ^ "Alannah Myles Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Alannah Myles.
  18. ^ "Alannah Myles Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Alannah Myles.
  19. ^ "Mainstream Rock: Feb 17, 1990". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  20. ^ 1990 Australian Singles Chart aria.com (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  21. ^ 1990 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  22. ^ "Single top 100 over 1990" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  23. ^ 1990 Swiss Singles Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  24. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  25. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Alannah Myles in the field Interpret. Enter Black Velvet in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  26. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Alannah Myles; 'Black Velvet')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  27. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Black Velvet in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Alannah Myles – Black Velvet". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  30. ^ Black Velvet (CD liner notes). Robin Lee. Atlantic Records. 1990. 82085-2. 
  31. ^ http://www.channel24.co.za/Music/AlbumReviews/Anke-Tribute-to-the-Great-Female-Vocalists-20090119 Retrieved 10 January 2014
  32. ^ "RPM Country Tracks. RPM. June 2, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Try" by Blue Rodeo
Juno Award for Single of the Year
1990
Succeeded by
"Just Came Back" by Colin James