Denis (song)

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"Denise"
Single by Randy & the Rainbows
Released 1963
Recorded 1963
Genre Doo-wop
Length 1:57
Label Rust Records (USA)
Philips (UK)
Writer(s) Neil Levenson
Producer(s) Bright Tunes Productions
Randy & the Rainbows singles chronology
"Denise"
(1963)
"Why Do Kids Grow Up"
(1963)

"Denise" is a 1963 song by the American doo-wop group Randy & the Rainbows,[1] "Denis" was a 1977 gender-swapping cover of the song by the American new wave band Blondie.[2] The cover of the song helped the band break into the international market. It featured on the band's second studio album, Plastic Letters (1978), and was the second UK single release by Blondie on Chrysalis records.

Original song information[edit]

Randy & the Rainbows worked with the producers of The Tokens, releasing the single "Denise" in 1963. The song hit #18 on the US Black Singles chart and no. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.[3]

"Denise" was written by Neil Levenson, and was inspired by his childhood friend, Denise Lefrak.[4] The song later became a European hit for Blondie, with the title changed to "Denis".

Charts[edit]

Chart (1963) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 10
US Billboard Hot R&B Sides[3] 18

Blondie version[edit]

"Denis"
Single by Blondie
from the album Plastic Letters
B-side "I'm on E" (US)
"Contact in Red Square" / "Kung-Fu Girls" (UK)
Released February 1978 (UK)
May 1978 (US)
Format 7" & 12" vinyl
Recorded 1977
Genre New wave
Length 2:18
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Neil Levenson
Producer(s) Richard Gottehrer
Certification Gold (UK, Netherlands)
Blondie singles chronology
"Rip Her to Shreds"
(1976)
"Denis"
(1978)
"(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear"
(1978)

The initial Blondie version contained a verse with partly improvised lyrics in French by the group's vocalist Debbie Harry. Although Chrysalis insisted that the band re-record the song with a grammatically correct French translation, both the band and producer Richard Gottehrer preferred the first take.[citation needed] Harry stood her ground on the matter,[citation needed] and the version containing the "pidgin French" lyrics was released. The second, re-recorded version had its debut as a bonus track on EMI UK's 1994 re-issue of Plastic Letters.

"Denis" was released in February 1978 and reached number 2 in the UK and broke into the Top 20 in most European countries including number 1 in Netherlands. In the UK, the song was kept at number 2 for four weeks, first by Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" and then by Brian and Michael's "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs". Just like "Rip Her to Shreds", the single was issued on both 7" and 12" formats in the UK, and both feature two B-sides, "Contact in Red Square" from Plastic Letters and "Kung-Fu Girls" from Blondie. "Denis" was the only single released in the US from Plastic Letters (with "I'm on E" as the B-side) though it never charted. In 1988, a remixed version of the track was issued as a single from the Blondie/Debbie Harry remix compilation Once More into the Bleach. This time the single reached number 50 in the UK.

Track listing[edit]

1978 Release
UK 7" and 12" (CHS 2204)
  1. "Denis" (Levenson) — 2:18
  2. "Contact in Red Square" (Destri) — 2:01
  3. "Kung-Fu Girls" (Destri, Harry, Valentine) — 2:33
US 7" (CHS 2220)
  1. "Denis" (Levenson) — 2:18
  2. "I'm on E" (Harry, Stein) — 2:13
1988 Release
UK 7" (CHS 3328)
  1. "Denis '88" — 5:26
  2. "Rapture" (The Teddy Riley Remix) — 7:02
UK 12" (CHS 12 3328)
  1. "Denis" (The Danny D Remix) — 5:26
  2. "Rapture" (The Teddy Riley Remix) — 7:02
  3. "Rapture" (The Teddy Riley Dub Version) — ?:??
UK CD (CHS CD 3328)
  1. "Denis '88" — 5:26
  2. "Rapture (The Teddy Riley Remix) — 7:02
  3. "Heart Of Glass" — 4:00
  4. "Atomic" — 3:32

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
"I Can't Stand the Rain" by Eruption
Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders number-one single
April 1, 1978 – April 22, 1978 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.
Belgian VRT Top 30 Flanders number-one single
April 1, 1978 – April 22, 1978 (4 weeks)
Preceded by
"If I Had Words" by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley
Single Top 100 number-one single
March 11, 1978 – April 15, 1978 (6 weeks)
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
March 18, 1978 – April 1, 1978 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees
Preceded by
"Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
April 12, 1978 (1 week)

Georgina Verbaan version[edit]

"Denis"
Single by Georgina
from the album Sugar Spider
B-side No More Lies
Recorded 2002
Genre Pop, dance
Label Jive
Writer(s) Neil Levenson
Georgina singles chronology
"This Christmas""
(2001)
"Denis"
(2002)

Dutch singer Georgina Verbaan released a cover version single of the song in 2002 that reached number 30 on the Dutch Singles Chart.

Tracklist
  1. "Denis"
  2. "No More Lies"
Charts
Chart (2002) Peak
position
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[22] 30
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[23] 30

References[edit]

  1. ^ Randy & the Rainbows: Denise at Discogs
  2. ^ Blondie: Denis (single) at Discogs (list of releases)
  3. ^ a b c "Randy & the Rainbows – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ Milestones, Billboard, February 2, 2008, p. 60.
  5. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Blondie – Denis – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  7. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie – Denis" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  8. ^ (Dutch) "Denis – BLONDIE". Top 30. Retrieved June 19, 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1" 
  9. ^ MusicSeek.info – UK, Eurochart, Billboard & Cashbox No.1 Hits at the Wayback Machine (archived June 14, 2006). MusicSeek.info. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  10. ^ (French) "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". InfoDisc. Select "Blondie" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Blondie – Denis". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Blondie - Denis search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Denis" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Blondie – Denis". Singles Top 60. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  16. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  17. ^ "Blondie" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  18. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Blondie – Denis". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  19. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1978". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  20. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 1978" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  21. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1978". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Georgina - Denis search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  23. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Georgina – Denis" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.

External links[edit]