It's My Party (song)
|"It's My Party"|
Original US single cover
|Single by Lesley Gore|
|from the album I'll Cry If I Want to|
|Recorded||March 30, 1963|
|Writer(s)||Walter Gold, John Gluck Jr., Herb Weiner|
|Lesley Gore singles chronology|
"It's My Party" is a song most notably sung by American singer Lesley Gore in 1963. The song hit #1 on the pop and rhythm and blues charts in the United States and peaked at #9 in the United Kingdom, becoming Gore's only major hit there. It was the first hit single for producer Quincy Jones.
The song lyrically portrays the discomfiture of a teenage girl at her birthday party when her boyfriend Johnny disappears only to surface in the company of Judy, another girl, who is "wearing his ring" to indicate she's replaced the birthday girl as his love interest.
The song's chorus, "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to... You would cry too if it happened to you," became a part of American pop cultural language as a phrase used to describe being utterly humiliated and miserable during an event that is supposed to be a happy occasion.
"It's My Party" is in the key of A major. The song's effectiveness is enhanced by several musical touches producer Quincy Jones incorporated, including Latin-sounding rhythms, double tracked vocals and effective horn parts. Allmusic critic Jason Ankeny wrote of the song "'It's My Party' remains one of the most vivid evocations of adolescent heartbreak ever waxed -- Quincy Jones produced the record, although you'd swear it was Aaron Spelling instead."
"It's My Party" was written in 1962 by John Gluck, Wally Gold and Herb Weiner who were staff writers employed at the Aaron Schroeder Music firm. The demo for the song was cut by Barbara Jean English, a girl group veteran (the Clickettes, the Fashions) who was then working as both a receptionist at the firm and with Jimmy Radcliffe, serving as its in-house demo singer. Radcliffe produced the demo and according to English "tried to persuade Musicor [the label owned by Aaron Schroeder] to release it as a record, or to take me into a master studio and redo it, but they weren't interested."
The first recording of the song was by Helen Shapiro for her Helen in Nashville album recorded in February 1963 with Shapiro's regular producer Norrie Paramor and also Al Kasha. Shapiro would recall: "Right from the first time we heard the song on the rough demo back in London, we thought we were going to sock them between the eyes with that one"; however Shapiro's version was not one of the cuts chosen as an advance single from the album and by the time of the album's release that October the "It's My Party" track was perceived as a cover of Lesley Gore's hit.
Lesley Gore recalls that "It's My Party" was among some two hundred demos producer Quincy Jones brought to review with her in the den of her family home in February 1963. On hearing "It's My Party" Gore told Jones: "That's not half bad. I like it. Good melody. Let's put it on the maybe pile." The song proved to be the only demo Gore and Jones found agreeable. With Jones producing and Claus Ogerman handling arranging and conducting duties, Gore recorded "It's My Party" at Bell Sound Studios in Manhattan on 30 March 1963.
In March 1963 Phil Spector heard the demo of "It's My Party" while visiting Aaron Schroeder's office. Wally Gold would recall: "He [Spector] said, 'Great, I love it. I’m gonna do it with the Crystals.' We [the song's writers] were really excited, because that would ensure that the record was #1!" Schroeder apparently only learned of the Lesley Gore recording of "It's My Party" when Quincy Jones invited him to hear the completed track, which Schroeder found formulaic; believing that Spector would be able to cut a much stronger version of the song with the Crystals and not wanting to lose Spector's goodwill, Schroeder attempted to convince Jones to suppress the track. Schroeder didn't mention Spector's version to Jones but Jones and Spector both happened to attend a concert with Charles Aznavour at Carnegie Hall on the evening of 30 March 1963 and when they met outside it came up in conversation that Spector had recorded a version of "It's My Party" with the Crystals.1 Jones skipped the concert instead spending that night—a Saturday—at Bell Sound Studios making a test pressing of the track comprising one hundred copies which over the next two days Jones mailed out to radio programmers in key markets across the US. Gore heard her record played on the radio for the first time that Friday; the official release of "It's My Party" came later in the month with the disc ascending to #1 nationally in four weeks. Jones was abroad at the time of "It's My Party"'s release; on his return he expressed dismay when Aaron Schroeder advised him that the rush release of "It's My Party" had precluded coining a more pleasant name for the singer than "Lesley Gore" to which Schroeder replied: "Didn't anybody tell you?...Quince, the record's number one. Do you really give a damn what her last name is?"
- 1As with "He's a Rebel", the Crystals' hit for which it was intended as the follow-up, "It's My Party" was actually recorded not by the Crystals but the Blossoms who cut the track at Gold Star Studios. Darlene Love says the Spector version was kinda slow with me and my sister Edna [Wright] singing together on lead. Much more R&B than Lesley Gore's version."
Music Video 
- In 1977 Carroll Baker had a number-one C&W hit in Canada with her version of "It's My Party".
- The song was covered by Bryan Ferry on his 1973 album These Foolish Things.
- A 1981 remake by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin was a UK number one hit single for four weeks and was also a major hit in Austria (#3), Germany (#3), the Netherlands (#20), New Zealand (#1), South Africa (#3) and Switzerland (#6). The track reached #72 in the US. This was the first version of the song to reach #1 in the UK.
- The song was covered by The Chipettes in 1983 for the Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "May the Best Chipmunk Win". A complete recording appeared on the 1984 album Songs from Our TV Shows.
- British synthpop band Sigue Sigue Sputnik "covered" the song in the early 1990s, renaming it to "It's My Planet".
- A Swedish language version, known as "Leva livet", with lyrics by Stig Anderson, has been recorded by artists such as Lill-Babs (1963), Magnus Uggla (1979) and Lotta Engberg (1997). The Lill-Babs version was at Svensktoppen for four weeks from October 6, 1963.-June 26, 1964, peaking at #5.
- Rapper Fabolous makes a reference to the song in his 2003 hit "This Is My Party" (from his 2003 album Street Dreams) by re-working the lyrics: "This is my party/So get fly if you want to/Get high if you want to cause I know you like to/Put your hands up as high as you want to/And if it feels good scream 'hey-hey-hey yo'".
- Richard Anthony recorded a French and italian version titled "C'est ma fête" "La mia festa.
- American pop-rock band Hot Chelle Rae used a similar line to the chorus of the song ("It's my party and I'll dance if I want to") in their 2011 single "Tonight Tonight"
- Singer Brandy recently posted a YouTube video of her rapping her remix of "It's My Party"
- An interpolation of the chorus of "It's My Party" was used by Robin Thicke and Polow Da Don for Robin Thicke's song "Sex Therapy".
- In 1993, the German project Future Beat made the first Eurodance cover of this song.
- The song was covered by Amy Winehouse and released as a single on November 2, 2010. It was Winehouse's last commercial release.
- In 2011, singer Colbie Caillat recorded a version of the song for an episode of the TV series The Playboy Club (where she portrayed Lesley herself) which was released on the iTunes Store at the same day.
- Robert "Bob" Daniels of Hammomton, NJ played trumpet on the song "It's My Party" as a studio trumpet player.
- Rapper/Singer Drake makes reference to the song, in his 2011 song "Take Care" (from his 2011 album Take Care) by re-working the lyrics: It's my birthday, I'll get high if I want to, can't deny that I want you, but I'll lie if I have to
- In 20120 Diamond Rings (Singer) makes a reference in his song "It's Not My Party"
- In 2012 Swedish music group Icona Pop sampled the chorus to the song, in their song "My Party."
The sequel: "Judy's Turn to Cry" 
Because of the pop cultural obsession with the song and its tragic nature, Gore recorded a sequel titled "Judy's Turn to Cry". In this song, the teenage girl narrator gets her revenge on Judy. In the lyrics the narrator explicitly finds "foolish" how much she cried when she saw Johnny and Judy together, and seems determined to start anew. But after she kisses another boy at another party, Johnny returns to her.
Though "Judy's Turn to Cry" was not quite as popular as "It's My Party", it did reach No. 5 on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1963.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 803.
- Ankeny, J. "It's My Party". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- McClary, S., Knapp, R., Baur, S. & Warwick, J.C. (2008). Musicological identities: essays in honor of Susan McClary. Ashgate. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7546-6302-7.
- Cha Cha Charming Magazine
- Bronson, F. (2003). The Billboard book of number 1 hits (5 ed.). Random House. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-8230-7677-2.
- Shannon, Bob. "Behind The Hits: Stories: It's My Party". Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- "CBN History". Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- Svensktoppen - 1963
- Svensktoppen - 1964
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