Lucky Lips

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"Lucky Lips"
Single by Ruth Brown
B-side "My Heart Is Breaking Over You"
Released 1957
Format 7" single
Recorded September 25, 1956
New York City
Genre R&B, pop
Length 2:07
Label Atlantic 1125
Writer(s) Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Ruth Brown singles chronology
"I Still Love You"
(1957)
"Lucky Lips"
(1957)
"One More Time"
(1957)

Lucky Lips is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally recorded by Ruth Brown in 1957, and was successfully covered by Cliff Richard in 1963.

Ruth Brown and early cover versions[edit]

The song was first recorded by R&B singer Ruth Brown for Atlantic Records in New York in September 1956,[1] and was released as a single in early 1957. The song became only her second hit on the US pop chart – after "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" in 1953 – and reached no. 25 on the pop chart and no. 6 on the Billboard R&B chart.[2]

Ruth Brown's recording was covered by white singer Gale Storm, as the B-side of her single "On Treasure Island" on the Dot label. Storm's recording reached no. 77 on the Billboard pop chart.[3] The song was also covered by Dottie Evans on Bell Records.[4] In Britain, the song was recorded by Alma Cogan as the B-side of "Whatever Lola Wants", which reached no.26 on the UK singles chart, also in 1957.[5][6]

Cliff Richard version[edit]

"Lucky Lips"
Single by Cliff Richard and The Shadows
B-side "I Wonder"
Released May 1963 (UK)
Format 7" single
Recorded 8 March 1963, Abbey Road, London[7]
Genre Pop music
Length 2:41
Label Columbia (EMI)
Writer(s) Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Producer(s) Norrie Paramor
Cliff Richard and The Shadows singles chronology
"Summer Holiday"
(1962)
"Lucky Lips"
(1963)
"It's All in the Game"
(1963)
"Rote Lippen soll man küssen"
Single by Cliff Richard and The Shadows
B-side "Let's Make A Memory"
Released September 1963 (Germany)
Format 7" single
Recorded 11 August 1963, Abbey Road, London; Vocals dubbed onto original Lucky Lips backing track.[7]
Genre Pop music
Length 2:41
Label Columbia (EMI)
Writer(s) de:Hans Bradtke, Mike Stoller
Producer(s) Norrie Paramor
Cliff Richard and The Shadows singles chronology
"It's All in the Game" "Rote Lippen soll man küssen" "Don't Talk to Him"
(German chronology)[8]

In 1963 the song was recorded by Cliff Richard, whose version went to number 4 in the UK. It was more successful internationally, reaching number 1 in Belgium, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa and Sweden. His version with German lyrics reached number 1 in West Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Richard's German version, titled "Rote Lippen soll man küssen", with lyrics by Hans Bradtke, stayed at number 1 in West Germany for seven weeks and had sold half a million by the end of 1963.[9][10] The English version also charted in West Germany in its own right before the German version was released.

Chart Performance[edit]

Chart (1963) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 4
Australia (Kent Music Report)[12] 4
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[13] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 1
Denmark (Tracklisten)[15][16] 1
Finland (IFPI Finland)[17] 2
France (SNEP)[18] 7
Germany (Media Control)[19] 1
Hong Kong[20] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 1
Israel[20] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[23] 1
South Africa[24][25] 1
Spain (Promusicae)[26] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[27] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[28] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 62

Other cover versions[edit]

With lyrics in Swedish by Christer Jonasson as "Slit och släng", Siw Malmkvist scored a 9 week long Svensktoppen hit with the song from November 5, 1966 – January 14, 1967, peaking at #2. These lyrics reflects the society of Swedish in the 1950s and 1960s.[30]

In 1969, a Catalan version, "Llavis de mel" (Honey lips), was included in "Tots Som Pops", the first LP recorded by the Catalan group La Trinca. The lyrics were translated and adapted by the writer Jaume Picas (1921–1976).

In 2003, Florian Ast released a Bernese German version titled "Schöni Meitschi" (Beautiful Girls). The song reached #7 in Schweizer Hitparade.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Atlantic Records Discography, 1956. Retrieved 27 April 2014
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 54. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 683. ISBN 0-89820-155-1. 
  4. ^ Dottie Evans, "Lucky Lips", 45cat.com
  5. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 161. ISBN 0-00-717931-6. 
  6. ^ "Whatever Lola Wants" at 45cat.com. Retrieved 27 April 2014
  7. ^ a b Lewry, Peter; Goodall, Nigel (1991). Cliff Richard The Complete Recording Sessions 1958-1990. London: Blandford. pp. 52, 55. ISBN 0-7137-2242-8. 
  8. ^ "Cliff Richard international single releases - Germany". http://www.cliffrichardsongs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  9. ^ Ehnert, Günter (1999). HIT BILANZ Deutsche Chart Singles 1956-1980 (doc). Taurus Press. ISBN 3-922542-24-7. 
  10. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1 February 1964). Billboard, see article "Electrola gets imperial label in Germany". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 4. ISSN 00062510. 
  11. ^ "Cliff Richard" UK Singles Chart.
  12. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book 1940–1969 (doc). Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-44439-5. 
  13. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (18 January 1964). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 61. ISSN 00062510. 
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Lucky Lips" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Denmark singles chart - Lucky Lips". danskehitlister.dk. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  16. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (13 July 1963). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 30. ISSN 00062510. 
  17. ^ Lassila, Juha (1990). Mitä Suomi soittaa?: Hittilistat 1954-87 (in Finnish). Jyväskylän yliopisto. ISBN 95-168-0321-0. 
  18. ^ "France singles positions". Dominic DURAND / Infodisc. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  19. ^ "Germany singles chart at charts.de". Media Control. Charts.de. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  20. ^ a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (10 August 1963). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.;Israel chart courtesy Kol Israel Broadcasting. p. 34. ISSN 00062510. 
  21. ^ The Official Charts in Ireland began on October 4, 1962. Chart positions before that are taken from the Evening Herald Chart which was a Top Ten single chart published by the Irish daily newspaper Evening Herald between February 1959 and December 1962. "Ireland singles charts". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Lucky Lips" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Lucky Lips". VG-lista.
  24. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (27 July 1963). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. courtesy South African Record Manufacturers and Distributors Assn. p. 42. ISSN 00062510. 
  25. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (14 September 1963). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 24. ISSN 00062510. 
  26. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 1979). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  27. ^ Johansson, Carl-Owe (1980). Rock Around the Clock - Saturday Night Fever 1955-1978 (doc). Vara, Sweden: Dominique muzic-club. 
  28. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (29 February 1964). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 1–. ISSN 00062510. 
  29. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Cliff Richard | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  30. ^ "Smålandsposten". 25 June 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  31. ^ Schweizer Hitparade, http://www.hitparade.ch/showitem.asp?interpret=Florian+Ast&titel=Sch%F6ni+Meitschi&cat=s. Retrieved 5 August 2010.

External links[edit]