Pretty Flamingo

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"Pretty Flamingo"
HMV POP 1523 picture sleeve
Single by Manfred Mann
B-side "You're Standing By"
Released 15 April 1966 (1966-04-15)
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1966 at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, London, England
Genre Rock
Length 2:31
Label His Master's Voice POP 1523[1]
Writer(s) Mark Barkan[1]
Producer(s) John Burgess[1]
Manfred Mann singles chronology
"If You Gotta Go, Go Now"
"Pretty Flamingo"
"You Gave Me Somebody to Love"

"Pretty Flamingo" is a song written by Mark Barkan, which became a hit in 1966 when Manfred Mann's recording of it was released as a single. The single reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 5 May 1966.[2][1] Manfred Mann's recording was a minor hit in the United States where it spent eight weeks on Billboard 's Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 29 during the week of August 6, 1966.[3] It was also successful in Ireland, and was number one there for four weeks, keeping the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" at number two.

Song profile[edit]

The speaker describes a woman—whom "all of the guys call [...] 'Flamingo', 'cause her hair glows like the sun and her eyes can light the sky"—for whom the singer has fallen, and his plans to win her affection.

The recording features future Cream bassist Jack Bruce, who briefly joined the band in 1965.[1] On their Top of the Pops appearance Paul Jones performed whilst standing on one leg.[citation needed]

The song has been covered by such notable artists as Baltimore R&B singer Tommy Vann (released in June 1966 -- however some sources claim it was recorded in 1964, which would predate Mann's version), Gene Pitney, Tommy Roe, The Everly Brothers, Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello with Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford and Nick Lowe, Rolf Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Elbow, Dave Gregory of XTC, Broken Dolls, The Queers, Les McCann, The Sandpipers, Billy Strange with The Challengers and Paul Weller. The original demo of the song was recorded by noted New York City vocalist Jimmy Radcliffe stylized for The Drifters, but songwriter Mark Barkan was dissatisfied with the overly produced results and had Radcliffe recut the song with a pared-down arrangement.

The song was sung by Danny Dyer as Mick Carter in the July 10th 2014 episode of EastEnders. Mick sings it to his partner Linda, who has a fascination with flamingos. It is later revealed that they consider Pretty Flamingo to be their song. It has been played several times on the show since.


Chart (1966) Peak
Canada RPM 100[4] 2
Germany (Media Control Charts)[5] 12
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 15
Norway (VG-lista)[7] 3
Sweden (Kvällstoppen)[8] 6
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 29


  1. ^ a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 100–1. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "Official Singles Chart UK Top 100". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  3. ^ "The Hot 100 : August 06, 1966 | Billboard Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  4. ^ "100" (PHP). RPM 5 (23). 1 August 1966. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Mann, Manfred > Pretty Flamingo –" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  6. ^ " – Manfred Mann – Pretty Flamingo" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  7. ^ "Topp 20 Single uke 22, 1966 – VG-lista. Offisielle hitlister fra og med 1958" (in Norwegian). VG-lista.
  8. ^ Hallberg, Eric (1993). Kvällstoppen i P3 (1st ed.). Sweden: Drift Musik. ISBN 91-630-2140-4. 
  9. ^ "Archive Chart: 1966-05-07" UK Singles Chart.
  10. ^ "Manfred Mann Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Manfred Mann.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"
by Dusty Springfield
UK number one single
5 May 1966
(3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Paint It, Black" by Rolling Stones