Save Your Kisses for Me

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"Save Your Kisses for Me"
Single by Brotherhood of Man
from the album Love and Kisses
B-side "Let's Love Together"
Released 5 March 1976
Genre Pop, MOR
Length 3:06
Label Pye
Writer(s) Tony Hiller
Lee Sheriden
Martin Lee
Producer(s) Tony Hiller
Certification Platinum
Brotherhood of Man singles chronology
"Kiss Me, Kiss Your Baby"
(1975)
"Save Your Kisses for Me"
(1976)
"My Sweet Rosalie"
(1976)
United Kingdom "Save Your Kisses for Me"
Eurovision Song Contest 1976 entry
Country United Kingdom
Artist(s) Martin Lee
Nicky Stevens
Sandra Stevens
Lee Sheriden
As Brotherhood of Man
Language English
Composer(s) Tony Hiller,
Lee Sheriden,
Martin Lee
Lyricist(s) Tony Hiller,
Lee Sheriden,
Martin Lee
Conductor Alyn Ainsworth
Finals performance
Final result 1st
Final points 164
Appearance chronology
◄ "Let Me Be the One" (1975)   
"Rock Bottom" (1977) ►
Performance at Eurovision 1976

"Save Your Kisses for Me" was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1976, performed for the United Kingdom by Brotherhood of Man in The Hague, Netherlands. The lyrics and music were written by Tony Hiller, Lee Sheriden, and Martin Lee, the latter two being members of the band. The song became a worldwide hit, reaching No.1 in many countries, including the UK, where it became the biggest-selling song of the year. Overall, it remains one of the biggest-selling Eurovision winners ever, and the biggest such seller in the UK.[1][2]

Overview[edit]

Song origins[edit]

"Save Your Kisses for Me" was originally written by member Lee Sheriden in August 1974. On bringing the song in to the next songwriting session, others thought that the title was clumsy and reworked it into "Oceans of Love". Sheriden was unhappy with the changes and the song was shelved. A year later when it came to coming up with songs for the next album, they discovered that they needed one more song and Sheriden again put forth "Save Your Kisses for Me".[3] This time it was accepted, as he later recalled:

"I'd had a year to think about it, I knew exactly what I wanted to do on the arrangement, the glockenspiel on the beginning and the big 12-string acoustic guitar and the strings, and then came the day to record the song...It was about midnight and I sang it and it went well. I could see everyone behind the glass panel getting excited and I thought great, they all really like the song, and as I finished I was waiting for them to press the button so they could speak to me and say 'great, we've got a hit' or whatever, and the person pressing it said: 'Lee, we think Martin should sing this song'. But I didn't mind because Martin came in and sung it to perfection."[3]

Soon after, manager Tony Hiller was keen for the group to try for Eurovision, now that the qualifying rounds had changed in the UK. Up till now, a singer was nominated to perform, but for 1976 it was opened up to different singers to enter their own songs. Brotherhood of Man put forward "Save Your Kisses for Me" and it was accepted as one of the 12 finalists. It won A Song for Europe on 25 February 1976, beating second-placed Co-Co by just two points.[4] The song was released as a single and reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, two weeks before the Eurovision final were held on 3 April.

Eurovision victory[edit]

The performance consisted of the two male singers wearing black and white suits, and the two females wearing white and red jumpsuits with matching berets, standing still and singing with minor arm and leg choreography. The bouncy jingle described the gently conflicted emotions of a young man leaving an adored loved-one in the morning as he leaves for work. The song's final line provided the twist: that he was leaving a three year old behind, ending with "Won't you save them for me...even though you're only three?".

It was awarded the maximum twelve points by seven countries, totalling 164 points compared to the second-placed French entry with 147 points. According to John Kennedy O'Connor's The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, the song is the biggest selling single for a winning entry in the history of the contest. It also still holds the record for the highest relative score under the voting system introduced in 1975 (which has been used in every contest since), with an average of 9.65 points per jury [5] After winning the contest, the song reached No.1 in many countries across Europe and eventually sold more than six million copies.[5] In the UK, it stayed at No. 1 for six weeks and was certified platinum by the BPI in May 1976, becoming the biggest selling single of the year.[6][7] In the United States, the song was a moderate pop hit (No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100) but went all the way to No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart.

Post Eurovision[edit]

At the same time as the single was at No.1, the group released their latest album; Love and Kisses, which featured "Save Your Kisses for Me". The group followed this up with the similarly themed "My Sweet Rosalie", which was also a hit around Europe. The group continued to score hits in the UK, with two more chart toppers in the next two years; however, this was not the case in the United States, where "Save Your Kisses for Me" was the group's final chart entry.

"Save Your Kisses for Me" was succeeded at Eurovision in 1977 by Marie Myriam singing "L'oiseau et l'enfant" for France. In a reversal of the 1976 result, the UK were runners-up.

Among many cover versions, country singer Margo Smith had a number ten hit on the Country charts in 1976, while Bobby Vinton had a Billboard top 100 hit in the same year with his version.[8] Brotherhood of Man themselves have re-recorded the song twice as well as releasing a Spanish version ("Tus Besos Son Para Mi") as a single in 1991.[9]

The song was chosen in an internet poll conducted by the European Broadcasting Union in 2005 as one of the fourteen most popular songs in the history of the Eurovision, and was one of the entrants in the Congratulations fiftieth anniversary concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, held in October 2005. It was re-enacted by the group (who are still together) along with twelve dancers dressed in matching red, white, and black costumes with briefcases and a live orchestra as the original footage was shown in the background. It came fifth in the final voting.

"Save Your Kisses for Me" is still one of the best-selling singles of all time in the UK, with sales of over a million copies.[2][10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Save Your Kisses for Me" (Tony Hiller / Lee Sheriden / Martin Lee) 3:06
  2. "Let's Love Together" (Hiller / Sheriden / Lee / Sandra Stevens) 2:57

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Phillpot, Clive; Tarsia, Andrea; Archer, Michael; Brooks, Rosetta (2000). Live in Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain, 1965–75. Whitechapel Art Gallery. 
  2. ^ a b Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Lee Sheriden recalls the song's origins on stage, 23 March 2007, Becon Theatre, Beaconsfield
  4. ^ Songs4europe. "A Song for Europe, 1976". Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  5. ^ a b O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  6. ^ BPI. "Statistics - Certified awards - Brotherhood of Man". Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  7. ^ a b Everyhit. "Top-selling singles of the 1970s - 1976". Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Tsort. ""Save Your Kisses for Me" Bobby Vinton version". Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  9. ^ Explow. "Brotherhood of Man images". Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  10. ^ UK Charts. "Best selling UK singles". Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  11. ^ Dutch Brotherhood of Man site. "Charts - Belgian chart position". Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  12. ^ Infodisc. "French chart position". Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  13. ^ Dutch Brotherhood of Man site. "Charts - German chart position". Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  14. ^ Irishcharts.ie. "Irish chart details". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  15. ^ Hit Parade Italia. "Italian chart position". Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  16. ^ Radio 538, Netherlands. "Dutch chart details". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  17. ^ Charts.org. "New Zealand chart details". Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Norweigiancharts. "Norway Chart position". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  19. ^ Rock.co.za. "South African chart position". Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Swedish Charts
  22. ^ Chartstats. "UK Chart details". Archived from the original on 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  23. ^ Infinity charts. "Austrian year-end chart". Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  24. ^ Infodisc. "French top 1000 singles". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Austriancharts. "German year-end chart". Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  26. ^ Swiss charts.com. "Swiss year-end chart". Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
Preceded by
"Ding-A-Dong" by Teach-In
Eurovision Song Contest winners
1976
Succeeded by
"L'oiseau et l'enfant" by Marie Myriam
Preceded by
"Let Me Be the One" by The Shadows
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
1976
Succeeded by
"Rock Bottom" by Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran
Preceded by
"I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)"
by Tina Charles
UK Singles Chart number one single
27 March 1976
(for six weeks)
Succeeded by
"Fernando"
by ABBA