Sorrow (The McCoys song)

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"Sorrow"
Single by The Merseys
B-side "Some Other Day"
Released April 1966
Genre Pop rock
Length 2:12
Label Fontana 694
Writer(s) Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer
Producer(s) Kit Lambert
The Merseys singles chronology
"Sorrow"
(1966)
"So Sad About Us"
(1966)

"Sorrow" is a song first recorded by The McCoys in 1965. It became a big hit in the United Kingdom in a version by The Merseys, reaching number 4 on the UK chart on 28 April 1966.[1] A version by David Bowie was also a hit in 1973.

The song contains the lyric "with your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue", which reappears as a musical quote on The Beatles' track "It's All Too Much" from Yellow Submarine.

The Merseys version is more up-tempo than The McCoys folk-rock original. Propelled by Clem Cattini's drumming it features a powerful horn arrangement (most probably the work of John Paul Jones). The horns also take the solo which, on the McCoys version, is performed on harmonica. As the number and quality of subsequent covers demonstrate the Merseys' single was highly regarded among British musicians.

David Bowie version[edit]

"Sorrow"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Pin Ups
B-side "Amsterdam" (Brel, Shuman)
Released 28 September 1973
Format 7" single
Recorded Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, France, July 1973
Genre
Length 2:53
Label RCA
2424
Writer(s) Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer
Producer(s) Ken Scott, David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Life on Mars?"
(1973)
"Sorrow"
(1973)
"Rebel Rebel"
(1974)

David Bowie's remake of "Sorrow", recorded in July 1973 at Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, France, was the only single released in the UK from his Pin Ups covers album, reaching UK No. 3 and staying in the charts for 15 weeks.[2]

The B-side, “Amsterdam”, was a cover of a Jacques Brel song (originally called "Port of Amsterdam"), that had been performed live by Bowie since 1968. The song may have been recorded by Bowie in the summer 1973 sessions for Pin Ups[3] or in late 1971[4]for the album Ziggy Stardust. Never selected as an album track, it was used as the single B-side as it fitted with "Sorrow". In France, it was billed as the A-side of the single.

"Sorrow" was featured in the 2008 John Cusack film War, Inc.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sorrow" (Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer) – 2:53
  2. "Amsterdam" (Jacques Brel, Mort Shuman) – 2:39

The Spanish release of the single had "Lady Grinning Soul" as the B-side.

Production credits[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
Canadian Singles Chart 77
UK Singles Chart 3
Irish Singles Chart 2
German Singles Chart 39
Australian Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1

Other releases[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Merseys, "Sorrow" chart position Retrieved June 20, 2015
  2. ^ David Bowie, "Sorrow" chart position Retrieved June 20, 2015
  3. ^ Kevin Cann (2010). Any Day Now - David Bowie: The London Years: 1947-1974: p.311
  4. ^ Chris O'Leary (2015). Rebel Rebel: p.496

Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5

External links[edit]