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Elenore - The Turtles.jpg
Single by The Turtles
from the album The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands
B-side "Surfer Dan"
Released September 1968
Genre Sunshine pop
Length 2:31
Label White Whale
Songwriter(s) Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Al Nichol, Jim Pons, John Barbata
Producer(s) Chip Douglas
The Turtles singles chronology
"The Story of Rock and Roll"
"You Showed Me"

"The Story of Rock and Roll"
"You Showed Me"

"Elenore" is a 1968 song by the Turtles, originally included on The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands. Although written by Howard Kaylan, its writing was co-credited to all five members of the band: Kaylan, Mark Volman, Al Nichol, Jim Pons, and John Barbata. The song was written as a satire of their biggest pop hit "Happy Together."


By 1968, the Turtles had had a number of successful pop records on the White Whale label, including Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe," "Happy Together," and "She'd Rather Be with Me," both written by Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon. The band members wanted to diversify their musical output (in parallel with more innovative musical groups of the time) and to record their own material. However, their record company was reluctant to allow them to do so.[1]

As a demonstration of their musical versatility, the Turtles recorded the album ...the Battle of the Bands, which featured performances in a wide variety of different musical styles.[2] The band recorded "Elenore" as a parody of the type of happy-go-lucky pop songs they themselves had been performing, but with deliberately clichéd and slapdash lyrics such as: "Your looks intoxicate me / Even though your folks hate me / There's no one like you, Elenore, really"; and "Elenore, gee, I think you're swell / And you really do me well / You're my pride and joy, et cetera..."[3] Howard Kaylan later said:

Elenore was a parody of "Happy Together." It was never intended to be a straight-forward song. It was meant as an anti-love letter to White Whale [Records], who were constantly on our backs to bring them another "Happy Together." So I gave them a very skewed version. Not only with the chords changed, but with all these bizarre words. It was my feeling that they would listen to how strange and stupid the song was and leave us alone. But they didn't get the joke. They thought it sounded good. Truthfully, though, the production on "Elenore" WAS so damn good. Lyrically or not, the sound of the thing was so positive that it worked. It certainly surprised me.[4]

According to his autobiography Shell Shocked, Kaylan stated that the Turtles had agreed that any song written by one or more members would be credited to the entire group. Describing the song in liner notes to the 1974 compilation Happy Together Again Kaylan claimed to have written the song in just an hour after locking himself in a hotel room. [5] In his 2013 autobiography, the time of composition has become 30 minutes. [6]


The song was produced by Chip Douglas and released as a single (White Whale 276).

"Elenore" reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100[7] and also reached # 7 on the UK Singles Chart,[8] # 4 in Canada, # 8 in Australia, and # 1 in New Zealand.[9] It has since been featured on many anthologies and as part of the soundtrack of The Boat That Rocked.[10]

Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ John Bush. "The Turtles | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-01. 
  2. ^ "The Turtles "Present the Battle of the Bands"". RISING STORM. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "THE TURTLES". Shsu.edu. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Liner notes for The Turtles' anthology Solid Zinc
  5. ^ Liner notes for the Turtles' anthology Happy Together Again (Sire, 1974)
  6. ^ Google Books
  7. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 727. ISBN 0-89820-155-1. 
  8. ^ a b Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 802. ISBN 0-00-717931-6. 
  9. ^ a b "Song artist 525 - The Turtles". Tsort.info. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2009-03-30). "The Boat That Rocked [Movie Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-01. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2014-12-19. 
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Eleanor". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  14. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018. 
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-01. 
  16. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  18. ^ Adam Bregman. "Blow in the Wind". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2016.