No Milk Today
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|"No Milk Today"|
|Single by Herman's Hermits|
|from the album There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World|
|B-side||"My Reservation's Been Confirmed"|
|Released||30 September 1966 (UK)
January 1967 (US)
|Recorded||De Lane Lea Studios, London, 13 August 1966|
|Genre||Baroque pop, pop|
|Herman's Hermits singles chronology|
"No Milk Today" is a song that was written by Graham Gouldman and originally recorded by British pop band Herman's Hermits. It was first released as a single by the Mancunian group in the UK in October 1966 and, with the B-side "My Reservation's Been Confirmed", enjoyed chart success, peaking at No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart. Although not released as a single in the US ("Dandy" was released in its place with the same B-side), it was popular enough to become a moderate hit when it was released there as the B-side to "There's a Kind of Hush", reaching No. 35 in 1967 (the A-side reaching No. 4). It was also a major hit in many European countries.
Music and lyrics
The song, which is dominated by its downcast reflective verses in A-minor and neatly complemented by its interjecting upbeat chorus in A-major, was the second major song Gouldman wrote for Herman's Hermits (the previous being "Listen People", a US #3). The lyrics refer to the practice (common at the time) of milkmen delivering fresh milk to residential houses each morning; the love interest of the song's protagonist has just moved out, so the household needs less milk and the notice in front of his house instructing the milkman not to leave the usual bottle of milk today, while seeming mundane to passers-by ("how could they know just what this message means?") symbolizes the breakup to the singer himself ("the end of all my dreams"). Gouldman wrote this song initially for The Hollies, after he saw a "no milk today" notice outside a friend's house one day, and his father observed that this could have various reasons. In a recent interview, lead singer Peter Noone credited John Paul Jones' production of the song which included the ingenious introduction of chimes in the chorus and John McLaughlin on acoustic guitar.
The single is significant because it was the first track for which the band employed a string section.
Later the song was recorded by Gouldman himself as the sole single (released with "The Impossible Years") from his 1968 debut album The Graham Gouldman Thing and, in 2006, it was included on the compilation album Greatest Hits ... And More, released by Gouldman's own band 10cc.
The song was extensively used in a 2009 commercial campaign for the Norwegian milk company Tine. It was also used for a commercial of the Dutch milk company Coberco in the '90s.
No Milk Today has also been included in the official Sons of Anarchy soundtrack, covered by frequent soundtrack contributor The Forest Rangers, featuring folk singer Joshua James. The cover appeared in the first episode of season 3.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 251. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Listen People (song by Herman's Hermits) • Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Musicvf.com. 1966-02-19. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
- Ricci, Charlie. "Almost Hits: Herman's Hermits, "No Milk Today" (1967) | Something Else!". Somethingelsereviews.com. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
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