Only You (And You Alone)
|"Only You (And You Alone)"|
Mercury hit version
|Single by The Platters|
|from the album The Platters (Original recording) & The Fabulous Platters (Re-recording)|
|B-side||"Bark, Battle and Ball"|
|Recorded||April 26, 1955|
The Platters' version
The Platters first recorded the song for Federal Records on May 20, 1954, but the recording was not released. In 1955, after moving to Mercury Records, the band re-recorded the song (on April 26) and it scored a major hit when it was released in May. In November that year, Federal Records released the original recording as a single (B-side - "You Made Me Cry") which sold poorly. Platters bass singer Herb Reed later recalled how the group hit upon its successful version: "We tried it so many times, and it was terrible. One time we were rehearsing in the car ... and the car jerked. Tony went 'O-oHHHH-nly you.' We laughed at first, but when he sang that song—that was the sign we had hit on something." According to Buck Ram, Tony Williams' voice "broke" in rehearsal, but they decided to keep this effect in the recording. This was the only Platters recording on which songwriter and manager Ram played the piano.
The song held strong in the number 1 position on the U.S. R & B charts for seven weeks, and hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It remained there for 30 weeks, beating out a rival cover version by The Hilltoppers. When the Platters track, "The Great Pretender" (which eventually surpassed the success of "Only You"), was released in the UK as Europe's first introduction to The Platters, "Only You" was included on the flipside. In the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock, The Platters participated with both songs, "Only You" and "The Great Pretender".
Ringo Starr version
Standard picture sleeve
|Single by Ringo Starr|
|from the album Goodnight Vienna|
|Released||11 November 1974 (US)|
15 November 1974 (UK)
|Format||Vinyl record 7"|
|Ringo Starr singles chronology|
|Goodnight Vienna track listing|
In 1974, Ringo Starr covered this song for his album Goodnight Vienna at the suggestion of John Lennon. This version was released as a single (b/w "Call Me") on 11 November in the US,[nb 1] and it became a number six hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one on the easy listening chart in early 1975. It was released in the UK on 15 November.[nb 2] Lennon plays acoustic guitar on the track, and recorded a guide vocal which was kept by producer Richard Perry. Harry Nilsson sings harmony vocals and appears with Starr in the amusing music video filmed on top of the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles. Lennon's vocal version appears on his Anthology box set, in 1998.
Other notable covers
- A version was recorded in 1956 by the Welsh-born singer Malcolm Vaughan. Also in 1956, an instrumental version by Franck Pourcel was released & sold over 3 million copies by 1959. Carl Perkins recorded the song in 1957, on his "Dance Album" record.
- The American vocal group Deep River Boys featuring Harry Douglas with Arne Bendiksen's orchestra recorded the song in Oslo on August 8, 1956. It was released on the 78 rpm record HMV AL 6033.
- A 1959 instrumental cover by French orchestrator Franck Pourcel hit the Billboard top ten.
- Roy Orbison recorded the song in 1969 for the 1970 album "The Big O" with "The Art Movement"
- Brenda Lee covered the song on her 1962 album Sincerely, Brenda Lee. This version made the top five in Flemish Belgium in late 1963 when released as a single in Belgium.
- Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers reached No.95 on the Billboard charts with his 1969 version.
- English singer Jeff Collins from Enfield recorded the song in 1972. It was popular in Europe, and rose to number 40 in the UK charts, charting for eight weeks.
- In 1973, the singer Stein Ingebrigtsen had a number one hit in Norway with a Norwegian version of the song, entitled "Bare du". The lyrics were written by the record producer Arve Sigvaldsen. A Swedish version of the song, "Bara du", also recorded by Ingebrigtsen, became popular in that country. IngebrigtsOen also recorded a German version entitled "So wie du" with lyrics written by Ralph-Maria Siegel.
- Country singers Norro Wilson, Freddie Hart, Reba McEntire, The Statler Brothers and Travis Tritt all released cover versions, in 1969, 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1995, respectively.
- The Hi-Marks, a popular '70s group in New Zealand, recorded a version on their first album Showtime Spectacular.
- The pop band Child released the song as a single in 1979, reaching number-33 in the UK Charts.
- John Alford recorded the song as a double-A side with "Blue Moon" in 1996, which reached number 9 in the UK charts.
- The Longevity Monk (played by Law Kar-ying)sings the parodied cantonese version in 1995 Hong Kong film, A Chinese Odyssey
- Japanese artist Shikao Suga covered this song on his 2001 single "Hachigatsu no Serenade".
- Stevie Holland covered this song on her 2006 album More Than Words Can Say.
- In the 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City, The Joker, voiced by Mark Hamill, ominously sings the entire song a cappella on a voicemail message sent to Batman, heard during the game's end credits sequence. The original song by the Platters, can also be heard in the sequel Batman: Arkham Knight at two points: first at the very beginning of the game within a diner, and second when Joker is going on a killing spree.
- In Far Cry 5, Antagonist Jacob Seed uses this same song as a mind control trigger to use the player as a sleeper assassin.
- Sam Milby also covered the song.
- List of number-one rhythm and blues hits (United States)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1975 (U.S.)
- For copyright reasons, Ram, who was registered with ASCAP, also added one of his pen names, Ande Rand.
- Buck Ram interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
- Goldberg, Marv (2008). "The Platters". Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- "Herb Reed (Obituary)". The Telegraph. June 6, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 463.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 183. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 230.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 182. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Peat, Charlie. "Former singer inspired to write more music after 40-year-old song proves a hit on YouTube". Hendon and Finchley Times. Retrieved August 14, 2014.