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-one 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 a white band called 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 (b/w "Call Me") for his album Goodnight Vienna at the suggestion of John Lennon. This version was released as a single 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. Ringo did the spoken recitation on the repeat of the first half of the song. Ringo's version was in a 2/44 compared to the Platters' version of the song. 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.
- 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.
- Japanese artist Shikao Suga covered this song on his 2001 single "Hachigatsu no Serenade".
- 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.
Use in media
The song plays on a radio accidentally left on all night by Clark Kent (Jeff East) in film Superman: The Movie. However, between the crackle of the radio and the sound created by the green crystal hidden in the Kents' barn, the song is barely discernible.
The song is also featured in the 1993 Mike Myers cult classic So I Married An Axe Murderer. Partly sung in French by Nancy Travis during the wedding ceremony scene.
This song was adapted into Cantonese and Mandarin in the Hong Kong movie A Chinese Odyssey. In the song, Longevity Monk tries to convince the character Joker, who he thinks is the Sun Wukong, to protect him on his travels and put on the Monkey King's golden crown. Instead, Joker beats Longevity Monk over the head with a rod.
This song also appears in the 2009 Japanese film Zero Focus.
Filipino actor/singer Sam Milby sang a rock-version of the song which served as the theme song for the Filipino-dubbed airing of the Korean drama series Only You and later served as the theme song to the Philippine adaptation of the series, starring Milby and airing on ABS-CBN in the Philippines and The Filipino Channel worldwide.
The Platters' version appears at the close of an episode in season 3 (2005) of "Cold Case".
During the credits for the 2011 videogame Batman: Arkham City, the Joker, voiced by Mark Hamill, can be heard singing the song. The original version by The Platters appears in the game's 2015 sequel Batman: Arkham Knight where its vinyl record is played when the Joker takes control of Batman's mind.
- 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.
- Video on YouTube