The Last Waltz (song)

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"The Last Waltz"
The Last Waltz - Engelbert Humperdinck.jpg
Single by Engelbert Humperdinck
B-side "That Promise"
Released September 1967
Recorded 1967
Genre Easy listening
Length 2:57
Label Decca Records (F 12655)[1]
Songwriter(s) Barry Mason and Les Reed[1]
Producer(s) Peter Sullivan[1]
Engelbert Humperdinck singles chronology
"There Goes My Everything"
(1967)
"The Last Waltz"
(1967)
"Am I That Easy to Forget"
(1968)
"There Goes My Everything"
(1967)
"The Last Waltz"
(1967)
"Am I That Easy to Forget"
(1968)

"The Last Waltz" is a British easy listening ballad written by Barry Mason and Les Reed.[1][2] It was one of Engelbert Humperdinck's biggest hits, spending five weeks at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, from September 1967 to October 1967, and has since sold over 1.17 million copies in the United Kingdom.[3][4] In Australia, "The Last Waltz" spent nine nonconsecutive weeks at number one.[5]

In the United States, "The Last Waltz" reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and made the top ten of the easy listening chart.

The song is associated with the English football clubs, Peterborough United F.C. and Gillingham F.C.[6][7]

Background[edit]

The title of the song is something of a double entendre as it refers to both the narrator's first and last dances with the woman he loves: the first dance was the "last waltz" played at the party where the two met, and the final dance signified the end of their relationship after their romance had cooled.

Versions[edit]

French-language versions, titled "La Dernière Valse", were released by Mireille Mathieu and Petula Clark in 1967. Mireille Mathieu's version spent three weeks at number one in the French pop charts, and also was a hit in Britain, reaching #26. Petula Clark's version entered the French charts in February 1968 and reached number two[8] but did not chart in the UK. It is also included on her album, The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener (1968). In 1968 Québec singer Stéphane released a French cover on his album Stéphane and in 1969 Ginette Reno also released a French version. Total sales of the different versions combined are over eight million copies.[9]

The Austrian singer Peter Alexander took the song as Der letzte Walzer in November 1967 to the top of the German charts. In his home country it only reached number ten.

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1967) Peak
position
Australia Go-Set [10] 1
Canada RPM Top Singles 33
German Singles Chart 14
New Zealand (Listener)[11] 1
UK Singles Chart[12] 1
US Billboard Hot 100 25
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 6
US Cash Box Top 100 [13] 21

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 7. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "International Songwriters Association (ISA) Songs And Songwriting • Sonnny Curtis". Songwriter.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  3. ^ "Official Singles Chart UK Top 100 - 12th April 2014 | The UK Charts | Top 40". Theofficialcharts.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  4. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Go-Set National Top 40, 27 December 1967
  6. ^ Kenrick, Matthew (5 January 2009). "Gillingham 1 Aston Villa 2 - Birmingham Post analysis". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  7. ^ "Gillingham". The Football Supporters' Federation. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "French Record Charts". Petula Clark.net. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  9. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs. Barrie & Jenkins. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  10. ^ Go-Set National Top 40, 27 December 1967
  11. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-01. 
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 210–11. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-29. Retrieved 2015-01-19. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"
by Scott McKenzie
UK Singles Chart number-one single
(Engelbert Humperdinck version)

6 September 1967 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Massachusetts"
by The Bee Gees