To Sir With Love (song)

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"To Sir With Love"
To Sir With Love - Lulu.jpg
US vinyl release (Epic Records)
Single by Lulu
from the album To Sir, with Love
B-side "It's Getting Harder All the Time" (The Mindbenders) (UK)
"The Boat That I Row" (US)
Released September 1967
Format 7" single
Genre Pop
Length 2:47
Label Epic
Songwriter(s) Don Black (lyrics)
Mark London (music)
Mike Leander (arranger)
Producer(s) Mickie Most
Lulu singles chronology
"Shout"
(1964)
"To Sir With Love"
(1967)
"Shout"
(1967)
"Shout"
(1964)
"To Sir With Love"
(1967)
"Shout"
(1967)

"To Sir With Love" is the theme from James Clavell's 1967 film To Sir, with Love. The song was written by Don Black and Mark London (husband of Lulu's longtime manager Marion Massey). Mickie Most produced the record, with Mike Leander arranging and conducting. In her recording, Lulu makes notable use of melisma.

"To Sir With Love" was initially recorded by Lulu (with The Mindbenders, who also acted in the film). It was released as a single in the United States in 1967 and in October reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for five weeks. The single ranked No. 1 in Billboard's year-end chart, though the Monkees' "I'm a Believer", which debuted in December 1966 and spent most of its chart life in 1967, was the overall bigger hit. ("I'm a Believer" was ranked number five on the same year-end chart of the same year.) It became a gold record.[1]

Canada's RPM Magazine put the song at No. 2 for the year 1967.[2] "To Sir with Love" has the distinction of being the only record by a British artist to reach No. 1 on the US charts while not charting in the UK, where it appeared only as a B-side to "Let's Pretend" (released in the UK on 23 June 1967), which reached No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart.

Charts[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

  • Australian singer Tina Arena released her version of the song as the first single from her 2007 album Songs of Love & Loss.
  • Herbie Mann's instrumental rendition charted concurrently with Lulu's run on the pop chart, reaching number 93 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[9]
  • Vicki Sue Robinson covered the song in 1984, resulting in a Top Ten hit in Australia.
  • New Zealand songstress Ngaire had covered the song in 1991, resulting in a NZ no. 1 hit.

References[edit]

Preceded by
"The Letter" by Box Tops
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
(Lulu version)

October 21, 1967 - November 18, 1967 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Incense and Peppermints" by Strawberry Alarm Clock