Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)

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"Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)"
Song by Marvin Gaye
from the album That Stubborn Kinda Fellow
ReleasedDecember 1962 (1962-12)
GenreSoul
Songwriter(s)Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield

"Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" is a song written by Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, and first recorded by Gaye in 1962. It was the B-side to his 1969 hit "Too Busy Thinking 'Bout My Baby". Nearly two decades later, Paul Young's version of the song was a UK No. 1 single for three weeks in July 1983.[1]

Paul Young version[edit]

"Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)"
Single by Paul Young
from the album No Parlez
ReleasedFebruary 16, 1983 (1983-02-16)
Format7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, 7" shaped picture disc[2]
GenrePop, blue-eyed soul
Length4:52 (7" Version)[3]
5:18 (Album version)[4]
5:59 (Extended Club Mix)[5]
LabelCBS[3]
Songwriter(s)Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield
Producer(s)Laurie Latham[3]

The Paul Young version, from the album No Parlez, is stylistically notable for its use of fretless bass, played by Pino Palladino. Though a major UK hit that broke Young as a star, the song fared less well on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 70, but was later used in the 1986 film Ruthless People and its accompanying soundtrack album.

Production[edit]

According to Young, when he was making the album No Parlez, the label sent him a number of songs that he thought were too complex. He said: "I just want a simple three-chord trick with a melody." He remembered a B-side track by Marvin Gaye he heard when he was 14, found a recording, and decided to record the song. He slowed the song down, and added more melancholy to the vocal.[6]

Palladino was then recruited from the Jools Holland's band, Jools Holland and His Millionaires. The song was produced by Laurie Latham, who asked for an intro for the song, and Palladino quoted the bassoon melody at the opening of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring for the opening bass line. Palladino however thought that the bass line in the recording was too loud and out of tune.[7] The keyboard player Ian Kewley added a keyboard motif to the song, and it was then decided that the song should be released as a single.[6]

Reception[edit]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic journalist Dave Thompson wrote that Young's version of the song "left mouths hanging open in awe" and described it as "a beautifully impassioned take on what was, in all fairness, never one of Marvin Gaye's greatest performances."[8]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 37
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[10] 26
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 48
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 70

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) by Paul Young Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Paul Young - Wherever I Lay My Hat". Discogs. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Paul Young - Wherever I Lay My Hat (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "Paul Young - No Parlez (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Paul Young - Wherever I Lay My Hat / Sex (Extended Club Mix Versions) (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (18 September 2018). "Paul Young: how we made Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)". The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Pino palladino 's 'Wherever I lay my hat' bass line (HD) - YouTube". M.youtube.com. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  8. ^ Thompson, Dave (2011-07-16). "No Parlez - Paul Young : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4377." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  11. ^ "Musicline.de – Young,Paul Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Wherever I Lay My Hat". Irish Singles Chart.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz – Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat". Singles Top 100.
  16. ^ "Paul Young: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Paul Young Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Wherever I Lay My Hat in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.