Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pop meets the Classics 3


"Plaisir d'amour" (literally "The pleasure of love") is a classical French love song written in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini (1741–1816); it took its text from a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794), which appears in his novel Célestine. 
The song was greatly successful in J.P.E. Martini's version. For example a young woman, Madame Julie Charles, sang it to the poet Alphonse de Lamartine during his cure at Aix-les-Bains in 1816, and poet was to recall it 30 years later. 
Hector Berlioz arranged it for orchestra in 1859. Louis van Waefelghem arranged the tune for viola d'amore or viola and piano in the 1880s. It has been arranged and performed in various pop music settings.
"Can't Help Falling in Love" is a pop song originally recorded by American singer Elvis Presley and published by Gladys Music, Elvis Presley's publishing company. It was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss. The melody is based on "Plaisir d'Amour" (1784), a popular romance by Jean Paul Egide Martini (1741–1816). It was featured in Elvis Presley's 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. During the following four decades, it went on to be covered by numerous artists, like the British reggae group UB40, whose 1993 version topped the U.S. and UK charts, and Swedish pop group A-Teens.


"’O sole mio" is a globally known Neapolitan song written in 1898. Its lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro and the melody was composed by Eduardo di Capua. There are other versions of "’O sole mio" but it is usually sung in the original Neapolitan language. ’O sole mio is the Neapolitan equivalent of standard Italian Il sole mio and translates literally as "my sunshine".
"It's Now or Never" is a popular song recorded by Elvis Presley and published by Gladys Music, Elvis Presley's publishing company, in 1960. The melody of the song is adapted from the Italian standard, "'O Sole Mio", but the inspiration for it came from the song, "There's No Tomorrow", recorded by U.S. singer, Tony Martin, in 1949. The lyrics were written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold.

In the late 1950s, while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, Presley heard Martin's recording. According to The New York Times, quoting from the 1986 book Behind The Hits, "he told the idea to his music publisher, Freddy Bienstock, who was visiting him in Germany...Mr. Bienstock, who many times found songwriters for Presley, returned to his New York office, where he found songwriters, Mr. [Aaron] Schroeder and Wally Gold, the only people in that day. The two wrote lyrics in half an hour. Selling more than 20 million records, the song became number one in countries all around and was Presley's best selling single ever...a song [they] finished in 20 minutes to a half hour was the biggest song of [their] career."


"Wooden Heart" ("Muss i denn" lit. Must I then) is a song best known for its use in the 1960 Elvis Presley film G.I. Blues. The song was a hit single for Presley in the United Kingdom, making No.1 for six weeks there in March & April 1961, but was not released on a single in the United States until November 1964, where it was the B-side to "Blue Christmas". Presley performed the song live during his Dinner Show concert at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas in 1975. The recording is available on the Elvis Presley live album, Dinner At Eight.
A cover version by Joe Dowell made it to number one in the US at the end of August 1961, knocking Bobby Lewis' "Tossin' and Turnin'" off the number-one spot of the Billboard Hot 100 after seven weeks. Dowell's version also spent three weeks at number one on the Easy Listening chart.
"Wooden Heart", created by Fred Wise, Ben Weisman, Kay Twomey and German bandleader Bert Kaempfert, was based on a German folk song by Friedrich Silcher, "Muss i' denn zum Städtele hinaus", originating from the Rems Valley in Württemberg, Southwest Germany. "Wooden Heart" features several lines from the original folk song, written in the German Swabian dialect, spoken in Württemberg. The Elvis Presley version was published by Gladys Music, Elvis Presley's publishing company. Bobby Vinton recorded his version in 1975 with those lines translated into Polish.

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