The other day while stuck in traffic, I was thumbing through my Itunes library for the songs that always perk me up…… while I’m stuck in traffic…… and I found the Beatles Twist and Shout.
I, like most of my generation, will always associate this song with the summer of 1986 and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Right Nora? That was my first introduction to the music of the Beatles. At the time, I had no idea that Twist and Shout had already been a hit?
It had…..in 1964.
Twist and Shout – The Beatles
The Beatles cover, of an Isley Brothers song, was released as a single in 1964 and reached No.2 on the American Billboard charts. (Coincidently, the Beatles also held the other top five positions with; Can’t Buy Me Love, She Loves You, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Please, Please Me. Something that had never happened before or since) The impossible-not-to-dance-to song hit the charts again in 1986 when John Hughes (a pretty big Beatles/John Lennon fan) wisely selected it for the parade scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off . It peaked at No. 23 that summer.
I started diggin’ around on the interwebs and apparently there were several songs just great enough to top the record charts twice.
Stand by Me – Ben E King
Ben E King’s single for Stand By Me was released in 1961 and peaked at number 4 on the US charts. The second chart topping, this time reaching number 9, was in direct correlation to the inclusion in the hit 1987 River Phoenix movie of the same name. (And also a Levi’s Jeans commercial at the same time) Not sure if the song still would have been as popular if the movie had the same title as the Stephen King short story it was based on; The Body.
Do You Love Me – The Contours
Do You Love Me was actually written by Barry Gordy. Yeah, the founder of Motown Records. It was the only hit for the Contours, reaching number 3 on the charts in 1962. It was no surprise that it charted again in 1987, reaching number 11 this time, after it was heavily featured in the Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey dance flick; Dirty Dancing.
Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
There were several acts that recorded Unchained Melody before the Righteous Brothers gave it a shot as the B-side to the Phil Spector produced single Hung on You in 1965. Of course it was this song that reached number 4 on the charts. Leave it to another Patrick Swayze movie, Ghost – this time with Demi Moore, to resurrect the hit and skyrocket it to number 13 in the summer of 1990.
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Freddy Mercury, the lead singer/song-writer for the rock band Queen, had said that Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t really about anything. Weather it was or wasn’t didn’t matter because in 1976 the almost-theatrical anthem reached number 9. Oddly enough, the song – and the charm-filled lip-sync that accompanies it, were added to the movie Wayne’s World in 1992 simply because of the short running time. Even if it was just a time-filler, the movie made the song an instant hit all over again. This time peaking at number 2.
Candle in the Wind – Elton John
Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics to Candle in the Wind and Elton John set them to music. The song, from the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, was a tribute to Marilyn Monroe who had died about 11 years earlier. The original release peaked at number 11 in 1973. Elton re-worked some of the lyrics as a tribute to the late Princess Diana and then performed it at her memorial service in 1997. This time, the song reached number 1…..and stayed there for 14 weeks.
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston’s powerful cover of a sweet Dolly Parton song spent an unbelievable 14 weeks at the number 1 spot on the charts. Probably because it was considered her signature hit, it was really no surprise that the song charted again after her tragic death. This time reaching number 3 in 2012 just about 20 years after the song first dropped.
These aren’t the only hits to have been hits twice. There’s also Aerosmith’s Dream On, The Monkey’s Daydream Believer, Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes and several, several more.
Since nostalgia never really goes out of style there are sure to be even more great songs resurrected in the future.
And a whole new generation will discover them.
Omigosh, Elton’s huge pink glasses frames are so back in style right now! I need them!
Loved this post! Movies really can give songs great exposure. Just this morning I was driving to work, listening to the soundtrack to Miss Congeniality. There’s a song on there by Southern Culture On The Skids (“Liquored Up And Lacquered Down”). Never knew them before but will seek out their music now – much like you did with The Beatles when you watched Ferris Bueller. Thanks for the day-brightening blog post!
I feel like we’re in for a new one soon….It’s been a few years. Although, some songs…like Don’t Stop Believing, Heart of Glass, and Smells Like Teen Spirit….never lose popularity. (And btw…my brother is huge Southern Culture On the Skids fan…he made me a mix CD years ago.)