Thursday, February 19, 2009

20 "Love Is Blue" Covers - Happy POPP Birthday

40 years ago, Paul Mauriat's "Love is Blue" was a huge hit...the only time a French musician had a #1 on the Billboard chart.
The pop tune was composed by Andre Popp, born on this day February 19, in 1924.
The lyrics were of course originally in French, and as "L'amour est bleu," Greek singer Vicky Leandros represented Luxembourg and premiered it at the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest...and lost. The winning song that year was "Puppet On a String," the entry from Great Britain.
Popp's previous hit was an instrumental, "The Portuguese Washerwomen." He also had success with an ambitious classical novelty suite for kiddies, "The Adventures of Piccolo, Saxie and Co.," which was recorded by Victor Borge among others.
Sans les lyrics, Mauriat had the biggest success of his career with the puffy Popp ditty. By the time Otis Redding's "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay" shoved Mauriat off #1, the song was being translated into multiple languages and Al Martino grazed the Top 100 with it. No version with lyrics ever came close to Mauriat's numbers, but many versions turned up as album tracks for the era's pop singers, and it was a favorite number to belabor on 60's variety shows.
The song is probably best as an instrumental, since a vocalist needs great emotive skill to make the aborted journey through primary colors sound pithy: "Blue, blue, my world is, red, my eyes are red..."
Smurf's up! You've got 20 Blue meanies in your download, including Vicky Leandros' French and English versions, Sylvie Vartan, Al Martino, Marty Robbins, The Sandpipers, separate versions by Andy Williams and Claudine Longet, twangy stuff from The Ventures and Santo & Johnny, a moog turn from the Electronic Concept Orchestra, plus much more, more or less.


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