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Flashback Friday: American Classic “Unchained Melody”

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Featuring Shirtless Patrick Swayze, Sam Cooke, Elvis, and a Swede.

“Unchained Melody” is one of those songs where the cover became more famous than the original. It first appeared on the soundtrack of the 1955 film Unchained performed by Todd Duncan and was nominated for an Oscar that year. If you remember it first for that appearance, then kudos to you old timer because it was The Righteous Brothers that made the most memorable version in 1965. That version would go on to appear on the soundtrack for the 1990 movie Ghost creating an iconic scene where the ghost-to-be Patrick Swayze appears behind his still living girlfriend Demi Moore as she molds pottery. It was both sexy and sad and maybe ruined pottery class for you forever.

So while not technically a 90’s song, it did get a little air play revival in the beginning of the decade. My track record for bringing you covers of 90’s songs is still in tact.

Sam Cooke (1960)

In between Todd Duncan and The Righteous Brothers, both white, soul singer Sam Cooke recorded his own version of the song. It hadn’t evolved into the bleeding heart vocals that became standard yet, so that offers something a little different.

Elvis Presley (1977)

I don’t know what kind of week you’ve had, but maybe you need to see pudgy Elvis in gold chains belt out this tune with Coca Cola cups on his piano. ‘MERICA!

Lykke Li (2017)

Perhaps because I also strongly associate Lykke Li with David Lynch, this version feels much more melodramatic even though its a bit more subdued.

 

Let me know if you have a favorite in the comments!

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