Saturday Single No. 177

(Altered significantly since original post.)

Not very enthusiastically, I was scanning the Billboard Hot 100 for March 22, 1975, looking for something from thirty years ago this week that would inspire me for today’s post. I was thinking about a game of “Jump,” offering up the Top 40 single that had moved the greatest number of places from the previous week’s list. For the list from March 22, 1975, that would have been Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom,” which had moved up twenty-four spots to No. 11. I shrugged; that’s never been one of my favorite Elton John tunes.

I’d already looked at the Hot 100 for this week in 1970, and a game of “Jump” there would have pointed out an amazing leap: As of March 21, 1970, the Beatles’ “Let It Be” stood at No. 6 after not having been listed in the Hot 100 or among the records in the “Bubbling Under” section the week before. That means that “Let It Be” went in one week from no higher than No. 121 to No. 6, an astounding leap of one hundred and fifteen spots. But “Let It Be,” as much as I loved it then and still like it today, isn’t all that interesting. (Well, there are the differences between the single produced by George Martin and the album track produced by Phil Spector, but I’ve alluded to those before, I think, and anyway, the thought of writing about the record this morning didn’t grab me.)

So I went back to the 1975 chart, looking for something. And at No. 22, I saw “Emotion” by Helen Reddy, in its seventh week in the Hot 100. I’d heard the song last evening. Not by Reddy, though. “Emotion” is the opening track of the new Patti Dahlstrom CD, which arrived in the mail yesterday.

The song has an interesting back-story, one that starts with a French singer-songwriter named Véronique Sanson. In 1972, she had a French-language hit record with a song titled “Amoureuse.” According to Wikipedia, Sanson’s single was released in an English version in the United States in 1973 by Elektra Records. and thus came to the attention of Artie Wayne, a producer and songwriter (and these days, an active blogger), who at the time was an executive with Elektra’s parent company, Warner Music Group, is also a long-time friend of Patti Dahlstrom.

In the liner notes to her CD, Emotion – The Music of Patti Dahlstrom – Patti says that Artie sent Sanson’s French album to her “for my consideration to write English lyrics. I was mesmerized by the music to ‘Amoreuse,’ but I don’t speak French and had no idea what the lyrics meant. I carried the melody in my head for weeks and then one day the first line – ‘Lonely women are the desperate kind’ – just fell out as my key turned in the lock, and the lyric to ‘Emotion’ wrote itself very quickly.”

“Emotion” was included on Patti’s second album, 1973’s The Way I Am, and was released as a single. A year later, Helen Reddy recorded “Emotion” for her Free and Easy album, and an edit of the track was released as a single in January 1975. The single peaked at No. 22, which was where I saw it when I looked at the Hot 100 from March 22, 1975. (Reddy’s version of “Emotion” did, however, spend a week at No. 1 on the Adult Contmporary chart.)

So here is “Amoureuse” by Véronique Sanson from 1972. (I should note that “Amoureuse” – with lyrics translated from Sanson’s French original by singer-songwriter Gary Osborne – was a No. 13 U.K. hit in 1973 for British singer Kiki Dee. Dee’s recording thus has the same melody as “Emotion.”)

And then,  here’s “Emotion” by Helen Reddy from 1975, your Saturday Single.

(My thanks to reader Yah Shure for clarification of points I’d managed to muddy.)

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One Response to “Saturday Single No. 177”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    Any “Amoureuse”/”Emotion” buzz is always a good thing, and the new Patti Dahlstrom CD is truly wonderful news. I was pawing through my “R” 45s two days ago, and had completely forgotten that Helen Reddy had covered “Emotion.” Hearing her rendition for the first time in eons was nice, but Patti’s will always be the “Emotion” champ in my book. If Helen’s cover sent some additional royalty dollars in Patti’s direction, it was a much-appreciated effort.

    Véronique’s French-language hit was not issued in the States. The version of Sanson’s “Amoureuse” released by Elektra in the U.S. in January, 1973 – on both the LP and the single (45822) – was in English. Although the U.S. Elektra 45’s label mentions only “V. Sanson” as the song’s author, the 1972 English-language version (“Version Originale Anglaise”) on Elektra (France) single #12135 credits “V. Sanson-G. Osborne/V. Sanson.”

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