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"Angel of the Morning"
Single by Juice Newton
from the album Juice
B-side "Headin' for a Heartache"
Released 1981
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Country pop, Adult contemporary
Length 3:49
Label Capitol 4976
Writer(s) Chip Taylor
Producer Richard Landis
Juice Newton singles chronology
"You Fill My Life"
(1980)
"Angel of the Morning"
(1981)
"Queen of Hearts"
(1981)

"Angel of the Morning" is a popular song that has been recorded numerous times, and has been a charting hit single for several artists including Juice Newton, Merrilee Rush, P.P. Arnold, Olivia Newton-John, Dusty Springfield, Mary Mason, Melba Montgomery, and Billie Davis.

Contents

Original and charting versions

Written and composed by New York-born songwriter Chip Taylor, "Angel of the Morning" was originally offered to Connie Francis to sing, but she turned it down because she thought that it was too risqué for her career. The song was next offered to Evie Sands, who recorded it for Cameo-Parkway Records in 1967, but the record label went bankrupt, stranding the song in limbo. A representative from publishing company April-Blackwood then pitched the song to Memphis producer Chips Moman and singer Merrilee Rush. The song was subsequently recorded by Rush and The Turnabouts, and it became a #7 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1968.[1] Rush received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

In the United Kingdom, also in 1968, P.P. Arnold recorded "Angel of The Morning" and had the first hit with it in that country. Her version reached #29 on the UK Singles Chart,[2] while in 1977 Mary Mason also had a UK Top 30 hit with her version ("Angel of the Morning - Any Way That You Want Me"), which made #27.[3]

The following year, Melba Montgomery recorded this song, and she took it to #22 on the U.S. country charts in 1978. It was the last top 40 hit of Montgomery's career.

The highest-charting (and largest-selling) version in the United States was recorded and released in 1981 by country-rock singer Juice Newton, whose remake hit #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in April of that year and stayed atop the chart for three weeks.[4] Newton's version also peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100[5] as well as #22 on the Billboard country music chart. The recording also earned Newton a Grammy nomination in the same category as Rush's 1968 hit. More than 1 million units of Newton's single of the song were sold in the United States, and the single reached the Top Ten in a number of other countries, including Canada and Australia. In the UK, this recording reached #35 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the song's third appearance on that chart.[6] Newton recorded the song again in 1998 for her The Trouble with Angels album.

Reggae artist Shaggy released a single titled "Angel" in 2001 that was a reworked version of "Angel of the Morning" and featured new lyrics, turning it into an apology and homage to his lady love, instead of the original's tone of a one-night stand.

More recently, Swedish singer Jill Johnson released "Angel of the Morning", with lyrics in English, in 2007 from her cover album Music Row. This version peaked at #30 at the Swedish singles chart.

Non-charting cover versions

  • Billie Davis released her version in late 1967 (Decca F 12696).
  • In 1968 the American singer Joya Landis recorded a late rocksteady/early reggae version of this song in Jamaica for producer Arthur "Duke" Reid and his Treasure Isle label. The UK release (Trojan TR-622) had "Love Letters" by Phyllis Dillon and Alton Ellis as the B-side. It also appeared on the compilation album Soul Of Jamaica a.k.a. Come Rock With Me In Jamaica, and on the Trojan compilation album, Tighten Up, Volume 1 (both 1968).
  • Soul singer Bettye Swann covered the song in the late 1960s, shortly after the Merrillee Rush version was released.
  • In 1981, Norwegian singer Elisabeth Andreassen released "Angel of the Morning" on her album Angel of the Morning. With lyrics in Swedish by Mats Rådberg, the song was named "En enda morgon" ("One only morning"). A 1982 recording by the dansband, with Kikki Danielsson on lead vocals, was named "Nattens sista ängel" ("Last angel of the night"), and these lyrics were written by Roine Carlsson.
  • The short-lived British girl band Thunderbugs recorded an upbeat version of the song for their 1999 debut album, Delicious.
  • The Atlanta-based band Girlyman released a cover on its 2007 live album, Somewhere Different Now.

Film and television

The Merrilee Rush version of the song is featured in the soundtrack of the movie, Girl, Interrupted. The Rush version is also played during a scene in the 1978 film Fingers, where it is used to accentuate the conflicted nature of the main character played by Harvey Keitel. The song was performed live by Chrissie Hynde in a 1995 episode of Friends titled "The One with the Baby on the Bus", and that version also appears in that show's soundtrack album. The song also makes an appearance in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise's titular character singing what appears to be the original version, enthusiastically if badly. More recently, Conan O'Brien has referenced the track, during periodic ironic pledges to cease his show's use of arbitrary & stupid humor in which he presents a gorilla dressed as a nurse who uses an old-fashioned abdominal exerciser while enjoying the song. In "Branch Closing", an episode of The Office, Michael Scott sings "Levinson in the morning" to his supervisor, Jan Levinson.

Newton's version can be heard in the movie Charlie Wilson's War, in Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks)'s apartment in Washington D.C. with his mistress, just before they receive a call from Joanne Herring. Near the start of the film, it is also sung by Emily Blunt.

Versions

Versions include:

References

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 547.
  2. ^ Arnold UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  3. ^ Mason UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  4. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 250.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 454.
  6. ^ Newton UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2009.

External links

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