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Black Velvet (song): Wikis


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"Black Velvet"
Single by Alannah Myles
from the album Alannah Myles
B-side "If You Want To"
Released February 16, 1989
February 26, 1990 (UK)
Format CD maxi
7" single
12" maxi
Recorded October 1988
Genre Blues-rock
Length 4:49
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) David Tyson
Christopher Ward
Producer David Tyson
Alannah Myles singles chronology
"Love Is"
"Black Velvet"
"Still Got This Thing"

"Black Velvet" is a rock song written by Canadian musicians David Tyson and Christopher Ward, and recorded by Canadian singer Alannah Myles in 1989. It became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1990 and reached number one on the Album Rock Tracks chart, as well as number one in Canada and number two in the UK Singles Chart. In 1990, country music artist Robin Lee reached number 12 on the U.S. country singles charts with a cover version.



Lyrics and music

The song is about Elvis Presley. The words "black velvet" can refer to either his likeness frequently being painted on black velvet or his voice. Also, Black Velvet (full name "Sullivan's Black Velvet Hair Dye") is what Elvis used to give his naturally brown hair its distinctive black sheen. Black velvet is described as a "new religion that'll bring y'all to your knees" (changed to "bring you to your knees" in the Robin Lee version). The chorus tells of "Black velvet in that little boy's smile/Black velvet with that slow, Southern style" and the end of the first verse claims that "The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything/Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for [black velvet]".[citation needed]

While the first verse discusses the beginning of Elvis' life - "Mama's dancing with baby on her shoulder" - the second talks about the height of his career - "Mama's baby is in the heart of every schoolgirl; Love Me Tender leaves 'em crying in the aisles". The final verse references his death - "In a flash he was gone, it happened so soon, what could you do?"[citation needed]

The song appears on the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore.

Track listings

CD maxi
  1. "Black Velvet" — 4:40
  2. "If You Want to" — 4:11
  3. "Who Loves You" — 3:36
7" single
  1. "Black Velvet" — 4:02
  2. "If You Want to" — 4:11
12" maxi
  1. "Black Velvet" — 4:40
  2. "If You Want to" — 4:11
  3. "Who Loves You" — 3:36


Country Certification Date Sales certified
Austria[1] Gold July 3, 1990 15,000
Germany[2] Gold 1990 150,000
Sweden[3] Platinum October 1, 1990 20,000
U.S.[4] Gold March 20, 1990 500,000
United Kingdom Silver April 1, 1990 200,000


Chart (1989/90) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[5] 3
Austrian Singles Chart[5] 2
French SNEP Singles Chart[5] 24
German Singles Chart[5] 2
Irish Singles Chart[6] 4
Norwegian Singles Chart[5] 1
Swedish Singles Chart[5] 1
Swiss Singles Chart[5] 1
UK Singles Chart[7] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[8] 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[8] 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[8] 7
End of year chart (1990) Position
Australian Singles Chart[9] 13
Austrian Singles Chart[10] 6
Swiss Singles Chart[11] 10
Preceded by
"Escapade" by Janet Jackson
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 24, 1990 – March 31, 1990 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Love Will Lead You Back" by Taylor Dayne
Preceded by
"Vogue" by Madonna
Norwegian VG-Lista number one single
20 - 27/1990 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Om" by Niklas Strömstedt
Swedish number one single
May 23, 1990 – June 6, 1990 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette
Preceded by
"The Power" by Snap!
Swiss number one single
June 3, 1990 – June 24, 1990 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Un'estate italiana"
by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini

Robin Lee 1990 cover

"Black Velvet"
Single by Robin Lee
from the album Black Velvet
Released 1990
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 4:43 (album version)
Label Atlantic
Producer Nelson Larkin[12]
Robin Lee singles chronology
"Before You Cheat on Me Once"
"Black Velvet"
"How About Goodbye"

Country music artist Robin Lee, also signed to Atlantic at the time, covered "Black Velvet" in 1990 on her third studio album, also titled Black Velvet. Lee's version peaked at #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart. Her rendition, which changes the line "bring y'all to your knees" to "bring you to your knees", is also her highest chart peak.

Chart (1989-1990) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 12
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 21


  1. ^ Austrian certifications (Retrieved July 19, 2008)
  2. ^ German certifications (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  3. ^ Swedish certifications (Retrieved September 11, 2008)
  4. ^ U.S. certifications (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Black Velvet", by Alannah Myles, in various Singles Charts (Retrieved April 6, 2008)
  6. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  7. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  8. ^ a b c Billboard (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  9. ^ 1990 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  10. ^ 1990 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  11. ^ 1990 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  12. ^ (1990) Album notes for Black Velvet by Robin Lee [CD liner notes]. Atlantic Records (82085-2).


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