|"Those Were the Days"|
A-side label of UK single
|Single by Mary Hopkin|
|B-side||"Turn! Turn! Turn!"|
|Mary Hopkin singles chronology|
|"Those Were The Days"|
|Single by Sandie Shaw|
|B-side||"Make It Go"|
|Sandie Shaw singles chronology|
"Those Were the Days" is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put a new English lyric to the Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu"("Дорогой длинною", literally "By the long road"), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.
Mary Hopkin's 1968 debut single of "Those Were the Days", which was produced by Paul McCartney of the Beatles, became a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart and on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts. The song also reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind "Hey Jude" by the Beatles. It was number one in the first edition of the foreign singles sales chart launched by the Centre d'Information et de Documentation du Disque.
Georgian singer Tamara Tsereteli (1900–1968) and Russian singer Alexander Vertinsky made what were probably the earliest recordings of the song, in 1925and in 1926 respectively.
The song appears in the 1953 British/French movie Innocents in Paris , in which it was sung with its original Russian lyrics by the Russian Tzigane chanteuse Ludmila Lopato. Mary Hopkin's 1968 recording of it with Gene Raskin's lyric was a chart-topping hit in much of the Northern Hemisphere. On most recordings of the song, Raskin is credited as the sole writer, even though he wrote only the later English lyrics (which are not an English translation of the Russian lyrics) and not the music.
In the early 1960s Raskin, with his wife Francesca, played folk music around Greenwich Village in New York, including White Horse Tavern. Raskin, who had grown up hearing the song, wrote with his wife,new English lyrics to the old Russian music and then copyrighted both music and lyrics in his own name. The Limeliters subsequently released a recording of the song on their 1962 LP Folk Matinee. The Raskins were international performers and had played London's "Blue Angel" every year, always closing their show with the song. Paul McCartney frequented the club and being quite taken with the song he attempted to get several singers or groups (including the early Moody Blues) to record it. Failing at that, after the formation of the Beatles' own Apple Records label, McCartney immediately recorded Mary Hopkin performing the song. He later said "I thought it was very catchy, it had something, it was a good treatment of nostalgia... (Hopkin) picked it up very easily, as if she'd known it for years." The song was eventually recorded in over twenty languages and by many different artists, including Gene and Francesca, and Raskin was able to live very well on the royalties, buying a home in Pollensa, Mallorca, a Porsche Spyder and a sail boat.
Hopkin's recording was produced by Paul McCartney with an arrangement by Richard Hewson and became a number-one hit on the UK Singles Chart. In the United States, Hopkin's recording reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 (held out of the top spot for three weeks by "Hey Jude" by The Beatles) and topped the Billboard Easy Listening charts for six weeks.In the Netherlands, it topped the charts for two consecutive weeks. The Russian origin of the melody was accentuated by an instrumentation that was unusual for a top-ten pop record, including balalaika, clarinet, hammered dulcimer or cimbalom, tenor banjo and children's chorus, giving a klezmer feel to the song. Mary Hopkin played acoustic guitar on the recording, and Paul McCartney also played acoustic guitar and possibly percussion. The cimbalom was played by Gilbert Webster. The player of the banjo is not recorded, although McCartney was known to occasionally play banjo.
McCartney also recorded Hopkin singing "Those Were The Days" in other languages for release in their respective countries:
The non-English sets of lyrics were also recorded by Dalida and Sandie Shaw, with Shaw recording the English lyrics as well.
The UK and United States recording's B-side was Pete Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!", which had been a United States number-one hit for The Byrds in 1965.
"Those Were the Days" was catalogue number APPLE 2 (the APPLE 1 number had been given to an unreleased version of "The Lady Is a Tramp" by Frank Sinatra, recorded specially in 1968, for Maureen Starkey's 22nd birthday, as a gift from Ringo Starr, under the name of "The Lady is a Champ"). It was the second single to be released on the Apple label, the first — "Hey Jude" by the Beatles —had retained the sequential catalogue numbers used by Parlophone (in the UK) and Capitol (in the US).
Hopkin's version was released on the back of her success on the television talent show Opportunity Knocks , and around the time of its release popular singer Sandie Shaw was also asked to record the song by her management, feeling that it should be done by a "real" singer. Shaw's version was released as a single, but did not match the success of Hopkin's version.
At the peak of the song's success, a New York company used the melody in a commercial for Rokeach gefilte fish, arguing that the tune was an old Russian folk-tune and thus in the public domain. (The commercial included the line "The perfect dish, Rokeach Gefilte Fish" where the English-language song would go "Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days.") Raskin successfully sued and won a settlement, since he had slightly altered the tune to fit his lyrics and had taken out the valid new copyright.[ citation needed ]
In the mid-1970s, after Hopkin's contract with Apple ended, "Those Were the Days" and "Goodbye" were re-recorded with producer Tony Visconti, whom she had married in 1971. These re-recorded versions can be found on music compilations.
On 25 October 2010, Apple Records released Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records , which included the original recordings of "Those Were the Days" and "Goodbye". The greatest hits compilation album contained songs by artists signed to the Beatles' Apple record label between 1968 and 1973, the first such multi-artist Apple compilation.
On Christmas 1969, the President of Equatorial Guinea, Francisco Macías Nguema, had 150 alleged coup plotters executed in the national stadium while the amplifier system played the Mary Hopkins' recording of "Those Were the Days".
The tune of "Those Were the Days" is used for the Republic of Ireland football chant "Come On You Boys in Green".
In 2011, Hopkin's version of the song was used by Nando's South Africa in a satirical advert featuring Robert Mugabe as the 'Last Dictator Standing'. The advert was axed quickly, due to controversy and condemnation from pro-Mugabe loyalists.
"Get Back" is a song recorded by the English rock band the Beatles and written by Paul McCartney, originally released as a single on 11 April 1969 and credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston". A different mix of the song later became the closing track of Let It Be (1970), which was the Beatles' last album released just after the group split. The single version was later issued on the compilation albums 1967–1970, 20 Greatest Hits, Past Masters, and 1.
"With a Little Help from My Friends" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and sung by drummer Ringo Starr, his lead vocal for the album. As the second track on the album, it segues from the applause of the title track.
"Hey Jude" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a non-album single in August 1968. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The single was the Beatles' first release on their Apple record label and one of the "First Four" singles by Apple's roster of artists, marking the label's public launch. "Hey Jude" was a number-one hit in many countries around the world and became the year's top-selling single in the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. Its nine-week run at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 tied the all-time record in 1968 for the longest run at the top of the US charts. It has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on music critics' lists of the greatest songs of all time.
Apple Records is a record label founded by the Beatles in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston. In practice, the roster had become dominated by the mid-1970s with releases of the former Beatles as solo artists. Allen Klein managed the label from 1969 to 1973, then it was managed by Neil Aspinall on behalf of the Beatles and their heirs. Aspinall retired in 2007 and was replaced by Jeff Jones.
Mary Hopkin, credited on some recordings as Mary Visconti, is a Welsh folk singer, best known for her 1968 UK number one single "Those Were the Days". She was one of the earliest signings to the Beatles' Apple label.
"The Long and Winding Road" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1970 album Let It Be. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. When issued as a single in May 1970, a month after the Beatles' break-up, it became the group's 20th and last number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
"Let It Be" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, released on 6 March 1970 as a single, and as the title track of their album Let It Be. It was written and sung by Paul McCartney, and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The single version of the song, produced by George Martin, features a softer guitar solo and the orchestral section mixed low, compared to the album version, produced by Phil Spector, featuring a more-aggressive guitar solo and the orchestral sections mixed higher.
Jealous Guy is a song by English rock musician John Lennon from his 1971 album Imagine. Lennon began writing the song in 1968, when, as "Child of Nature", it was among the many songs demoed by the Beatles before they recorded their self-titled double album. The lyrics were originally inspired by a lecture given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in early 1968, when the Beatles attended his spiritual retreat in Rishikesh, India. In its rewritten form, the song serves as a confessional in which Lennon addresses the feelings of inadequacy that resulted in his failings as a lover and husband.
"All Those Years Ago" is a song by English musician George Harrison, released in May 1981 as a single from his album Somewhere in England. Having previously recorded the music for the song, Harrison tailored the lyrics to serve as a personal tribute to his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon, following the latter's murder in 1980. Ringo Starr is featured on drums, and Paul McCartney, overdubbed backing vocals onto the basic track. The single spent three weeks at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. It also topped Canada's RPM singles chart and spent one week at number 1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary listings.
"Can't Buy Me Love" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released in March 1964 as the A-side of their sixth single. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The song was also included on the group's album A Hard Day's Night and was featured in a scene in Richard Lester's film of the same name. The single topped charts in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden. In the UK, it was the fourth highest selling single of the 1960s.
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 double album The Beatles. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. Following the album's release, the song was issued as a single in many countries, although not in Britain or America, and topped singles charts in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and West Germany. When belatedly issued as a single in the United States in 1976, it peaked at number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Birthday" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 double album The Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the opening track on the third side of the LP. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performed it for Starr's 70th birthday at Radio City Music Hall on 7 July 2010.
"Lady Madonna" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. In March 1968, it was released as a mono single, backed with "The Inner Light". The song was recorded on 3 and 6 February 1968 before the Beatles left for India, and its rhythm and blues-inspired style signalled a more conventional approach to writing and recording for the group following the psychedelic experimentation of the previous two years.
"Band on the Run" is a song by the British–American rock band Paul McCartney and Wings, released as the title track to their 1973 album Band on the Run. The song was released as a single in April 1974 in the US and in June 1974 in the UK, following the success of "Jet", and became an international chart success. The song topped the charts in the United States, also reaching number 3 in the United Kingdom. The single sold over one million copies in 1974 in America. It has since become one of the band's most famous songs.
"Bad to Me" is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney. In late interviews, John Lennon said that he wrote it for Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas while on holiday in Spain. However, in a 1964 interview he said that he and Paul McCartney wrote it in the back of a van, declaring McCartney a contributor. Bootlegs exist of Lennon's original demo of the song, which was recorded on 31 May 1963. An acoustic demo from the same era was released on iTunes in December 2013 on the album The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. It became one of the first occasions a Lennon–McCartney composition made the US Top 40 recorded by an artist other than the Beatles.
"Sour Milk Sea" is a song by English rock singer Jackie Lomax that was released as his debut single on the Beatles' Apple record label in August 1968. It was written by George Harrison during the Beatles' stay in Rishikesh, India, and given to Lomax to help launch Apple Records. The recording is a rarity among non-Beatles songs since it features three members of the band – Harrison, who also produced the track, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Performed in the hard rock style, the song also includes musical contributions from Eric Clapton and session pianist Nicky Hopkins, and was the first of many Harrison productions for artists signed to the Beatles' record label.
"Le temps des fleurs" is a song recorded by French singer Dalida for her twenty-first studio album of the same name. While the French lyrics were written by Eddy Marnay, the melody was taken from Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu", composed by Boris Fomin in 1924. Dalida covered the song after Mary Hopkin popularised the original with her English version one month earlier.
Eugene Raskin or Gene Raskin, was an American musician and playwright, author of the lyrics of the English version of the Russian song "Those Were the Days" and also of three books on architecture and adjunct professor at Columbia University (1936–1976).
"Goodbye" is a song written by Paul McCartney and performed by Mary Hopkin. It was released on 28 March 1969, and it reached No. 2 in the UK singles chart, prevented from reaching the top position by the Beatles' single "Get Back". In the US, released 7 April 1969, the song reached No. 13 on the singles chart. In the Netherlands and Ireland the single peaked at No. 1. McCartney's demo was officially released on the 2019 reissue of Abbey Road.
Postcard is the debut album by Mary Hopkin. It was produced by Paul McCartney and released by Apple Records in February 1969 in the UK and in March 1969 in the US. It reached number 3 in the UK and number 28 in the US. It also reached number 26 in Canada. The original US version differed from the UK version by including the hit single "Those Were the Days" instead of a cover of "Someone to Watch Over Me". The album included three songs written by the folk singer Donovan, one of which, "Lord of the Reedy River", was deemed to be one of the album highlights by AllMusic critic Richie Unterberger. Rolling Stone critic John Mendelsohn regarded Hopkin's voice as being well-suited to the Donovan songs, although he considered the songs themselves to be "ponderous and over-long". Unterberger felt that the only problem with the album was that it contained too many pre-rock standards, in accordance with McCartney's tastes, which were not as well suited to Hopkin as more simple folk songs. Mendelsohn praised McCartney’s production as much as Hopkin’s singing. The album was launched by Hopkin at the Post Office Tower, London, on 13 February 1969. McCartney attended.
The Hopkin single, a McCartney-produced traditional Russian folk song, knocked Apple 1 ("Hey Jude") off the U.K. top slot.
Mary Hopkin's debut single paired "Those Were The Days," a Lithuanian folk song adapted by American Gene Raskin