The REAL original version of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" - 1956

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Mister Moon
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The REAL original version of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" - 1956

Postby Mister Moon » Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:24 pm

"Without Love ( There Is Nothing)" was written by Danny Small, and first recorded by the great Clyde McPhatter on October 10, 1956. It was originally released as the main side of Atlantic single 1117 in November 1956, and it became a Top 10 R&R hit and a Top 20 Pop Hit.

The song was covered over the years by many artists, including other R&B greats such as Ray Charles, Little Richard and Irma Thomas, but it's probably mostly remembered for the versions Elvis and Tom Jones recorded in 1969. Elvis' version was buried as the closing track of side two of his 1969 "Back In Memphis" album (originally a part of a double album with "Elvis In Person"). Jones, however, had a big hit with the song when he had it released as a single that same year.

Great as some of those recordings are, none of them comes close to Clyde's original, for my money. It's a damn masterpiece, and the definitive recording of this song. McPhatter's stunning performance even manages to makes us forget the somewhat over-the-top arrangements of the record.

The original, of course, has been reissued many times, on McPhatter anthologies and Atlantic compilations of various artists, but to date I haven't found an album that contains the exact same recording that became a hit originally, the one that was released as a single, back in 1956, and probably the one that first inspired a young Presley, who would record it at the end of the next decade. For some strange reason, an alternate take has always been used.

Here's the REAL original versiom of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" :


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtB0LOJhbHQ


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Re: The REAL original version of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" - 1956

Postby Stevenson » Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:51 pm

BEAUTIFUL song and a beautiful performance. So fragile, heartbreaking and yet powerful. Elvis really had great taste in music (of course, love his version too). Thanks to the Elvis connection, I have "discovered" the Driters few years back. Clyde McPhatter was great singer, but Johnny Moore, with his soft, silk voice was the best, IMO.


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Re: The REAL original version of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" - 1956

Postby Mister Moon » Wed Dec 07, 2022 9:50 pm

Stevenson wrote:BEAUTIFUL song and a beautiful performance. So fragile, heartbreaking and yet powerful. Elvis really had great taste in music (of course, love his version too). Thanks to the Elvis connection, I have "discovered" the Driters few years back. Clyde McPhatter was great singer, but Johnny Moore, with his soft, silk voice was the best, IMO.


Thanks for the post. The Drifters were probably the best vocal group of that era, and that's saying a lot !

I agree that Johnny Moore was a great singer, as were the Thrasher brothers, Andrew and Gerhart. For my money, Clyde was the best, though. If you dig his work with The Drifters, you should really look (if you haven't already) for his earlier recordings as lead tenor with The Dominoes. There are many stunning performances to be enjoyed too !


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Re: The REAL original version of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" - 1956

Postby Stevenson » Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:29 am

Thanks for the info, I'll look them up. It's always great to find more of interesting music.
As Robert Schumann, German composer was supposed to say, "If you'd like to know ALL of the most important and most valuable pieces, you must have been living one hundred years longer".


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Re: The REAL original version of "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" - 1956

Postby John » Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:59 am

Stevenson wrote:Thanks for the info, I'll look them up. It's always great to find more of interesting music.
As Robert Schumann, German composer was supposed to say, "If you'd like to know ALL of the most important and most valuable pieces, you must have been living one hundred years longer".

and continue to live. Surely there will be other important and valuable pieces in the future. Won't there?


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