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Unchained Melody


(North / Zaret)



Unchained Melody was written by Hy Zaret and Alex North for the 1965 movie Unchained, starring Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch and Barbara Hale. Todd Duncan, the famous baritone in Porgy and Bess, sang it in the film. That same year, Les Baxter's instrumental version (Capitol 3055) reached number one and became a million-seller. Other hit versions in 1965 included those by Al Hibbler (Decca 29441), which reached #5 on the Top 100 and sold over a million copies; Roy Hamilton (Epic 9102) (#6); and June Valli (RCA 6708) (#29). Over the years, Unchained Melody has been recorded by numerous artists. The Righteous Brothers (Philles 129) peaked at #4 in 1965, and the Sweet Inspirations (Atlantic 2551), who later backed Elvis, reached #73 in 1968 with the tune.


In the 1970s, Elvis sang Unchained Melody in concert. His performance at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 24, 1977, was recorded by RCA. Elvis's only accompaniment was his own piano playing. RCA later overdubbed organ, bass, and percurssion to the instrumental track and released the song on the Moody Blue album. The 1978 single release was recorded at Rushmore Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 21, 1977. It reached #6 on Billboard's country chart, remaining on the chart for 11 weeks.



Oh, my love, my darling

I've hungered for your touch, a long lonely time
Time goes by, so slowly and time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love, I need your love
God, speed your love to me
Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Lonely rivers cry, wait for me, wait for me

Ill be coming home, wait for me
Oh m
y love, my darling

I've hungered for your touch, a long lonely time

I need your love, I need your love
God, speed your love, to me


Where it was released:

First released on Moody Blue 



- Unchained Melody / Softly as I Leave You (RCA PB-11212) March 1978. Standard release

- Unchained Melody / Softly as I Leave You (RCA JH-11212) March 1978. Disc jockey promotional release. Some of the promos had a star on the label of the Unchained Melody side.

- Are You Sincere / Unchained Melody (RCA GB-11988) May 1980. Gold standard series original reissue



- Moody Blue (1977)
Elvis Aron Presley (1980)

- The Great Performances (1990)

- From the Heart (1991)

- Always on My Mind (1995)

- Walk a Mile in My Shoes The Essential 70s Masters (1995)

- More Romantics (1997)

- Love Songs (1998)

- Elvis Aron Presley (1998)

 The 50 Greatest Love Songs (2001)

- Spring Tours 77 (2002) - FTD

- New Years Eve (2003) - FTD

- Love, Elvis (2005)

- Love, Elvis UK Edition (2005)

- Elvis Live (2006)

- Unchained Melody (2007) - FTD

- Showtime! Birmingham/Dallas '76 (2010) - FTD

Moody Blue (2013) - FTD


Bootleg Releases:

- Rockin' With Elvis New Year's Eve Pittsburgh, Pa. Dec. 31, 1976 (1977) - Spirit of America

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