Angel of the Morning

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"Angel of the Morning"
Single by Juice Newton
from the album Juice
B-side"Headin' for a Heartache"
ReleasedFebruary 1981
Format7" (45 rpm)
GenreRock
Length3:49
3:57 (7")
LabelCapitol 4976
Writer(s)Chip Taylor
Producer(s)Richard Landis
Juice Newton singles chronology
"You Fill My Life"
(1980)
"Angel of the Morning"
(1981)
"Queen of Hearts"
(1981)
 
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"Angel of the Morning"
Single by Juice Newton
from the album Juice
B-side"Headin' for a Heartache"
ReleasedFebruary 1981
Format7" (45 rpm)
GenreRock
Length3:49
3:57 (7")
LabelCapitol 4976
Writer(s)Chip Taylor
Producer(s)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 written by Chip Taylor that has been recorded numerous times and has been a hit single for various artists including Merrilee Rush, Juice Newton, Nina Simone, P.P. Arnold, Olivia Newton-John, The Pretenders/Chrissie Hynde, Dusty Springfield, Mary Mason, Melba Montgomery, and Billie Davis.

Original and charting versions[edit]

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.[citation needed] The song's narrator describes the breakup of a presumably illicit love affair: "If morning's echo says we've sinned, well, it was what I wanted now."

Taylor produced a recording of the song with Evie Sands but the financial straits of Cameo-Parkway Records, who had Sands on their roster, reportedly prevented either that version's release or its distribution. Other early recordings of "Angel of the Morning" were made in 1967 by Danny Michaels for Lee Hazelwood's LHI label and by UK vocalist Billie Davis.

"Angel of the Morning" finally became a hit in the spring and summer of 1968 via a recording by Merrilee Rush made that January at American Sound Studios in Memphis with Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill producing. Rush had come to Memphis through the group she fronted: the Turnabouts, being the opening act for a Paul Revere and the Raiders tour; while in Memphis the Raiders recorded the album Going to Memphis at American Sound Studios, an association which led to Rush's discovery by Tommy Cogbill who'd been hoping to find the right voice for the song "Angel of the Morning" - he'd kept a tape of the demo of that song constantly in his pocket for several months. Rush recorded "Angel of the Morning" and the tracks which would comprise her Angel of the Morning album with the American Sound houseband although the single and the album would be credited to the group Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts.[1] The "Angel of the Morning" single was released in February 1968 to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 that June peaking at No. 7. A No. 1 hit in Canada,[2] Australia and New Zealand, "Angel of the Morning" also afforded Rush a hit in the Netherlands (No. 4). "Angel of the Morning" earned Rush a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Rush would cut a new version of the song for her 1977 eponymous album release. Rush's version of "Angel of the Morning" would be featured on the soundtrack of the 1999 film Girl, Interrupted - whose time frame is 1967-68 - in which composer Chip Taylor's niece Angelina Jolie had a starring role.

In the United Kingdom where the Merrilee Rush version had failed to reach the Top 50 stalling at No. 55, "Angel of the Morning" reached No. 29 in August 1968 via a rendition by P.P. Arnold[3] who had sung background on the 1967 Billie Davis version; Arnold's version was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. In 1977 Mary Mason also had a UK Top 30 hit with her version (in fact a medley of two Chip Taylor songs: "Angel of the Morning - Any Way That You Want Me"), which reached No. 27.[4] British act Guys 'n' Dolls had a hit in the Netherlands in 1977 with "Angel of the Morning", their version reaching No. 11 on the Dutch chart.

The most successful C&W version of the song - tying with the Juice Newton version discussed in the paragraph below - is the 1978 release by Melba Montgomery which reached No. 22 on the Billboard C&W chart. Previously "Angel of the Morning" had appeared on the Billboard C&W chart via a rendition by Connie Eaton (No. 34, 1970).

The highest-charting and best-selling version in the United States was recorded and released in 1981 by country-rock singer Juice Newton for her album Juice, released on Capitol Records. Newton remade the song at the suggestion of Steve Meyer who promoted Capitol Records product to radio stations and felt "Angel of the Morning" would be a strong candidate to attain airplay for Newton.[5] Newton's version reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 22 on the Billboard country music chart, and spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in April of that year.[6][7] 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 10 in a number of other countries, including Canada and Australia. In the UK, this recording reached No. 43 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the song's third appearance on that chart without becoming a truly major hit.[8] Newton recorded the song again in 1998 for her The Trouble with Angels album.

The Shaggy song "Angel" heavily samples "Angel of the Morning", using the melody with different words for the sung refrain.

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 No. 30 at the Swedish singles chart.

Versions by Chip Taylor[edit]

Non-charting cover versions[edit]

Translated versions[edit]

A number of non-English versions of "Angel of the Morning" have been recorded including the following:

Film and television[edit]

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.

Juice Newton's version can be heard during Drew Barrymore's first scene in the film Charlie's Angels.

Juice Newton's version can be heard in the film Charlie Wilson's War. Near the start of the film, it is also sung by Emily Blunt.

The Toyota Highlander "Kid Cave" commercial, aired from late 2010, features a young boy who is embarrassed by his parents' singing of the song while he is riding with them in a car.[12]

The song features in an episode of ABC's sitcom Modern Family, "Regrets Only" (Series 2, Ep 16), when Gloria, portrayed by Sofia Vergara, is singing along to it on a karaoke machine.

Juice Newton's version is featured in Season 1 of HBO's True Detective.

Versions (English language-chronology)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Roben (2010). Memphis Boys: the story of American Studios (1st ed.). Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 126–130. ISBN 1-60473-401-9. 
  2. ^ Library and Archives Canada. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.7882&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=53kmmp6mr7vtv6gvsp156c0824
  3. ^ Arnold UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2009
  4. ^ Mason UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  5. ^ Lewiston Daily Sun April 15, 1981 p. 4
  6. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 250.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 454.
  8. ^ Newton UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  9. ^ Hit Man - Chip Taylor. Amazon.com.
  10. ^ KGSR BROADCASTS CDS - Volume 7. KGSR.com.
  11. ^ Angel of the Morning - Chip Taylor, Carrie Rodriguez Amazon.com.
  12. ^ Beth Harpaz. What Embarrasses a Teen? A Parent's Mere Existence, Associated Press, 2010-12-20
  13. ^ "Discography". Asha Puthli official website. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
Preceded by
"This Guy's in Love with You" by Herb Alpert
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
(Merilee Rush version)

July 6, 1968 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Lady Willpower" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
Preceded by
"What Kind of Fool" by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
(Juice Newton version)

April 11-April 25, 1981 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Morning Train (Nine to Five)" by Sheena Easton

External links[edit]