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 "Unchained Melody" is a popular song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. It is one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some counts having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.[1]

In 1955, North used the music as a theme for the obscure prison film UnchainedTodd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack.[2] Les Baxter (Capitol Records catalog number 3055), released an instrumental version which reached #2. Al Hibbler followed close behind with a vocal version (Decca Records catalog number 29441) that reached #3 on the Billboardcharts. He was followed soon after by Jimmy Young whose version hit #1 on the British charts. Roy Hamilton's version (Epic Records catalog number 9102) reached #6, while June Valli (recorded March 15, 1955, released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-6078, with the flip side "Tomorrow"[3]) took it to #29.[4] Rockabilly legend Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps recorded it for their second album in 1956 — Vincent's version is played at mid-tempo and features a tremolo picking guitar part. It is also probably the most unusual cover version, as the chorus was omitted. Harry Belafonte sang it at the 1956Academy Awards where it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song of 1955. (Belafonte had also made a recording of the song for RCA Victor Records, which was released as catalog number 20-6784, with the flip side "A-Roving"[5].) In 1963, an uptempo, doo-wop version hit the regional charts (eastern U.S.) by Vito & the Salutations, eventually becoming part of the soundtrack for Goodfellas in 1990.

The song regained popularity when another version was produced by Phil Spector in 1965, credited to the Righteous Brothers, but performed as a solo by Bobby Hatfield, who later recorded versions credited solely to him. It climbed to #4.

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Label:  Philles
Release Date:  July 17, 1965
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