Friday, February 18, 2022

Song of the Day: 'When You Walk in the Room' by Susanna Hoffs

I first heard the Bangles beauty perform "When You Walk in the Room" in 2012 during a solo concert at the City Winery. Of course it was a Jackie DeShannon song, recorded a few years before I was even born. (I have Hoffs -- the big sister I never had -- to thank for introducing me to so many old tunes.) DeShannon had hits with Bacharach-David's "What the World Needs Now Is Love" and her own "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," then became rich when Kim Carnes covered her song "Bette Davis Eyes." But as good as they all were, it was "When You Walk in the Room" that has to be her finest moment. The song stalled at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 when DeShannon's version was released as a single in 1964. But with everyone from Bruce Springsteen and ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog to Paul Carrack (ex-Squeeze) and country star Pam Tillis covering it over the years, it's clear that the general public didn't have the final word on this gem.  

Performing on the "World Café" radio show in Philadelphia

Notice adorable Jackie start lip-synching prematurely!

Paul Carrack's version, from his album "One Good Reason" (1987), reached #90 in the U.S. and #48 in the U.K. It was also a Top 10 hit in Australia, peaking at #7.

ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog's version is one of my favorite -- so upbeat and joyful. It was released as the second single off her 2004 album, "My Colouring Book." The track peaked at #11 in Sweden and #34 in the U.K.

Wikipedia notes that Bruce Springsteen has covered the song several times live, especially during concerts on his "Born to Run" tours. This version, played during his second night at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975, stands out.

In 1994, Pam Tillis covered it for her 1994 album, "Sweetheart's Dance." Her version peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The video depicts Tillis as a 1960s singer on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand"! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

the best version is Ramming Speeds version