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The Turtles

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The line, "You're my pride and joy etcetera" ends the main chorus of this song. This was a dig at their record label, White Whale, who had been hounding them for another "Happy Together," which was The Turtles' big hit in 1967. They quickly threw together this overly-clichéd song ("Gee I think you're swell") and it proceeded to be another smash despite their best effort at sabotage. In the liner notes of The Turtles' Anthology Solid Zinc, Howard Kaylan of The Turtles explained: "Elenore was a parody of 'Happy Together.' It was never intended to be a straight-forward song. It was meant as an anti-love letter to White Whale (their record company), who were constantly on our backs to bring them another 'Happy Together.' So I gave them a very skewed version. Not only with the chords changed, but with all these bizarre words. It was my feeling that they would listen to how strange and stupid the song was and leave us alone. But they didn't get the joke. They thought it sounded good. Truthfully, though, the production on 'Elenore' WAS so damn good. Lyrically or not, the sound of the thing was so positive that it worked. It certainly surprised me." (thanks, Steve - Salt Lake City, UT)
Many of The Turtles' hits were composed by other writers, but this one they wrote themselves. The who band was given writer credit: Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Al Nichols, Jim Pons and John Barbata.
The Turtles
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Comments (9):

Great love song.The turtles had great harmonies.
- Martin, Fresno, CA
For years I was under the impression that Elenore was a British song. My mother language is not English and I thought it sounded British to make "et cetera" rhyme with "better"! I love the song though. One of the very best of 1968.
- Guy, Montr�al, QC
And Paul Beaver played one of the first-ever-heard recordings of the infamous Moog synthesizer after the chorus. It kinda sounds like a tripped out and twisted organ, but TRUST ME, it's Paul Beaver's Moog. It also appeared on their "You Showed Me" hit.
- Jesse, Madison, WI
I heard this was an expression of their "love" for Leslie(Elenore)Gore. Anyone else heard this?
- beth, charleston, WV
The concept album from which this song came (Battle of the Bands) featured songs in a number of different pop-music genres, with the character of the imaginary bands explained via the aforementioned photos. The song suited the dickey-wearing wholesome teen band persona they adopted for ELENORE.
- Michelle, Seattle, WA
This was supposed to be a novelty like song which would cut into their record label's profits (because they had been pestered for another "Happy Together". Instead the plan backfired and it ended up being one of their biggest hits--despite the "Gee I think you're swell..." bit which parodied typical love songs of a few years before. The album it appears on "The Turtles present the Battle of the Bands" is a sight to see. The album contains a two pane fold with pictures of themselves posing as different bands for each songs. Many of the other songs are novelties with the exception of "You showed me" which appears. ("Food" is a particularly interesting cut.)
- Dave, Des Moines, IA
great song , Happy Together, great song ....
- pete, nowra, Australia
"Eleanore Rigby" from the Beatles and "Elenore" from the Turtles : two completely different songs,
no way to be compared. I have this song of the Turtles on a double-cd "Best of the 60's" and I love it, also the ah-HAH-ha-ah-ahaaaaaaaa! Sweet 60's, the best period of popmusic!
- Teresa, Mechelen, Belgium
This hit came out two years after the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby. It was quite the gutsy endeavor to bust out a light-hearted love song about a girl named Elenore, when the public's previous experience with music about a woman with the same name had been a serious, dark, but beautiful one. Kudos to The Turtles for their boldness and for crafting a snappy pop tune in the face of such an intimidating precedent, dig at their record label though it might've been. I think the song's swell...ah-HAH-ha-ah-ahaaaaaaaa!
- Leya Qwest, Anchorage, AK
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