Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Greatest HitsReleased: 1965Charted:
This song is about a guy who sees a couple kissing and fooling around. He sees their shadows through a closed curtain, and thinks that it's his girl cheating on him. He gets so upset at what he's watching he bangs on the door, only to find out he has the wrong house. He then rushes to the right house, and together he and his girl make their own shadows when they kiss.
This was written by Bob Crewe and Frank Slay, who also produced to original version, which was by a vocal group called The Rays. Their version reached #3 US in November 1957, the same month a competing version by a white group called The Diamonds reached #10.
In 1965, the song was revived by Herman's Hermits, who were part of the British Invasion. Their version was the first to chart in the UK and was also a hit in America at a time when the band was wildly popular, with "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter
and "I'm Henry The VIII, I Am
" reaching #1.
In the book Behind The Hits, Bob Crewe told the story behind this song. Traveling to Philadelphia by train, he spotted a silhouette of a couple embracing inside a house at one of the stops. This gave him the idea for the song, and he worked on it the rest of the ride.
Crewe owned a record company called XYZ with Frank Slay, who helped him write the lyric. They had The Rays record the song and took it to Hy Lit, a popular DJ at the Philadelphia radio station WIBG, who played the song on his show. Listeners loved it, and the song became a huge hit.
Herman's Hermits lead singer Peter Noone
sang on this track, but the other band members didn't play on it. The session musicians brought in were:Vic Flick
Big Jim Sullivan - guitar
John Paul Jones - bass (yep, the guy from Led Zeppelin)
Bobby Graham - drums
John Carter and Ken Lewis - backing vocals
Jimmy Page, who was a session guitarist at the time and went on to form Led Zeppelin, played on this song. In an interview with the Forgotten Hits newsletter, Peter Noone, who was lead singer of Herman's Hermits, addressed the use of outside musicians on their recordings: "The Hermits played on the songs that they played well on. Sometimes other musicians played on tracks, mostly because the band's weakness was our drummer (the nicest guy in the band and therefore irreplaceable) because he had pretty unusual time and was therefore un-overdubbable (my word) so we started using Clem Cattini (Tornadoes) and Jim Page (Yardbirds), John Paul Jones, Herbie Flowers and whoever was around at the time. Lek is the guitarist on 'For Your Love' so you can see he was very good. Jim played on 'Silhouettes' and 'Wonderful World' and, once Karl Green faded, he was replaced on all the recordings by John Paul Jones, who also arranged almost everything and was our genius."
This song inspired the storyline of "No Reply
," which John Lennon wrote for The Beatles.
Cliff Richard brought this song back to the UK chart in 1990 when his live version recorded at Wembley Stadium reached #10.