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Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)? by Peter Sarstedt

Album: The Best of Peter SarstedtReleased: 1969Charted:
70
1
  • This song is about a young girl born in poverty in Naples, Italy, who grows up to become a member of the jet-set. It has been alleged that Peter Sarstedt had in mind movie star Sophia Loren, who was herself bought up in the back streets of Naples.
  • Peter Sarstedt's elder brother Richard had already had a #1 hit in UK "Well I Ask You" in 1961,when he sang under the name Eden Kane. When Peter Sarstedt reached #1 7 years later, this made them the first brothers to have solo #1s in Britain. In 1976 a third Sarstedt brother, Robin, reached #3 in the UK with his version of Hoagy Carmichael's "My Resistance Is Low," enabling the Sarstedt clan to become the only 3 brothers in British chart history to rack up separate solo hits.
  • Among the personalities this song references is Zizi Jeanmarie, who was a French ballerina who in the 1950s was reckoned to be the best dancer of her generation. It also refers to Aga Khan, a wealthy Islamic leader who married the English fashion model Sarah Croker-Poole in 1969. The names of Marlene Dietrich, Picasso, Sachel Distel and The Rolling Stones are also mentioned.
  • This 5-minute song was not originally intended to be a single. Peter comments in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: "I wanted to write a long, extended piece because I was working in folk clubs and universities, and Al Stewart had something that was half an hour long and Bob Dylan's 'Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands' took a whole side of an album. 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely' was my first attempt at writing something longer than my normal 3 minutes. It was amazingly easy to write, but I knew what I wanted to say. I wanted to say something about this particular person, although it wasn't about anyone specific."

    Initially, his record company were not interested in releasing this as a single: Peter Sarstedt comments in the same publication "They said it has no drums, it is too long and there are only 3 instruments." The label relented and the song topped the UK charts for 6 weeks.
  • This won the 1969 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song, together with David Bowie's "Space Oddity." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
  • In an NME interview, legendary BBC DJ John Peel named this record as his personal worst of all time.
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Comments: 3

I think this was a very clever song for its time because it referenced things that most people didn't know anything or much about. for example, Juan Les Pins was mostly unheard of, a holiday playground for the rich, and topless swimsuits were still rather shocking. So a song for its time as it was intended to be but many people will still find completely acceptable and very tuneful today.Alistair - Daventry, United Kingdom
The funniest song I ever heard. Pretentious? Moi? What a load of tripe - almost as side-splitting on "On the Buses" by QuinceharmonNorma - Leeds, United Kingdom
Beatiful and fond song describing a girl who is at the top of nothing. It should be known by today's young peopleJosep - Palma, Spain