(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice

Album: Farewell to the Real Magnificent Seven (1969)
Charted: 1
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Songfacts®:

  • This was originally written by the Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti. It was recorded by La Ragazza 77, alias Ambra Borelli, in 1968 as "Il paradiso della vita" ("The paradise of the life"), and the following year by Patty Pravo as "Il Paradiso" ("The paradise").
  • The song was translated into English by Jack Fishman on 1969. He first offered it to The Tremeloes as a potential single, but they turned it down. "Amen Corner" was the second port of call, and they agreed to record the tune as their debut single for their new record label. The Welsh band worked out an arrangement with their new producer Shel Talmy and recorded the song within two hours.
  • The song was the most successful of Amen Corner five UK Top 20 singles spending two weeks at #1 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1969. It later reached #34 when the track was reissued in 1976.
  • Another Lucio Battisti composition reached the US charts the same year. The Grass Roots reached #28 on the Hot 100 in 1969 with "Balla Linda," translated as "Bella Linda." Later, Mick Ronson covered another of his songs, "Io vorrei, non vorrei, ma se vuoi" as "Music Is Lethal" for his album Slaughter on 10th Avenue. David Bowie wrote the English lyrics.

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