Eloise

Album: released as a single (1968)
Charted: 2
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Songfacts®:

  • This power-pop hit was written by Barry's identical twin brother, Paul Ryan. Their mother was Marion Ryan, one of the biggest pop stars in England in the 1950s, and a regular on British variety shows.

    As "Paul and Barry Ryan," the twins signed to Decca Records and released their first material in 1965, when they were just 17. In the UK, they had a string of modest hits from 1965-1967, including "Don't Bring Me Heartaches" and "Have Pity On The Boy." They were very much in the spotlight: Frank Sinatra was their godfather, and they performed on bills with The Hollies, Roy Orbison, Small Faces and Dusty Springfield. It took a toll on Paul, so in 1968 he took a behind-the-scenes role and Barry soldiered on as a solo artist. "Eloise" was his first single; it climbed to #2 in the UK, far surpassing any of his singles with Paul. Barry had a few more minor hits over the next few years, but none after 1972. Sinatra later recorded a song Paul wrote called "I Will Drink the Wine."
  • Loaded with vowels, "Eloise" is a great word to sing, and it rhymes with "on my knees." The lyric is rather vague, but it's rather mournful, with Ryan pining for Eloise, who's not there.
  • The Damned released a goth-rock cover of "Eloise" in 1986 that was the group's biggest hit, reaching #3 in the UK. "I was a big fan of that song when it first came out in the '60s," Damned lead singer David Vanian told Songfacts. "It seems at first that it's a standard, sugary-sweet ballad, but when you actually listen to the words, you realize it's not. I like that about it."

    "It has good memories for me," he added. "But it was a hard time because it was at a point when MCA - our record label - was having trouble, and they were getting co-opted. In the end, we ended up not having anybody at the label who actually signed the band, and we were completely forgotten, almost. They were going on promoting other things, and we were kind of left by the wayside. So, once again, The Damned were put out to pasture. But of course, that didn't stop us from continuing."
  • At the time this was a Top 10 hit in Australia, an eight-year-old girl named Eloise Worledge was abducted from her Melbourne home. Out of respect and consideration for her family, Melbourne Top 40 radio stations ceased playing the song for a period while the fruitless hunt for her abductor/s was carried-out. Eloise was never found. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Allan - Canberra, Australia

Comments: 5

  • K from BritainAnybody notice similarities between Eloise The Damned and Angelica by Roy Hamilton?
  • Martin from Gloucestershire, EnglandMy Dad, Dougie Wright, played drums on the original recording of Eloise by Barry Ryan. Dougie was the first call session drummer in London during the 60’s and 70’s and played on 15 #1’s and over 40 major hits during that period, including classics such as ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ (Jeff Beck), ‘Je t’aime’ (Serge Gainsbourg), ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’, and ‘Make it Easy on Yourself’ (The Walker Brothers). Now 85 and living in Leicestershire, he’s just released his latest single…in a style he calls “electro accoustic jazz rap”. Check it out on YouTube … search for Our Dougie
  • Eloise from Leicester EnglandMy mum named me after this song I was born in November 1968
  • Marionrosanna Anna from AustraliaI am a big Led Zeppelin fan. I had no idea they (Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones) did the studio session for "Eloise". What a great discovery 52 years later, as Eloise was a childhood favourite song, all the drama of the film clip set on a windy beach!
  • Kerry from Melbourne. Australia.Always liked this. Thanks Paul and Barry.
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