As Long As He Needs Me

Songfacts®:

  • "As Long As He Needs Me" was written by Lionel Bart for Oliver!, his stage and film adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. It is easily the best known and most widely recorded song from this particular Bart production, and has been covered by all manner of artists including diva Shirley Bassey. As its title suggests, it is a love song, though sadly this love was unrequited. In the show/film, it is sung by Nancy about professional criminal lowlife Bill Sikes. Then he murders her! >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • Producer Norman Newell had booked the expensive number one recording studio at EMI's Abbey Road for Shirley Bassey to record her version of this song, and he and a large orchestra, who were booked until 17.30, grew increasingly exasperated awaiting the Welsh singer's arrival. Eventually, Norman made a phone call to Bassey's home to discover that she had completely forgotten about the recording session. Completely unaware of the drama she had created, the singer had gone to the cinema, so Newell arranged for every movie theater in London's West End page her. A breathless Bassey finally rushed in at at ten past five and gave one of the best recording performances of her career.

    It was worth the wait, as Bassey's version was one of the biggest hits of her career, staying in the UK singles charts for 30 consecutive weeks, and peaking at #2.

Comments: 1

  • Karen from Manchester, NhThe love really wasn't unrequited. Sykes loved Nancy in his own way...more or less. They even lived together. The murder wasn't premeditated; it was a crime of passion. He just "lost it". He was a classic abuser who went too far.
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