The prolific songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote this bubbly song, which is about meeting someone new and falling into puppy love. Goffin and King wrote popular songs for The Monkees, Aretha Franklin, The Crystals and many others.
This was originally recorded by Earl-Jean (real name Ethel McCrea), who had been the lead singer the R&B vocal group The Cookies. Her version, titled "I'm Into Somethin' Good," peaked at #38 in the US in August 1964.
The song became a British Invasion hit when producer Mickie Most heard Carole King's demo and decided to cover it with a new British group, Herman's Hermits. The band was fronted by 16-year-old John F. Kennedy lookalike Peter Noone, who had already appeared in the British TV soap Coronation Street. Released as the group's first single, it went to #13 in America in December 1964, but proved wildly popular on their home turf, reaching #1 in the UK in September.
The youthful exuberance on this track is very real, as the band was very excited to be cutting a single. "On the record you can hear the enthusiasm of this band who believe that they were going to be heard on the radio," lead singer Peter Noone said in his Songfacts interview
. "When the record was on the radio, we thought we'd made it."
Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, both future members of Led Zeppelin, played on some Herman's Hermits songs, but not this one. Someone outside the band played the piano on this track, but other than that it was the actual band.
This was Herman's Hermits' only song to reach #1 in the UK, where it remains their best-known song. After it hit, the band went on tour in America with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars and made inroads in that country, where they were welcomed as part of the British Invasion. In 1965, they had two American #1 hits: "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter
" and "I'm Henry The VIII, I Am
Peter Noone recorded a new version of this song for the 1988 movie The Naked Gun. Herman's Hermits recorded for Cameo/Parkway Records, which was bought by Allen Klein, who as a result owned the rights to the songs Herman's Hermits recorded for the label as well as tracks by The Animals, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell and many others. Klein rarely allowed the songs he controlled to be used in movies.
Before Allen Klein's death in 2009, Peter Noone explained to the Forgotten Hits newsletter how this song ended up in The Naked Gun: "They wanted to use the song in the movie. Klein declined because he knew he would have to account to somebody (e.g. Paramount). As he hates to account to anyone, because he can't cheat and lie, he had to say no. The producers and writers contacted me with their story and I said, 'I can make a copy exactly like the original and nobody will be able to tell the difference.' When it was done, we decided you couldn't tell the difference so we took off the guitar and replaced it with a whahhoo machine so Klein wouldn't say it was the original. It's a tragedy that Klein and his witless children stop all the product they control from being in movies so they can steal ALL the money. A question: Have any songs under the Klein families' control ever been used in movies, commercials, TV shows? Doesn't anyone ever wonder why? Surely there would be one Herman's Hermits song, one Animals song. One song from a Cameo / Parkway artist, one Sam Cooke song, just one, that would work in a motion picture?"
The hand claps on this song were done into the same microphone where Peter Noone was recording his vocal. They aren't always in time to the beat, but that's part of the appeal of the recording, as it's unrefined, but jubilant.
Donny Osmond recorded this when he was 13 for his second album To You With Love, Donny in 1971. Other artists to record it include Graham Parker and The Surfaris.
In late 2005, this was used in a commercial for Yogurt Blast Cheerios.
Jerro - New Alexandria, PA