Angel of the Morning

Album: Angel Of The Morning (1968)
Charted: 7
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  • Evie Sands originally recorded this song in 1967. Her version was doing well, but two weeks after it was released, her record label, Cameo/Parkway, went bankrupt. Chip Taylor, who wrote the song, was devastated when he found out the label could not promote it or even make more copies of the song. A few months later, Rush's version became a hit for another label, Bell Records.

    It was one of several close calls for Sands, who never hit it big; she also did the original version of "I Can't Let Go," which was later a hit for The Hollies.
  • According to Kent Kotal at Forgotten Hits, Chip Taylor came up with this song in about 20 minutes. Writes Kent: "After strumming any variety of chords for close to two hours and coming up with nothing, he says the complete lyrics 'There'll be no strings to bind your hands, not if my love can't bind your heart' flowed out of his mouth. His first thought was 'What is that? That's beautiful!' He then thought, 'Nobody actually TALKS like that!!! Where did those words come from?' Incredibly, in one sitting, spread out over no more than twenty minutes, he completed the entire song. He says that during the entire process, he never once thought, 'I'm gonna say this' or 'I'm gonna say that.' In fact, most of the time he was thinking 'I don't even know what this means!' In his own mind, he feels that he didn't so much as WRITE this song as that he DREAMED it... the way the lyrics flowed out, meshing perfectly with the series of chords he had been strumming - there just had to be some kind of divine intervention. 'I write melody and words at the same time and I hum nonsense things until something comes out. So I don't think about what I want to say... I just let the emotion carry me. In this song, the emotion just totally took over and carried me. It was magic.'"
  • This song is about premarital sex, and while the '60s were very permissive in some regards, it was still a taboo subject in the media.
  • Merrilee Rush was born in Seattle, Washington, and got a break when fellow Pacific-Northwest musicians Paul Revere and the Raiders asked her to join their tour. They also hooked her up with producers Tommy Cogbill and Chips Moman, who produced this song, using lush orchestration and even a pedal steel guitar.
  • This tender ballad is surprisingly virtually the same song as the primitive rocker "Wild Thing." Chip Taylor, who wrote both songs explained to Mojo magazine September 2008: "I heard some guy playing 'Wild Thing' real slow on a guitar. It sounded nice. So I did the same, lifting one of my fingers off a chord to create a suspension. Then the words 'There'll be no strings to bind your hands, not if my love can't bind your heart' came out. It was as beautiful a love connection as I could ever feel." Taylor added that it was the producer who added the sweeping strings.
  • This was a crossover hit for country singer Juice Newton in 1981. Her version hit #4 on the US Hot 100, and a few months later, she had a bigger hit with "Queen Of Hearts," which went to #2.
  • In the UK, two competing versions were released in 1968: by Billie Davis and P.P. Arnold. It was Arnold who scored the hit, with her version reaching #29. The previous year, she became the first to record the song "The First Cut Is The Deepest."
  • Juice Newton's version can be heard during Drew Barrymore's first scene in the 2000 film Charlie's Angels.

    The same version also plays during the violent opening scene of the 2016 superhero film Deadpool, providing an interesting contrast. "It completely made sense to me from the first time I read it [in the script]," the movie's director Tim Miller told Billboard magazine. "I loved the quirky contrast of having such a sweet and life-affirming song mixed up with all the crazy, abstract violence. I thought it was genius."

    The Deadpool open sends up typical opening scene credits and action movie tropes. Some of the "stars" listed as this song plays are:

    God's Perfect Idiot
    A Hot Chick
    A British Villain
    A CGI Character
  • Chrissie Hynde performed this on the season 2 Friends episode "The One with the Baby on the Bus." Her version (credited to her group, The Pretenders) was included on the soundtrack album for the show that year. Their version first appeared in 1994 as the B-side of the single "Night In My Veins."
  • In 2000, the reggae artist Shaggy interpolated this song on "Angel," which was a #1 hit in the US and UK. His version alters the lyric to:

    Girl, you're my angel, you're my darling angel
    Closer than my peeps you are to me
  • In The Office episode "Branch Closing" (2006), Michael Scott sings this to Jan Levinson - with "Angel" changed to "Levinson" - when she enters his office.
  • Juice Newton's version also shows up in the Netflix horror series Archive 81. In the season 1 episode "Terror In The Aisles," a grad student witnesses a strange ceremony in the community room of her apartment building. The next morning, she return to the scene expecting to find a creepy recording on the stereo, only to hear Newton's song.

Comments: 29

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1968 {July 13th} P.P. Arnold performed her covered version of "Angel of The Morning"* on the German TV program, 'The Beat-Club'...
    At the time the song was at #45 on the United Kingdom's Official Top 50 Singles chart, five weeks later it would peak at #29 {for 1 week}...
    Between 1967 and 2005 the Los Angeles, California native had ten records on the UK Singles chart, one made the Top 10, "Evapor-8", a duet with Altern-8, it peaked at #6 in 1992...
    She had two Top 20 records, "It's A Beautiful Thing" {#12 in 1998} and "Burn It Up" {#14 in 1988}...
    P.P. Arnold, born Patricia Ann Cole, will celebrate her 74th birthday in three months on October 3rd, 2020...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, on the same day P.P. Arnold appeared on 'The Beat-Club', in the U.S.A. on Billboard's Top 100 chart, Merrilee Rush's version of "Angel of The Morning" was in it's third of three weeks at #7, and that was also it's peak position on the Top 100...
  • Brad from Washington StateWho sang the harmony? Was it Merrilee? I've always thought it was a guy.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesOh I love this song... by Merrilee Rush version. But it shocks me that the subject of this song is PM-S 0_0 Because I am not an English native that's why I just found it out this time. I never searched the lyrics tho' I've been listening and liking this song for years until today came. But still, I can't change my opinion about how this has been sang by MR & T. Emotional.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 15th 1968, Merrilee Rush performed "Angel of the Morning" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was in its second week at #14 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eight days later on June 23rd it would peak at #7 {for 3 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 16 weeks...
    And on July 20th, 1968 it reached #1 {for 2 weeks} on the Australian Kent Music chart...
    Merrilee Rush will celebrate her 72nd birthday this coming January 26th {2016}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 21st 1981, Juice Newton performed "Angel of the Morning" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the her covered version of the song was at #26; six weeks later on April 26th, 1981 it would peak at #4 for four weeks...
    {See next two posts below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 6th 1981, Juice Newton performed "Angel of the Morning" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special’...
    At the time the song was at #36 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and the following month it would peak at #4 for four weeks {See next post below}...
    Was track one of side one from her third solo album, 'Juice', the album reached #4 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, and #22 on the Top 200 Pop Albums chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 15, 1981, "Angel of the Morning" by Juice Newton entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #70; and on April 26th it peaked at #4 (for 4 weeks) and spent 22 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 22 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on April 5th it reached #1 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    It would be her first of four straight Top 10 records; starting with this one, then "Queen of Hearts" (#2 for 2 weeks), "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" (#7), and finally "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me" (#7)...
    Ms. Newton, born Judy Kay Newton, will celebrate her 62nd birthday in three days on February 18th (2014)...
    She was born in Lakehurst, New Jersey (Oh! the humanity).
  • Bookbabe from New York, NyDave--Chip Taylor is Jon Voight's brother, which makes him Angelina Jolie's uncle. Interestingly, this song was part of the soundtrack for one of AJ's first feature films, Girl Interrupted.
  • Bob from San Gabriel, CaThe original Evie Sands version was nearly impossible to find for many years--it's now available on the Cameo Parkway boxed set. And Evie has sung it at my request at a Borders Bookstore (remember them?) live-music presentation.
  • Steve from Whittier, CaMerrilee Rush was born in Seattle, Wahsington, which puts her WAY head over heeels over a later generation's [1990s] rockers from Seattle, Washington IMO.
  • Dave from North Bay, CaGarrett - It was Chip Douglas (former member of The Turtles) that was associated with The Monkees as a producer and studio bass playwr.

    Chip Taylor's real name is James Wesley Voight. He does this song as a duet with a female singer and it takes on a completely different vibe.
  • Mark from Seattle, WaMerilee and The Turnabouts....original plan was for Neil Rush and The Turnabouts. Neil went with Merillee as he at the time had health issues that were life threatening. he said he should have not changed the idea. He is still alive and well in 2010. They are still freinds but no longer married.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesUh-huh Rick -- riiight -- but was that the term at the time the song was written? Or is it recursive? How do you know that they don't call it that because of the song, eh?
  • Lester from New York City, NyThanks for the confirmation, MusicMama.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyTo Lester of NYC: I also owned the single, as well as the album, and both were indeed credited to Merillee Rush and the Turnabouts. I have always loved this song, both for its lyrics and instrumentation. And I much prefer the MRT version to Juice Newton's. The former echoes a young woman challenging a young man to see her as a human being and not merely as an object; the latter sounds like the whining of a victim to me.
  • Lester from New York City, NyI owned this as a single when it was released, and I could swear it was credited to Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts.
  • Rick from Columbus, GaAn angel in the morning is British slang for a rim job. Doesn't anyone know that?
  • Kika from Nyc, Nydidn't olivia newton john do a cover of this too?
  • Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaThis was considered a bit risque' at the time it was released. in part because of its subject matter, and in part because the female lead was obviously being assertive in the matter. Women's lib, anyone?
  • Tony from Devon, EnglandAccording to Chip himself, he based this song on the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday". You can hear the similarities
  • Garrett from Nashville, TnWho the heck is Ed Sara?
    Chip Taylor, who also produced the Monkees ("what number is this Chip? Seven-A!") wrote this song.
  • Don from Phoenix, AzI'd always had fond memories of this song as a favorite "slow dance" at my junior high dances in 1968-70. When my wife and I sang it a couple of years ago with our own teenage kids in the room, they grimaced and asked why we were celebrating an apparent "one-night stand." Guess I never really thought about it before! Oh well. Sorry, kids!
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnJuice Newton did an outstanding remake of the Merrilee Rush hit.
  • Cooper from Seattle, WaEd Sara wrote the main part in this. Not Chip Taylor
  • Craig from Madison, WiThe Shaggy version is an argument for capitol punishment.
  • Craig from Madison, WiTom Cruise fails to sing this song in his SUV in Jerry Maguire, one of the few legitimately funny (and self-depricating) moments in his career.
  • Mauro Boscarol from Bolzano, ItalyNina Simone recorded the song on her album "Here Comes the Sun" (RCA) in 1971.
  • Robin from Salisbury, MdChip Taylor, incidentally the brother of actor Jon Voight, also wrote the party anthem "Wild Thing"
  • Randy from Beaumont, TxSupposedly, Chip Taylor was in a real tough writing slump when penning this song and it stayed on the shelf unfinished for months. Then one night, he woke up otta the blue and finished the song in 20 minutes
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