What Now My Love

Album: Let's Face the Music (1962)
Charted: 5
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  • The melody comes from a French song called "Et Maintenant" ("And Now"). Carl Sigman, who wrote several hits by putting English lyrics to foreign melodies, was called on to do the same with this one. In The Carl Sigman Songbook, his son Michael explains:

    In 1962, the music world changed forever when Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best as the drummer in a group called the Beatles. The group released "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," and a revolution was born. Spurred by Beatlemania, recording artists started penning their own material the way the Beatles did. The need declined accordingly for Tin Pan Alley writers, who could only thrive by writing songs for others to record. Like his cohorts, Carl felt the effects of this change, but he refused to be left behind. He continued to prove his place in a parallel pop universe, as well as his adeptness with European tunes, including his most important foreign assignment to date. That assignment called for him to write a lyric to French composer Gilbert Becaud's "Et Maintenant" ("And Now"). Normally, because of linguistic differences in accents and meter, the English lyric would bear no relation to Pierre Delano's French words. But this situation was different. Carl quickly came up the English words "What Now My Love," a rough translation of the French title, to go with the opening notes of the melody. But what he did with that "translation" was wholly original. "What Now My Love," a dramatic story of lost love and desperation, was, with "Ebb Tide" and "It's All In The Game," one of the songs that, for Carl, transcended craftsmanship into the realm of inspirational art.

    Meanwhile, Nelson Riddle, with a group of Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole hits under his belt, was in England scoring the film Lolita. While there he found the time to arrange Let's Face the Music, an album by a very young Shirley Bassey. The album yielded a stunning rendition of "What Now My Love," which was released as a single and made it to the top five in the UK. That same year Jane Morgan hit the top thirty in the U.S. with her rendition. Once the world developed a taste for this song, hundreds of cover versions followed. Sonny & Cher did a hip, guitar-based rendition that got to #14 on the pop charts in 1966, and Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, The Temptations,Willie Nelson, Mitch Ryder, The Muppets featuring Miss Piggy, Patricia Kaas, and just about every other solo singer worth his/her salt also weighed in.

Comments: 6

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyFrom the 'For What It's Worth' department, on March 13th, 1966 nearly 25% of the records on Billboard's Top 100 chart were debut records, for twenty four records entered the Top 100 on that date...
    Two of those were by Herb & the TB; "Spanish Flea" at #66, while "What Now My Love" at #68...
    The year 1966 was a good year for Herb and the guys, besides the two above songs they had five other Top 100 records, "Zorba the Greek" {#11}, "Tijuana Taxi" {#38}, "The Work Song" {#18}, "Flamingo" {#28}, and "Mame" {#19}
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 19, 1966, Dick Clark conducted an interview with Herb Alpert on the his ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time two songs by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass were in their first week on Billboard' Top 100 chart,
    "Spanish Flea" at #66 and "What Now My Love"* at two positions lower, at #68...
    Four weeks later "Spanish Flea" would peak at #27 {for 2 weeks} and it spent seven weeks on the Top 100...
    As for "What Now My Love", it reached #24 {for 1 week} on April 17th, 1966 and stayed on the chart for eight weeks...
    And also on March 19th, 1966 Herb and the Brass had five albums on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart; "Whipped Cream & Other Delights" {at #2}, "Going Place!" {at #3}, "The Lonely Bull" {at #11}, "South of the Border" {at #13}, and "Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Volume Two" {at #28}...
    Herb Alpert will celebrate his 83rd birthday in twelve days on March 31st {2018}...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, during the year of 1966 two other versions of "What Now My Love" also made the Top 100 chart, Sonny and Cher's version at #14 and Richard 'Groove' Holmes at #96.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 11th 1966, Paul Anka performed "What Now My Love?" on the weekly NBC-TV program 'Hullabaloo!'...
    At the time Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass' instrumental version of the song was at #25* on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, the following week it peaked at #24 {for 1 week}...
    Also in 1966 two other covered versions made the Top 100; by Sonny & Cher {peaked at #14 for 1 week on Feb. 27th} and Richard 'Groove' Holmes {reached #96 for 1 week on Oct. 9th}...
    * At the same time "What Now My Love?" was at #25, the Brass' "Spanish Flea" was at #27; and for the calendar year of 1966 Herb & the Brass had seven records make the Top 100.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 19th 1966, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass performed for Princess Grace at her palace in Monaco...
    And back in the U.S.A.; the group's "Flamingo" was at #30 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the week before it had peaked at #28...
    During the year 1966 Herb and the guys had three albums reach #1 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart; "Whipped Cream & Other Delights", "Goin' Places", and "What Now My Love" {and the albums spent a total of 18 weeks in the top spot}...
    Mr. Alpert will celebrate his 80th birthday come next March 31st {2015}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 28th 1966, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' sixth studio album, 'What Now My Love', was the #1 album on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart; and the band also had three other albums on the Top 10 ('South of the Border', 'Going Places', and 'Whipped Cream and Other Delights').
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyRichard 'Groove' Holmes charted with this song in 1966 & peaked at No. 96; plus The Righteous Brothers covered it on one of their albums!!!
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