Engelbert Humperdinck Recalls Preventing The Beatles Classic From Topping The Charts
During a recent appearance on The Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White Show, Engelbert Humperdinck stated that he was thrilled when he dethroned the Beatles from the number one on the charts.
When Engelbert Humperdinck released his first two singles, ‘Dommage Dommage’ and ‘Stay,’ both missed the charts. However, he managed to gain international prominence with his 1967 single, ‘Release Me.‘ The singer covered a pop-ballad version of the song, a previously hit for country singer Ray Price and R&B singer Esther Phillips. Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page contributed to the recording as the session musicians.
The single reached the top of the music charts in Britain and sold over a million copies. It also managed to keep the Beatles songs, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever‘ and ‘Penny Lane,‘ from the top slot in the United Kingdom. The powerful ballad became Humperdinck’s signature song and brought him many devoted fans. It continues to be popular in various countries.
During his latest interview, the singer was asked how he felt when competing against the Beatles at the time. Humperdinck explained that it would be the Beatles’ 13th number one, but they couldn’t achieve it due to his prevention. The singer was a big fan of the Beatles, so dethroning them was an incredible experience for him. He felt thrilled to manage that since it quickly escalated his career. Humperdinck thinks the Beatles’ members didn’t mind it at the time.
The host speaking on Humperdinck’s keeping the Beatles from the top slot:
“You kept the Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields’ at bay. They couldn’t get to number one. It is your fault.”
The singer said:
“They had a devil single. They had ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields,’ which is a double-sided single. It was going to be the 13th number one, and then they never got to.”
The other host asked:
“What was life like for you at that time competing against the Beatles because they were the Beatles, and you come in and just completely dethrone them essentially. What was your life like at that time?”
“I tell you, it was like the daylight saw me. The almighty Beatles, who I was a big fan of at that particular time. To know that nobody like me came along and stopped the almighty Beatles who had these ones after the other hit number ones. I’m thrilled because it made my career, and I think they didn’t mind. I hope they didn’t mind.”
You can watch the full interview and listen to the songs below.