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Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'

12 Nov 00 - 10:45 PM (#339468)
Subject: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,BeesWing

OK...at risk of being BOOOOED outta mudcat-ville, I have come with such a request out of total desperation. I KNOW this song wasn't anything CLOSE to being traditional. I know that ...but you see, I done bin everywhere else on the web tonight and ( sobbing into tattered hankie) and,...well, I promised me mum that I would FIND out for her just who DID sing that song. She's finally realizing her dream of persueing her musical passions through senior's university classes and this is her assignment ... If no one here knows exactly WHO did record that song, maybe someone can tell me where I can go to find out? Thanks, guys. Love BeesWing


12 Nov 00 - 11:03 PM (#339479)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Luther

Cher sang on the original soundtrack, in a rather cheesy '60s pop-rock arrangement. Seemed like an odd choice, it's a good tune.

I'd guess it's been recorded many times since. Why not try a search at www.cdnow.com, that may turn up more versions.


12 Nov 00 - 11:14 PM (#339490)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: John Hardly

..from Dog World--"What is in you mouth, Alfie?"

That great folk songstress Barbara (I demand my political speech get heard if not on Baba Wawa, then on Rosie) Streisand I before E except after C or when sounding like A as in neighbor or way or if you just don't care.

John Hardly a fan


12 Nov 00 - 11:21 PM (#339494)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Beth Cornell

The original singer of that song was Dionne Warwick.


12 Nov 00 - 11:27 PM (#339499)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: John Hardly

...knew the second I hit submit that I was wrong. I'm going to bed
John


12 Nov 00 - 11:29 PM (#339501)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

was it lulu


12 Nov 00 - 11:46 PM (#339510)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

No, Maybe it was shirley bassy


12 Nov 00 - 11:50 PM (#339513)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Rick Fielding

Obviously many people sang the song, but the big pop recording was (as beth said) by Dionne Warwick.


12 Nov 00 - 11:53 PM (#339519)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Seth

Dionne Warwick had the hit. I don't know who sang it in the movie "Alfie" that Peter Sellers was in in the sixties


13 Nov 00 - 12:26 AM (#339531)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: BigDaddy

Not a Peter Sellers vehicle. Michael Caine was the cad.


13 Nov 00 - 01:08 AM (#339539)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: catspaw49

I can't believe the number of screwups on this one.....LOL....Glad I'm not the only one along with Bert suffering from CRS Syndrome!!! And you too Big Daddy....I'd point out that although you correctly state it was not a Peter Seller's vehicle, Michael Caine is also NOT a Cadillac. The Peter Sellers vehicle in the "Panther" series was mainly a Citroen.

Spaw


13 Nov 00 - 01:12 AM (#339542)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Bugsy

OK It was recorded by Cilla Black but I think the original screen version was done by Millicent Martin of "That Was The Week That Was" fame.

Cheers

Bugsy


13 Nov 00 - 01:54 AM (#339548)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Gary T

As mentioned above, Dionne Warwick certainly had a U.S. chart hit with this song. Other recordings, such as those Bugsy suggested , may not have been played much here in the States.


13 Nov 00 - 02:01 AM (#339551)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Gary T

By the way, I'm pretty sure that the name of the song is simply "Alfie". That may help in looking for a recording of it.


13 Nov 00 - 03:45 AM (#339573)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Helen

Hi guys,

You were all partly right.

Helen

http://rhino.com/features/liners/75339lin.html

20.Alfie Cilla Black (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)

Musical Direction & Arrangement: Burt Bacharach Produced by George Martin Capitol single #5674 (8/66) * Pop #95 "If you press me for what my favorite song is, the one I'm most proud of, that just about is number one." That's what Burt Bacharach said about "Alfie" on the One Amazing Night telecast that aired on the TNT network during the first half of 1998.

The song was written for the Michael Caine film Alfie. "I saw the script of Alfie, I didn't see the film," says Hal David. "Burt was in Los Angeles and I was in New York. I called Burt, and I asked him if the script and the film were pretty much the same. He said 'yes,' so I felt comfortable working off the story in the script. I wrote a lot of the lyric and gave it to Burt."

Bacharach struggled with the music to accompany Hal's (exceptional) words. "That was a tough song," he told KCRW's Chris Douridas. "[It] took me three weeks to write." Once the song was done, Burt flew to England to record it at Abbey Road with Beatles producer George Martin and the Liverpool-bred, Brian Epstein-managed girl singer Cilla Black.

Cilla may have earned Dionne Warwick's eternal chagrin (due to Cilla's soundalike U.K. hit of "Anyone Who Had A Heart"), but Burt seemed to harbor few ill feelings as he took the singer through the paces of recording "Alfie." As seen in the BBC-TV documentary This Is Now, Burt himself played the piano, conducted the orchestra, and coached the singer simultaneously, pushing a weary Cilla for take after take. "I certainly wouldn't have done it for a Quasimodo," Cilla said in the documentary. "[I did it] because it was Burt, and he was gorgeous and so talented, and I enjoyed his company anyway."

George Martin, who produced the session, claims the British filmmakers turned down the song (!) for inclusion on the movie soundtrack. American prints of the movie later contained Cher's version of the song, produced in Sonny's shaggy pseudo-Wall of Sound style. Dionne recorded the song almost a year later with Burt in New York (the only version to become a sizable hit on the U.S. charts). "I didn't want to record it," she says. "I told them, 'How many versions do you need?'"

Like "A House Is Not A Home," "Alfie" is a genuine standard -- not just an orchestral pop classic, or a '60s oldie, or a bit of lovable kitsch. Due to Hal's brilliant lyric and an astonishingly sympathetic Bacharach melody, the song will certainly outlive us all.


13 Nov 00 - 04:00 AM (#339575)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Dave the Gnome

Definitely Priscilla White herself - I can still hear the nasal scouse twang echoing in my ear'oles...

D the G


13 Nov 00 - 06:22 AM (#339605)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: catspaw49

Thanks Helen, but I see no mention of a Cadillac OR a Citroen.

Spaw


13 Nov 00 - 11:26 AM (#339724)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,BeeWing

I knew I could count on you folks. A BIG -a-thank-a-YOUS!! ...and Helen , whoever you are...You're amazing. ...and point well taken, I never realized the song was simply "ALFIE" - coulda helped me in my original search!. On behalf of Mother Beeswing, Merci.


13 Nov 00 - 12:25 PM (#339762)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: BigDaddy

catspaw49, are you unfamiliar with the word "cad," as in "a cad and a bounder?" It's not in reference to the car. It refers to a "ne'er-do-well." Check your dictionary. That is, unless you're just having fun zinging me. In which case consider me chuckling. Cheers.


13 Nov 00 - 02:02 PM (#339849)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Gary T

BigDaddy, I believe you've been zinged. I imagine the words "vehicle" and "cad" in the same line were too much to resist.

Now just what kind of a car is a "Bounder"?


13 Nov 00 - 03:16 PM (#339902)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Bob P

Just wanted to add . . .

Stevie Wonder did a breathtakingly beautiful harmonica solo version.

Strangely, though I lean toward the poetic side of folk, and Alfie's lyrics are superb, I prefer SW's wordless version.


25 Nov 06 - 11:24 AM (#1893240)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,John in Runcorn

Cilla Black had a hit in the UK with Alfie and Dionne Warwick recorded it as well as many other artists.

The big screen version was sung by... wait for it... none other than Cher! none of these other versions have come any where near Cilla's version.

Hope that is the info for everyone who wanted to know.

John!


25 Nov 06 - 11:34 AM (#1893245)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: jeffp

Did you actually read the thread, John? If you had, you would have seen that all that information and more was placed there 6 years ago. Thanks for playing, anyway!


25 Nov 06 - 11:38 AM (#1893249)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Bernard

I'll get yer coat...


25 Nov 06 - 11:43 AM (#1893253)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: open mike

a Bounder is a fleetwood motor home
http://www.fleetwoodrv.com/bounder/
http://www.bounder.org/


25 Nov 06 - 11:54 AM (#1893263)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Bernard

Fancy that...!

;o)


25 Nov 06 - 01:36 PM (#1893337)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Tyke

Millicent Martin Sang the song in the original Film Alfie. If my memory is correct. She was Married to Frankie Vaugan and she was best know, at thet time, for her songs on "That Was The Week That Was".


25 Nov 06 - 01:50 PM (#1893347)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,what, what, what ?

This thread seems to be a bouncing ground for erroneous "facts" each individual is convinced are correct - so I'll throw one in too.

Wasn't Millicent Martin once married to Ronnie Carroll rather than Vaughan ?


25 Nov 06 - 02:27 PM (#1893369)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Tyke

If you know so much why ask us old fogies. Your lucky I didn't tell you the name of the girl I took to the pictures, The Lyric in Armley, to see Alfie. She may or may not have been married to Ronnie Carroll, Millicent I mean, who also came from Leeds but who was not at the Pictures on the same night that I went to see "Alfie" with a girl who name I can remmember but won't tell you. PS she moved to New Zeland not Millicent Martin the girl I took to the pictures. You may have notice that this has as much to do with your question as your question has to do with "Folk".


25 Nov 06 - 02:32 PM (#1893373)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,what, what, what ?

LOL
and many thanks for achieving that today


25 Nov 06 - 02:35 PM (#1893378)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

Sung regularly in the UK by Burly Chassis or something like that


25 Nov 06 - 02:40 PM (#1893382)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Back Row Betty

Oh Tyke I'm so flattered that you remember out night of passion on the Back Row of the Lyric. I'm sure you are right it was Millicent Martin who sang on the Original Sound Track. I don't remember much else after that about the film you were so hot! I can't remember Ronnie being married to Millicent Martin. He told me he was not married when I had him down the Odeon.


25 Nov 06 - 03:31 PM (#1893411)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: fat B****rd

And Sonny Rollins got a Grammy nomination for best sountrack music.


25 Nov 06 - 04:36 PM (#1893465)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,harryrages

I thought it was Cilla Black who sang it for the movie?


28 Nov 06 - 08:04 AM (#1894512)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Snuffy

The info that Helen posted six years ago was correct then, and is still correct now.

Didn't Millicent Martin play the role of one of Alfie's conquests in the film? I don't think she sang.


28 Nov 06 - 08:51 AM (#1894545)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Scrump

Yes, Cilla Black sang the theme song, although I gather in the US it was replaced by a version by Cher.

Millicent Martin did indeed play the part of one of Alfie's conquests, and although she was a singer herself, I don't think she recorded the song, at least not for the film. Yes, she was married to singer Ronnie Carroll for a while.

Is that everything or have I overlooked something?


28 Nov 06 - 10:54 AM (#1894659)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

Some sources indicate that the the film as originally released in UK in early 1966 did not contain the song - the original soundtrack was totally instrumental by Sonny Rollins.   Later in 1966 for US Release and UK RErelease the song was added - definitely initally recorded by Cilli.   Cher subsequently recorded it later in 1966 (but I'm not sure if it was used for the US version of the film) followed by a few others, and Dionne Warwick's big hit version came in 1967.   That's the one I remember - could have sworn hers was the movie version, but my memory is clearly not what I remember it being.


28 Nov 06 - 11:08 AM (#1894671)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Scrump

In the UK, the Cilla Black version was the hit version (issued 25/03/66 according to her website. Her version was released on Capitol in the US in August 1966 (after Cher's version there) as far as I can tell, but presumably wasn't a hit there.

Movie details here: IMDB page

It does say the song didn't appear in the original film release. It also says "The Oscar nominated song, by Bacharach and David, was added for the American release, and to a British re-release." I guess these were sung by Cher and Cilla, respectively. Dionne Warwick's version was apparently not released until 1967.


28 Nov 06 - 12:08 PM (#1894711)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Tom Hamilton frae Saltcoats Scotland

it was Cilla Black who sang it for the films 'Alfie' starring Michael Cane in the 1960's.


28 Nov 06 - 05:27 PM (#1895009)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Tyke

Just watched the film clip following the IMDB page. The film clip/ trailer has Millicent Martin appearing as one of Alfie's conquests at the start of the film. You will have to wait till the end of the film clip to here part of the song. I was quite willing to bow to the popular view that it was Cilia Black until I heard the voice. I don't think this was our Cilla have a listen see what you think. However from the "Facts" given on the IMDB it only gives the information that the original sound track was an instrumental one which was changed for it release in the USA and for it's re-release in the UK and who song was written by but not the name of the singer.

As the IMDB site states that visitors to the IMDB pages compile the facts listed and they are not checked by anyone. I think more research is needed and while you are doing that I'm going to send in some more facts about the film. Yes I confess it was me that sang the song "What's it All about Alfie" when it was dubbed into Chinese under my fare eastern stage name of One Hung Low. Ahh the magic of Cinema it's better than train spotting on a cold night. Who wrote wish upon a star and was it one of the Seven Dwarfs that sang it? Now what were there names?


28 Nov 06 - 10:13 PM (#1895198)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,TRUBRIT

Cilla Black's is the version I was raised on.


29 Nov 06 - 06:39 AM (#1895411)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,padgett

Cilla Black indelibly!!


29 Nov 06 - 07:23 AM (#1895426)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Scrump

These seem to be the facts:

The film Alfie was released in 1966. Bacharach and David wrote the eponymous theme song, which was not used in the original UK release of the film, which had an all instrumental score.

Cilla Black was the first to record the song at EMI's Abbey Road studios in London, with Burt Bacharach arranging and conducting the recording sessions. The song was issued as a Parlophone single in the UK on 25/03/66, about the time of the film's release, but was not initially in the film at all. The single was also released on Capitol in the US. Apparently Bacharach and David had been impressed with Cilla's cover of Dionne Warwick's earlier hit Anyone Who Had A Heart (Cilla's first big hit in the UK).

Cher recorded a version which was used in the US release of the film. Later UK releases of the film included Cilla Black's version.

Dionne Warwick (who was the foremost interpreter of Bacharach/David songs) recorded the song the following year, issued as a single.

Although a singer, Millicent Martin did not record the song but appeared in the film as one of Alfie's 'conquests', named 'Siddie'.

According to this, a lot of other artists have also recorded the song, including a harmonica instrumental version by Stevie Wonder, and Joss Stone who sang the song for the remake.

Now, have I missed out anything? :-)


29 Nov 06 - 07:43 AM (#1895435)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Tootler

Now, have I missed out anything? :-)

Probably. Even if you haven't, someone is bound to think you have or, that you have something wrong :-))


29 Nov 06 - 08:10 AM (#1895458)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Tom Hamilton frae Saltcoats Scotland

Cilla Black sang the song over the end credits.

So it was a part of them film.


29 Nov 06 - 03:02 PM (#1895839)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Tyke

"WIKIPEDIA MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF VALIDITY" Sorry not me shouting it's a copy and past from Wikipedia. Which is you got your facts so it the same as the IMDB disclaimer that cannot be trusted totally. Ray Padgett was not tall enough to reach the box ticket office counter and there for would not have been allowed in to see this film when it was first released. I on the other hand sneaked in through the fire exit and locked it behind me.

I'm sure that Cilla Black will have covered this song. In an interview Cilla explained that when she started singing used to buy the copy of the American Charts. So that she could use that as a good source for her material. She went on to say that once she had recorded a particular song it was not unusual for her version to be the preferred version in both England and over the Pond. Such was the popularity of the Mersey Beat and Liverpool and Cilla. So we know who wrote the song allegedly and as the question was who recorded it (not who first recorded it).

The doubts I had about the voice of Cilla Black being used on the IMDB film clip/trailer I would say are correct. So have a listen it could well be Cher if this was the trailer used to launch the Film in the US of A. Just why are we doing Bees Wing's Daughters research which on the surface is more of a pub quiz, (do they do degrees on running a pub quiz?), is another Question? Certainly the answer to who wrote "The First Time I saw your Face" surprised me. No! That wasn't Cilla Black ether or ither! So the next question is Millicent Martin a Londoner? Question3 Who made a fortune out of a song written for and English Review around 1926 called "The Spaniard Wot Blighted my Life".


29 Nov 06 - 07:07 PM (#1895998)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

Now you're talkin'


18 May 07 - 06:08 AM (#2055349)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,anon

Joss Stone sang on the original sound track for the movie. However, there have been many remakes from various artist.


18 May 07 - 06:16 AM (#2055353)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,anon

"Alfie"
(1966)
Music by Burt Bacharach
Lyrics by Hal David
Performed by Joss Stone
Produced by David A. Stewart (as Dave Stewart) & Mick Jagger
Joss Stone performs courtesy of S-Curve Records/EMI Music North America

go to imdb for more information on the movie and sound track.


18 May 07 - 07:01 AM (#2055366)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Dave the Gnome

Joss Stone sang on the original sound track for the movie

According to her web site Ms Stone was born in 1987 - 20 years after Cilla Black and then Dionne Warwick recorded it. Hell of a feat singing the original...

:D


12 Nov 12 - 08:45 PM (#3435564)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,andibelle

Lol i know this is 12 years after the original question was asked but ive just finished watching the classic film Alfie....i saw on the end credits that it was Cher that sang the song, this baffled me as the person who was singing didnt sound anything like cher, but i do remember a good few years back that there was a program on tv about the film Alfie n they mentioned on it that the actress that played the character "Siddie" Millicient Martin sang the theme song....So you can see why i was baffled as i know the person singing wasnt Cher, wasnt Cilla, wasnt Dionne....i know what all 3 sound like lol...i also know what Millicient sounds like and I'm 100% sure, she is singing the song "Alfie".......shes probably not credited as singing it because she didnt release it but she did record it for the original British release...thanks :)


13 Nov 12 - 03:21 AM (#3435657)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Georgiansilver

Believe me I have just watched Alfie..... the 60's UK version.... last night and it was definitely Cilla Black singing the theme song!


13 Nov 12 - 03:45 AM (#3435666)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Pork sausage Mike

Cilla Black was one of the gals who sang it


13 Nov 12 - 04:36 AM (#3435685)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Allan Conn

According to IMDB the song in the film was sang by Cher and produced by Sonny Bono - and a bit of it is heard in the trailer. Certainly what is on this trailer below isn't Cilla's version which was the original recording of the song! The film was remade in 2004 with Jude Law playing Alfie and Joss Stone singing the song. The guest poster obviously didn't realise this is a remake of an older film when he sugested Joss sang the original version.



http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060086/


13 Nov 12 - 04:44 AM (#3435687)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Allan Conn

To make it more confusing on the link it says US version and has a button 'more' when it brings up another page saying title song sung by Cilla Black. So it appears the US and UK versions of the film have different soundtracks. So it appears both Cilla and Cher sing on the film.


13 Nov 12 - 06:04 AM (#3435706)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Peter

I have just ploughed through a number of movie sites and the concensus is that there were separate UK and US soundtracks.


13 Nov 12 - 06:42 AM (#3435714)
Subject: Lyr Add: ALFIE (Hal David, Burt Bacharach)
From: GUEST,999

ALFIE
Words by Hal David; music by Burt Bacharach; ©1966.

What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
then I guess it is wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,
what will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there's something much more,
something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
and you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.

#######################

Good Jesus . . .


13 Nov 12 - 04:45 PM (#3436084)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: CupOfTea

Oh my. Tweak the memory lane.

Alfie was in the first book of music I bought with my own money in 1967 when I had started taking electric organ lessons in the 7th grade. I still have the darn thing. Other songs & tunes in that booklet:
Eleanor Rigby
Wipe Out
Born Free (I think that's why I bought it)
can't remember the rest - possibly Unchained Melody - a dozen or so pieces all together.

I wasn't that fond of Alfie, but Burt Bacharach was my idea of elegant in pop tunes & Dionne Warwick was JUST the voice for 'em. Got an album of that 'round here somewhere, too. I'll never fall in love again....la la la....

Joanne in Cleveland

PS anyone want to buy an unplayed but still playable vintage 1970 Hammond Organ with leslie speakers?


14 Nov 12 - 07:05 AM (#3436359)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Rusty Dobro

As a teenager, I thought Millicent Martin on 'TW3' was gorgeous.....


05 Aug 15 - 03:39 PM (#3728437)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

I have just watched the film - feeling a tad nostalgic over the death of Cilla. It was Cher singing on the credits, a fact I was slightly disappointed by. However Cilla's version was added to the UK re release and issued as a single which rose to number 9 in the UK charts.
Having listened to all 3 versions hers is definitely the best, the most appropriate and moving.
P


05 Aug 15 - 04:14 PM (#3728450)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar

Yep. "Anyone who had a heart" and "Alfie" were two of Cilla's best songs in my book. Really shocked at all the nastiness on the Cilla Obit. thread.


05 Aug 15 - 07:34 PM (#3728478)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: michaelr

"Hal David's brilliant lyrics"? If what's posted above is the extent of them, I'd hate to see what they call very good.


06 Aug 15 - 08:59 AM (#3728567)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

I remember that my dad used to dislike the way Cilla sang it but I loved it.

A few people don't seem to have grasped that there were three different versions of the soundtrack so you may hear Cilla, Millie Martin or Cher. There is no guarantee that the credits on a DVD will match what is actually being played.

As was common in the 60s separate recordings of the single were made for the UK and US markets in 1966 by Cilla and Cher. It was covered by Warwick the following year.


11 Jun 17 - 07:41 AM (#3860242)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST

I have an old copy of the film and just watched the closing credits and it says Alfie sang by Millicent Martin.


11 Jun 17 - 12:07 PM (#3860294)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Peter

I think that the post above yours covered the fact that different releases of the film have different music.

Before anybody throws new names into the mix the whole thread has been about the 1966 version of the film NOT the 2004 remake.


11 Jun 17 - 01:18 PM (#3860306)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,henryp

Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Helen Date: 13 Nov 00 - 03:45 AM

Hi guys, You were all partly right.

Helen

http://rhino.com/features/liners/75339lin.html

20.Alfie Cilla Black (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)

Musical Direction & Arrangement: Burt Bacharach Produced by George Martin Capitol single #5674 (8/66) * Pop #95

"If you press me for what my favorite song is, the one I'm most proud of, that just about is number one." That's what Burt Bacharach said about "Alfie" on the One Amazing Night telecast that aired on the TNT network during the first half of 1998.

The song was written for the Michael Caine film Alfie. "I saw the script of Alfie, I didn't see the film," says Hal David. "Burt was in Los Angeles and I was in New York. I called Burt, and I asked him if the script and the film were pretty much the same. He said 'yes,' so I felt comfortable working off the story in the script. I wrote a lot of the lyric and gave it to Burt."

Bacharach struggled with the music to accompany Hal's (exceptional) words. "That was a tough song," he told KCRW's Chris Douridas. "[It] took me three weeks to write." Once the song was done, Burt flew to England to record it at Abbey Road with Beatles producer George Martin and the Liverpool-bred, Brian Epstein-managed girl singer Cilla Black.

Cilla may have earned Dionne Warwick's eternal chagrin (due to Cilla's soundalike U.K. hit of "Anyone Who Had A Heart"), but Burt seemed to harbor few ill feelings as he took the singer through the paces of recording "Alfie." As seen in the BBC-TV documentary This Is Now, Burt himself played the piano, conducted the orchestra, and coached the singer simultaneously, pushing a weary Cilla for take after take. "I certainly wouldn't have done it for a Quasimodo," Cilla said in the documentary. "[I did it] because it was Burt, and he was gorgeous and so talented, and I enjoyed his company anyway."

George Martin, who produced the session, claims the British filmmakers turned down the song (!) for inclusion on the movie soundtrack. American prints of the movie later contained Cher's version of the song, produced in Sonny's shaggy pseudo-Wall of Sound style. Dionne recorded the song almost a year later with Burt in New York (the only version to become a sizable hit on the U.S. charts). "I didn't want to record it," she says. "I told them, 'How many versions do you need?'"

Like "A House Is Not A Home," "Alfie" is a genuine standard -- not just an orchestral pop classic, or a '60s oldie, or a bit of lovable kitsch. Due to Hal's brilliant lyric and an astonishingly sympathetic Bacharach melody, the song will certainly outlive us all.


21 Oct 17 - 06:27 PM (#3883778)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,Bob

There were only two singers who sang on the closing credits of the film. MM on the British release and Cher on the US release. You can throw as many names around as you like, but these were the two singers.


21 Oct 17 - 08:14 PM (#3883791)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,lou Judson

How can there be so many messages about this song? I just happened to listen to it yesterday, sung by Patricia Barber. I only could stand a verse and a half, though. Awful pop song! As are most songs from musicals, in my arrogant opinion.


21 Oct 17 - 08:18 PM (#3883793)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Joe Offer

My first grandson was born in March, and my son emailed me a photo. I asked what his name was, and my son sent me a recording of Burt Bacharach singing "Alfie." So, I asked my son if he had named the baby "Burt Bacharach." Nope. Alfie.


Cute kid. Smiles a lot, and laughs.
Maybe he's laughing at his parents.

I named my kids Danny, Nick, and Tricia. My kid names my grandson "Alfie." I'm getting used to it now, and I kinda like it.

-Joe, Proud Grandfather of Alfie Burt Bacharach Offer-


22 Oct 17 - 05:02 AM (#3883819)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,henryp

Congratulations, Joe.

I hope you all get a lot of pleasure together.


23 Oct 17 - 06:29 AM (#3884016)
Subject: RE:What's it all about Alfie? SecondHandSongs db
From: GUEST,Gealt

https://secondhandsongs.com/work/3353/versions


11 May 19 - 08:40 AM (#3991796)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,henryp

The Life of a Song is a regular column in the FT Weekend Life and Arts supplement. And today's article is devoted to the song Alfie;

Bacharach and David wanted Dionne Warwick to record their song. But because the film was set in London, Paramount sought a British singer. At Abbey Road studios in the autumn of 1965, Cilla Black sang "Alfie" 29 times before Bacharach was satisfied.

United Artists, the film's US distributor, instead had Cher record the song. This was heard only during the closing credits. Dionne Warwick recorded it in 1967.

Burt Bacharach described the words as "one of the best lyrics Hal, or anyone else, has written". Cilla Black apparently agreed; lines from "Alfie" are inscribed on her grave in her native Liverpool.


12 May 19 - 04:50 PM (#3991999)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: keberoxu

Song lyrics, and the writing of lyrics
that are meant to be completed by music --

this is a specialty in a class by itself really.
The well-educated and informed, late lamented
Andre Previn remarked
that songwriters (lyrics inc.) are a law unto themselves.

A comparable dilemma existed -- when it was a viable form --
for the kind of verse that was intended, not only to be sung,
but to be dramatized onstage.
I refer to the versified 'libretto' for grand opera.

A couple of posts on this thread put down Hal David's lyric.
The Mudcatters/guests with those opinions
would probably be equally unimpressed
with
a libretto by Metastasio, da Ponte, Illica, and the rest.

As well as a few nineteenth-century authors
who published poetry and
fully intended that composers -- any and all composers --
should create folk-song-sounding Lieder out of their lyrics.
There are a bunch of those publishing in German in that era.

And yes, if you take the printed words
by themselves, straight off the page,
it is easy to dismiss and belittle what is there;
but
such lyrics
were always intended to be in a sense incomplete --
it is the music that completes the work.

Hal David's lyrics for "Alfie"
do not stand alone, nor are they meant to --
no more than Irving Berlin's lyrics
ought to be separated from Irving Berlin's music.
This is a special craft,
and not many appreciate how special it is.


13 May 19 - 12:54 AM (#3992031)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: Joe Offer

So, my grandson was born two years ago, in March 2017. My son posted a photo on Facebook....with no name. So, of course, I asked what the baby's name was. In response, my son posted a video of Burt Bacharach singing "Alfie." So, my next question was whether the baby was named "Burt Bacharach," or Alfie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKt4IWKy1mU

The baby's name is Alfie, but I refer to him formally as Alfie Burt Bacharach Offer. Took me a while to get used to the name, but now I can't imagine anything else.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W5bvLNMXAo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKt4IWKy1mU


14 May 19 - 05:00 PM (#3992397)
Subject: RE: Help: Who sang 'What's it all about Alfie?'
From: GUEST,henryp

keberoxu; This is a special craft.

It is indeed. And I think that there will be quite a few more Mudcatters who agree with you too.

Songwriters are not always the best judges of their own work!

From Wikipedia;

Although Bacharach has cited "Alfie" as his personal favorite of his compositions, he and Hal David were not eager to write a song to promote the film Alfie (a release from Paramount Pictures, which owned Famous Music) when approached by Ed Wolpin of the Composers' Guild. David thought the title character's name pedestrian: "Writing a song about a man called 'Alfie' didn't seem too exciting at the time."

The composers agreed to submit an "Alfie" song if they could complete it within three weeks. Bacharach, in California, was inspired by a rough cut of the film about the Cockney womanizer played by Michael Caine. Bacharach felt that: "with 'Alfie' the lyric had to come first because it had to say what that movie was all about".

He arranged for David – in Long Island – to receive a script of the film to enable him to compose the lyrics. David utilized one of Caine's lines, "What's it all about?", as the opening phrase. David's lyrics were then set to music by Bacharach.