- Never Can Say Goodbye
"Never Can Say Goodbye" Single by Jackson 5 from the album Maybe Tomorrow Released March 16, 1971 (U.S.) Format Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM) Recorded June 1970
Hitsville West, Los Angeles, CA
Genre Soul Length 2:58 Label Motown Writer(s) Clifton Davis Producer Hal Davis Jackson 5 singles chronology "Mama's Pearl"
"Never Can Say Goodbye"
"Never Can Say Goodbye" Single by Gloria Gaynor from the album Never Can Say Goodbye B-side "We Just Can't Make It" Released November 13, 1974 (U.S.) Format Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM) Recorded 1974 Genre Soul, Disco Length 3:00 Label MGM Records Writer(s) Clifton Davis Producer Jay Ellis, Meco Monardo, Tony Bongiovi, Harold Wheeler Gloria Gaynor singles chronology "Honey Bee"
"Never Can Say Goodbye"
Reach Out, I'll Be There"
"Never Can Say Goodbye" Single by The Communards from the album Red B-side "'77, The Great Escape" (7")
"Tomorrow" [Remix] (U.S. 12")
Released 1987 (International release) Format Vinyl record (7" 45) (12" single) CD Maxi Single Genre Hi-NRG/Dance/Disco Length 4:30 (7" 45 RPM)
7:50 (12" single)
7:50 and 5:35 (CD Maxi single)
Label London Records (UK) / MCA Records (U.S.) / Metronome (Germany) Writer(s) Clifton Davis Producer Stephen Hague
Remix and additional production by Shep Pettibone
The Communards singles chronology "Tomorrow"
"Never Can Say Goodbye"
"For a Friend"
"Never Can Say Goodbye" is a song written by Clifton Davis and originally recorded by The Jackson 5. Released as a single in 1971, it was one of the group's most successful songs. The song has been covered numerous times, most notably in 1974 by disco diva Gloria Gaynor and in 1987 by Hi-NRG/dance-pop group The Communards.
The Jackson 5
The recording features 12-year-old Michael Jackson singing a serious song about a love, with accompaniment from his brothers. Although such a record was unusual for a teenage group, "Never Can Say Goodbye" was a number-two hit on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and a number-one hit on the Billboard Black Singles chart in the United States. In the United Kingdom, it reached number thirty-three on the UK Singles Chart. An alternate version appears on the Jackson 5 CD "I Want You Back! Unreleased Masters" released in 2009.
Gloria Gaynor version
A second major version, reimagined as a disco record by Gloria Gaynor in 1974, was a number-nine hit on the U.S. Pop Singles chart and went to number thirty-four on the Soul Singles chart. The Gloria Gaynor version became one of the defining recordings of the disco era. Indeed, in the UK, Gaynor's version peaked at #2 in the chart during January 1975. This version, released on MGM records, was produced by the Disco Corporation of America, a production company newly formed by Meco Monardo and Tony Bongiovi to which Gaynor was signed. Also working on this production were Jay Ellis and Harold Wheeler.
Though perhaps best known for her 1978/1979 hit "I Will Survive", Gaynor's version of "Never Can Say Goodbye" has the distinction of occupying the number-one spot on the very first Dance/Disco chart ever to appear in Billboard magazine. Never Can Say Goodbye was also the title of Gaynor's debut album on which the single appeared.
The Newark, New Jersey, native has re-recorded the song on more than one occasion, in increasingly Hi-NRG tempos, and subsequent remixes have hit the dance charts.
The Communards version
In 1987, British pop band The Communards had a hit with a Hi-NRG cover of the Clifton Davis classic, which was featured on their second album, Red.
Scottish lead singer Jimmy Somerville, openly gay on record since his previous band Bronski Beat released "Smalltown Boy" in 1984, performed a falsetto version faithful to Gaynor's disco take, right down to the pronouns "you know you love him more and more" and "never can say goodbye, boy".
The Communards' version reached number four in the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot Dance/Disco chart in the U.S. The group had reached number one on those charts covering another 1970s classic, "Don't Leave Me This Way", in 1986.
The energetic music video of this version is classified as a classic by cable video channel VH1.
The song was later covered by a number of artists, including Isaac Hayes, Junior Walker, The Supremes (in 1971)  , Smokey Robinson (in 1973)  , Cal Tjader, David T. Walker, The Sandpipers, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Herbie Mann, Yazz, Sheena Easton, Vanessa Williams, Gerald Albright, David Benoit, Westlife, The Impact of Brass and Matchstik "The Mj Tribute".
Isaac Hayes recorded the song in 1971 and re-recorded it for the 2008 film Soul Men, in which he appears alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac. The film's producers dedicated the 2008 version to both Mac and Hayes, who both died before the project was released.
In 2008, pianist David Benoit recorded a version for his covers-packed album "Heroes" and saxophonist Gerald Albright covered the song on the album "Sax for Stax." In 2009, urban jazz keyboardist Bob Baldwin along with guitarist Chuck Loeb covered the song from Bob's album "Lookin' Back."
guitarist Zachary Breaux covered the song on his 1997 album, Uptown Groove and the final studio album released before his untimely death the following month.
In popular culture
- The Jackson 5 version appears in the 1994 movie Crooklyn and on the second volume of its soundtrack album.
- Nicole Kidman sings a few lines of the song in the animated film Happy Feet (2006).
- Will Ferrell sang the song on the first episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
- The song was in the Charmed episode "That 70's Episode".
- Jorge Núñez sang the song on the top 13 show on American Idol season 8.
- J Xavier sampled the Jackson 5 version for his single, "I Love My Music".
The Neptunes remixed Never Can Say Goodbye on the album Michael Jackson: The Remix Suite (1989).
- Written by Clifton Davis
Never Can Say Goodbye was originally copyrighted on June 10, 1970 [EU0000187089] and then was copyrighted again on December 21, 1970 [EP0000281027]
The Jackson 5
- Lead vocals: Michael Jackson
- Background vocals: Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jermaine Jackson and Marlon Jackson
- Produced by Hal Davis
- Instrumentation by various Los Angeles studio musicians
- Lead vocals: Gloria Gaynor
- Produced by the Disco Corporation of America (Meco Monardo, Tony Bongiovi, Jay Ellis producers; Harold Wheeler arranger)
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 287.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 226.
- ^ Meco Monardo and the Disco Sound of the 1970s
- ^ "Whosampled". http://www.whosampled.com/cover/view/80749/The%20Supremes-Never%20Can%20Say%20Goodbye_The%20Jackson%205-Never%20Can%20Say%20Goodbye/.
- ^ "Allmusic". http://www.allmusic.com/album/smokey-r2051906/review.
- ^ "Heroes overview". Allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1384320.
- ^ "Heroes : David Benoit : Concord Music Group". Concord Music Group. http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/Heroes/.
- ^ "Sax for Stax overview". Allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1385017.
- ^ "Gerald Albright - Sax for Stax". Smooth-jazz.de. http://www.smooth-jazz.de/starportrait/Albright/Saxforstax.htm.
- ^ "Lookin' Back overview". Allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1573339.
- ^ "CD Review of Bob Baldwin". Jazzreview.com. http://www.jazzreview.com/cdreview.cfm?ID=590.
"What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye
Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles number-one single (The Jackson 5 version)
May 1, 1971 – May 15, 1971
"Bridge over Troubled Water" by Aretha Franklin
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (Gloria Gaynor version)
October 26, 1974 – November 16, 1974
"Express" by B.T. Express
The Jackson 5/The Jacksons Jackie Jackson · Tito Jackson · Jermaine Jackson · Marlon Jackson · Michael Jackson · Randy Jackson Motown albums
(The Jackson 5)
Live albums CompilationsGreatest Hits · Anthology · Joyful Jukebox Music · Boogie · The Jacksons: An American Dream · Soulsation! · Jackson 5: The Ultimate Collection · The Best of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5ive – The Motown Years · The Essential Jacksons · The Very Best of The Jacksons · I Want You Back! Unreleased Masters · J is for Jackson 5 Other albums Concert tours Television Specials Related articles Book · Category · Portal The Jackson 5/The Jacksons singles Singles on Steeltown Records"Big Boy" · "We Don't Have to Be Over 21 (To Fall in Love)" Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 ABC Third Album Jackson 5 Christmas Album Maybe Tomorrow"Never Can Say Goodbye" · "Maybe Tomorrow" "16 Candles" Greatest Hits"Sugar Daddy" Lookin' Through the Windows Skywriter"Corner of the Sky" · "Hallelujah Day" · "Skywriter" G.I.T.: Get It Together"Get It Together" · "Dancing Machine" Dancing Machine"Dancing Machine" · "The Life of the Party" · "I Am Love" · "Whatever You Got, I Want" Moving Violation The Jacksons Goin' Places"Goin' Places" · "Even Though You're Gone" · "Different Kind of Lady" · "Music's Taking Over" · "Find Me a Girl" Destiny Triumph The Jacksons Live!"Things I Do for You" (live) Victory"State of Shock" · "Torture" · "Body" 2300 Jackson Street"Nothin' (That Compares 2 U)" · "2300 Jackson Street" · "Art of Madness" Notable collaborations and album tracks Book · Category · Portal
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