Unchained Melody (3:36)

Cover of Unchained Melody

From Unchained Melody and 471 other releases

“Unchained Melody” is a 1955 popular song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. It has become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some counts having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.[1]

In 1955, North used the music as a theme for the prison film Unchained, hence the name. Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack.[2] Les Baxter (Capitol Records catalog number 3055), released an instrumental version which reached #2. Then song recordings were released by Al Hibbler (Decca Records #29441) reaching #3 on the Billboard charts, Jimmy Young which hit #1 in the United Kingdom, and Roy Hamilton (Epic Records no. 9102) reaching #1 on the R&B Best Sellers list and #6 on the pop chart.[3] Hundreds of other recordings followed.


The song regained popularity when another version was produced by Phil Spector in 1965, credited to the Righteous Brothers, but performed as a solo by Bobby Hatfield, who later recorded versions credited solely to him. It climbed to number four.

It was the July 1965 version by The Righteous Brothers that became a jukebox standard for the late 20th century, regaining massive popularity when used in the 1990 blockbuster film Ghost.

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