Unchained Melody

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"Unchained Melody" is one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some counts having spawned over 500 versions. One week in the 1950s saw no less than four different cover versions in the British charts alone.

Originally written by the renowned film composer Alex North as a theme for the now obscure 1955 prison film Unchained, the lyrics by Hy Zaret tell of a prisoner's anguish over his girlfriend. Les Baxter recorded it for the film's soundtrack, and it was very soon thereafter recorded by Al Hibbler. Perhaps the best known version is from 1965, credited to the Righteous Brothers but performed as a solo by Bobby Hatfield, who later recorded versions credited solely to himself.

"Unchained Melody" appeared on the Billboard charts again in 1990, after the Righteous Brothers' recording was used in the film Ghost.

The song has uniquely been a UK number one hit for four different acts: Jimmy Young (1955); Righteous Brothers (1990); Robson & Jerome (1995); and Gareth Gates (2002).