(All files are 96 kbps to conserve space.)
Gene's first big hit came with the self penned "I Wanna Love My Life Away". As well as writing the song Gene was also responsible for all 7 vocal tracks and he played piano, guitar and drums on the song.
I Wanna Love My Life Away
The Making of Gene
Gene really broke through onto the pop music stage with the hit song "Town Without Pity". It was the title song to the movie of the same name starring Kirk Douglas. Gene performed "Town Without Pity" at the Academy Awards (the first pop singer to ever perform at the ceremony) significantly raising his profile. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" was another movie title song. However, the song never ended up appearing on the movie despite it being one of Gene's best performances. The blend of pop and country make for an entertaining song.
Town Without Pity
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
At the height of his popularity Gene was synonymous with operatic, angst ridden ballads. Once described as "the voice of heartbreak" Gene's voice was well suited to this type of song. "Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa" and "Looking Through the Eyes of Love" are two of Gene's most well known, and highest selling, songs. Tulsa is sung from the point of view of an unfaithful lover while Looking Through is about the blindness of love. "Backstage" is a song that demonstrates the power of Gene's voice as he sings of the loneliness that accompanies stardom.
Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa
Looking Through the Eyes of Love
Gene Pitney has also been responsible for many melodic love songs. "Only Love Can Break a Heart" is one of Pitney's best known while "If I Didn't Have a Dime", originally the B side to "Only Love Can Break a Heart", remains one of Gene's best loved songs among fans to this day.
Only Love Can Break a Heart
If I Didn't Have a Dime (To Play the Jukebox)
Although Pitney's popularity had begun to wane by the late sixties his career has never stopped. During the mid seventies a revival in Pitney's music occured and hits like "Trans-Canada Highway" and "Blue Angel" were produced. In 1990 Gene achieved what had eluded him throughout the height of his popularity. A number 1 UK hit. It came as a result of one of the most unlikely combinations. Gene teamed with Marc Almond to cover Gene's 1967 hit "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart". The original had only managed to get to number 5 in 1967.
Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart (w/ Marc Almond)
Gene's music career began, not as a performer, but as a songwriter. He was responsible for some of the best known songs of all time such as "Hello Mary Lou" for Rick Nelson which he later recorded himself. He also wrote "Today's Teardrops" for Roy Orbison, "Rubber Ball" for Bobby Vee and "He's a Rebel" for Phil Spector's group The Crystals.
Bobby Vee - Rubber Ball
The Crystals - He's a Rebel
The Other Side of Gene Pitney
As well as his mainstream hits Pitney also experimented with other genre's. He delved into country music, with a fair amount of success, and also Folk music. Albums with country greats like George Jones established Pitney as a credible country singer. In addition Pitney has covered a wide variety of popular songs from the 60's and 70's. These have included Cat Stevens' "The First Cut is the Deepest", Diana Ross and the Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love" as well as the Righteous Brother's "Unchained Melody" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'".
She Thinks I Still Care
The First Cut is the Deepest
Stop! In the Name of Love
Check out my complete Complete Collection of Gene Pitney.