Today's 70s Song You Should Know: 'I Can't Explain' By Yvonne Elliman

Post by: Rick Ellis 23 September, 2023

Singer Vyonne Elliman is best known for a string of hit singles she had in the 1970s, including "If I Can't Have You," "Love Me" and a remake of the Barbara Lewis hit "Hello Stranger." But she's had a much more interesting career than you might suspect from those familiar tunes.

Elliman's first recording came when she was living in London. She was a virtual unknown and still singing random gigs in clubs when she was hired sing Mary Magdalene's part in an double-album concept version of the new musical "Jesus Christ Superstar." That version is thought to be the best version of the show ever recorded and it led to a Top 30 single with "I Don't Know How to Love Him." She went on to play the role in the original Broadway production of "Superstar" as well as the movie.

While appearing on Broadway, she was hired to sing back-up vocals on the Eric Clapton song "I Shot The Sheriff" and that led to her touring and appearing on a string of Clapton's 1970s albums, including "461 Ocean Boulevard," "There's One in Every Crowd," "E. C. Was Here," "No Reason to Cry," and "Slowhand." In 1977, she released her fourth solo album and that included "Love Me," her first solo hit. By the end of that year, her Bee Gees written and produced single "If I Can't Have You" was her first and only solo hit.

"If I Can't Have You" is a cover of the song by The Who and comes from her 1973 solo album "Food Of Love." It was her second solo album and while it's wildly uneven, it also has some real high points. Thanks to some guitar work from Pete Townsend, this track is a great example of a fun 1970s rock single and it's a shame that it never received the airplay it deserved. A couple of pieces of trivia about the song. It was later sampled for Fatboy Slim's "Going Out Of My Head." And the "Food Of Love" album included the song "Happy Ending," which was the first commercially released recording of a song written by Jim Steinman. He went on to have a string of hits with Meatloaf, Air Supply, Bonnie Tyler and others.

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Last modified on Sunday, 24 September 2023 20:31