Label: Motown - M675L • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Reissue, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Funk / Soul •
Richard Harris was the first to record it in ; his version peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot chart and number four on the UK Singles Chart. Inproducer Bones Howe had asked Webb to create a pop song with classical elements, different movements, and changing time signatures. Webb delivered "MacArthur Park" to Howe with "everything he wanted", but Howe did not care for the ambitious arrangement or unorthodox lyrics and the song was rejected by the group The Associationfor whom it was originally intended.
Webb initially brought the entire cantata to The Associationbut the group rejected it. In an interview with Newsday in OctoberWebb explained:. Everything in the song was visible. There's nothing in it that's fabricated. The old men playing checkers by the trees, Innsbruck, Ich Muß Dich Lassen - Various - Wilde Jaeger cake that was left out in the rain, all of the things that are talked about in the song are things I actually saw.
And so it's a kind of musical collage of this whole love affair that kind of went down in MacArthur Park. Back then, I was kind of like an emotional machine, like whatever was going on inside me would bubble out of the piano and onto paper. Webb and Horton remained friends, even after her marriage to another man. The breakup was also the primary influence for " By the Time I Get to Phoenix ", another song written and composed by Webb.
Greco closed all his shows with this number for forty years. The idea to write and compose a classically What Is A Man - Four Tops - MacArthur Park song with several movements that could be played on the radio came from a challenge by music producer Bones Howewho produced recordings for The Association.
The song consists of four sections or movements:. Webb had been invited to provide the musical What Is A Man - Four Tops - MacArthur Park at the Freedom - Blues Traveler - Four. Out of the blue, Harris, who had just starred in the film Camelot and had performed several musical numbers in it, suggested to Webb that he wanted to release a record.
At first, Webb did not take Harris seriously, but later he received a telegram from Harris requesting that Webb "come to London and make a record". The last song that Webb played for Harris was "MacArthur Park", originally written for The Associationwhose members had promptly rejected it because of its length, complex structure, and unorthodox lyrics. But Harris selected it.
String, woodwind, and brass overdubs were recorded over two sessions on December 29 and What Is A Man - Four Tops - MacArthur Park The song was included on Harris's album A Tramp Shining in and selected for release as a singlean unusual choice, given the song's length and complex structure. InMiami Herald journalist Dave Barry conducted a poll among his readers, and they selected Harris's recording as the worst song of all timeboth in terms of "Worst Lyrics" and "Worst Overall Song".
Elvis Presley constantly sang the song behind the scenes of Elvis in a parody-type high manner. She became the first female artist of the modern era to have the number one single and album simultaneously on the Billboard pop charts the week of November 11, Italian producer Giorgio Moroder would recall that he and his collaborator Pete Bellotte had been interested in the concept of either remixing a track — as yet undecided on — which had been a hit in the s or else remaking a s hit as a dance track: Moroder — "I remember that I was driving in I thought: 'That's it — that's the song we've been looking for almost a year.
Moroder readily identified "MacArthur Park" as quote "a great song for Donna — with all those high notes, it was perfect [for her] First, I [located] a key that she could sing really high, but still with a big voice — that took an hour or two. I played a little piano and she sang it with my accompaniment.
We found a key and we had Greg Mathieson do the arrangement — and then I did something very special" — that "something very special" being Moroder's recording of his own voice to form a choir heard behind Summer on the song's chorus: "I recorded about 20 seconds of all the notes, which I was able to sing on a track.
I made a loop of those notes, and put that loop in the [Solid State Logic] desk. I could form eight chords by having C-E-G right on the group. I played the chords by moving the track according to the chord that I needed. The shorter seven-inch vinyl single version — which omits the song's balladic second movement — afforded Summer her first 1 hit on the Billboard Hotalso becoming the last of seven hit versions of compositions by Jimmy Webb to reach the Top Ten on the Hotwith "MacArthur Park" by Donna Summer being the only recording of a Webb composition to top the Hot The nearly minute musical medley "MacArthur Park Suite" incorporated the original songs "One of a Kind" and " Heaven Knows ", the latter Its A Pity - Various - Gluttony issued as the second single off Live and More.
The versions of this medley in Live and More and in the inch recording are notably different in the presentation of the two original songs. In the inch version, "Heaven Knows" was extended to incorporate the instrumental string introduction and Supa. T - Be True What Is A Man - Four Tops - MacArthur Park horn solo of the single version for radio stations, but left out the second verse and "One of a Kind" was trimmed of a large part of the instrumental break but included the second verse.
Lyrically, Summer's rendition is also curious, in that it adds the word "Chinese" to clarify what type of checkers were being played. A cover version of "MacArthur Park" was recorded by country music singer Waylon Jennings on his album Country-Folkwhich included the Im Coming, Virginia - Bunny Berigan - I Cant Get Started - His 25 Finest (1934-1940) group The Kimberlys.
This version charted at number 23 on Hot Country Songs and number 93 on the Billboard Hotmaking its chart debut on August 23, The Four Tops version reached number 38 on the Billboard Hot chart  and number 37 in Canada. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Popular song written by Jimmy Webb. Baroque pop orchestral pop psychedelic pop proto-progressive.
Artwork for the Spain single release, also used for the German release under different printing. Giorgio Moroder Pete Bellotte. Billboard Hot Disco Singles 1 U. Retrieved New York: Billboard. October 8, Retrieved October 15, Los Angeles Times. July 20, The Wrecking Crew. Retrieved April 18, Retrieved June 1, Retrieved June 2, Retrieved April 16, Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs.
Andrews McMeel Publishing. The worst song in modern history, at least in the opinion of the people who responded to the Bad Song Survey is Retrieved 7 August Library and Archives Canada. Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, Retrieved 5 September Top Adult Contemporary: — Record Research.
Barry McKay. January Retrieved 13 July Retrieved July 6, Archived from the original on July 20, Retrieved August 20, Retrieved March 6, Single Top Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 28, Retrieved May 29, Archived from the original on Cash Box Archives. December 30, Archived from the original on September 29, Retrieved October 6, Hot Country Songs to Record Research, Inc. Invisible Insecurity - Forest Management - Essentials December 22, Retrieved June 21, October 16, Richard Harris.
Jimmy Webb. Jimmy Webb discography. Donna Summer. Album discography Singles discography Awards Cover versions. Waylon Jennings. Albums Singles. The Waylors Outlaw country Wanted! Four Tops singles discography.