THE MOST POPULAR COVER: Connie Francis (1957)
This song has been covered by lots of people – Pat Boone, Bing Crosby, Willie Nelson and Jerry Lee Lewis, to name a few – but I’m sticking with the most popular version by Connie to stand in for our “original” today.
This is one of those teenybopper rock n’ roll hits from the late 50s that couldn’t be escaped, thanks to Dick Clark. I’ve always said that it’s really a country & western song, because I think she’s channeling Patsy Cline here. It’s a “slow drag” song about a gal who’s talking smack to the dude who broke her heart.
Twangy echoed guitar, male background vocals in perfect harmony and a bass line that is soft and bouncy. 2:20 of bubblegum perfection!
THE OTHER COVER: Marie Osmond (1975)
The production team turned this into a slightly uptempo country song, loaded with strings and 18 layers of Lawrence Welk-style background vocals that all but drown out the guitar and bass, all while Marie’s shrill voice cuts through it all like a worn steak knife.
I swear, at 1:32 she’s pretty much just flat out screaming the lyrics, and I’m ever so thankful it clicks in at a Ramones pace, 2:09 – because my ears are bleeding.
WHO DOES IT BETTER?
It’s painfully obvious that Connie wins this one. I listened to Marie’s version three times for the sake of this article, and I’ll never listen to it ever again. Literally painful, but you really need to listen to it one, hahahahah!
BONUS: Someone out there made this mashup of both versions. Be sure to have an aspirin on deck!
NOW YOU DECIDE!