Originally, this song was recorded by Evie Sands in 1967. Her version was performing well, however, two weeks after it was released, her record label went bankrupt. Chip Taylor, who wrote the song, was devastated when he found out the label could not promote it or even make more copies of the song. A few months after, Merrilee Rush’s version became a hit for another label, Bell Records. The song was again revived and became a hit Juice Newton back in 1981.
Watch the original version below to hear the where it all began.
The composition of the Song
Chip Taylor came up with this song in about 20 minutes. He said in an interview:
“After strumming any variety of chords for close to two hours and coming up with nothing, he says the complete lyrics ‘There’ll be no strings to bind your hands, not if my love can’t bind your heart’ flowed out of his mouth. His first thought was ‘What is that? That’s beautiful!’ He then thought, ‘Nobody actually TALKS like that!!! Where did those words come from?’ Incredibly, in one sitting, spread out over no more than twenty minutes, he completed the entire song. He says that during the entire process, he never once thought, ‘I’m gonna say this’ or ‘I’m gonna say that.’ In fact, most of the time he was thinking ‘I don’t even know what this means!’ In his own mind, he feels that he didn’t so much as WRITE this song as that he DREAMED it… the way the lyrics flowed out, meshing perfectly with the series of chords he had been strumming – there just had to be some kind of divine intervention. ‘I write melody and words at the same time and I hum nonsense things until something comes out. So I don’t think about what I want to say… I just let the emotion carry me. In this song, the emotion just totally took over and carried me. It was magic.'”
Now watch the version of Merrilee then compare the quality of the ‘60s to the ‘80s later.
Bits about the Song
This hit is about premarital sex. During the glory days of the ’60s, these kind of songs were very permissive in some regards. It was still a taboo subject in the media.
Juice Newton had this for a hit in 1981. The crossover version of Juice Newton landed on the No. 4 Spot on the US Hot 100.
In 2000, the reggae artist Shaggy interpolated this song on “Angel,” which was a No. 1 hit in the US and UK.
Now listen to the ultimate version of the song. “Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton.