On Tuesday, we talked about Jules Shear’s “Whispering Your Name,” a failed single from his solo debut, Watch Dog. While the single and album flopped, it stayed in the hearts of many musicians and fans. In 1984, Cyndi Lauper had a Top Five hit with a cover of “All Through The Night,” the second song off Watch Dog. And ten years later, Alison Moyet would finally make a hit out of “Whispering Your Name.”
While Shear sang “Whispering Your Name” (download) from the point of view of a guy in love with a girl who still pines for her ex, Moyet kept the pronouns the same on her version. As a result, Moyet’s take adds a sexual twist, as she sings to another woman. While Moyet is happily married to husband number two, she obviously wasn’t afraid to tweak sexual mores a bit and make the cover all the more intriguing.
Even more intriguing was the single version of the track (download) which was miles away from the stripped down acoustic take featured on Moyet’s album, Essex. The single mix makes “Whispering” a dance floor pleaser, complete with disco strings and a Chicago House beat. The video version goes yet another step further, as Moyet’s Yaz mate, Vince Clarke remixed the single, making it a New Wave synth throwback. And hey, look! Dawn French!
A 12″ mix (download) was worked to the clubs, and while I did hear the song quite a bit while clubbing in 1994, none of my sources show it charting anywhere on the Dance Charts. Can anyone confirm it charted here? As far as the UK goes, “Whispering Your Name” became Moyet’s biggest hit in quite some time, peaking at #12. But sadly, as far as the States go, Moyet’s cover suffered the same non-charting fate as Jules Shear’s original. Too bad, since I love all four versions. The CD single is well worth the penny you can snag it for on Amazon.
“Whispering Your Name” did not chart.
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