Build Me Up Buttercup

"Build Me Up Buttercup"
Single by The Foundations
from the album From the Foundations
B-side "New Direction"
Released December 1968
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded 1968
Genre Soul, pop
Length 3:00
Label Pye, Uni
Writer(s) Mike d'Abo, Tony Macaulay
Certification Gold (U.S.)
The Foundations singles chronology
"Any Old Time (You're Lonely and Sad)"
"Build Me Up Buttercup"
"In the Bad Bad Old Days (Before You Loved Me)"

"Build Me Up Buttercup" is a song written by Mike d'Abo and Tony Macaulay, and released by The Foundations in 1968 with Colin Young singing lead vocals. Young had replaced Clem Curtis during 1968 and this was the first Foundations hit on which he sang.

It hit #1 on the Cash Box Top 100[1] and #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1969. It was also a #2 hit in the United Kingdom. It was quickly certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over a million US copies.

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Chart (1968–69) Peak
Australia 1
Canada 1
New Zealand 4
UK 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[2] 3
U.S. Billboard R&B
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[1] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1969) Rank
Australia 22
Canada[3] 13
UK[4] 60
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 5
U.S. Cash Box[6] 9

Cover versions and later uses

In 2003, Colin Young recorded an updated version of the song backed by a choir of policemen from the Surrey police force. The proceeds from the sales of the CD went to the Milly's Fund. The fund is a trust set up in memory of murdered school girl Amanda Dowler. Apparently the song was a favourite of hers.[7]

"Build Me Up Buttercup" was covered by David Johansen Group in the late 1970s and early 1980s and appears on The David Johansen Group Live CD (1978). The song was used in the 1983 film Luggage of the Gods!, and featured again in movies twice in the 1990s and once in 2007. It was covered by rock band The Goops in 1995 for the soundtrack of Mallrats, with the music video featuring View Askewniverse characters Jay and Silent Bob. Three years later, it was included (as its original version) in the 1998 film There's Something About Mary where the cast made a video for the song during the end credits, with all the main actors miming to the words in character.

In 2001, the song was used in the pilot of the TV show Alias as part of a marriage proposal, sung by character Danny Hecht.

It was also covered by The Frantic in 2007 as a bonus track on their album, Audio & Murder. This version is popularly thought to have been done by both NOFX and The Donnas. English musician Frank Turner recorded a slightly darker cover for the 1969 Key to Change album. The song later appeared on his compilation album The Second Three Years. It was also recorded in the 1960s, and performed by, The Valentines (an Australian band) who had a very little-known backing singer by the name of Bon Scott, who later fronted Fraternity before becoming lead singer of AC/DC.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play this song during the seventh-inning stretch, after "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"; fans most often sing along with it, much like "Sweet Caroline" with the Boston Red Sox and Pitt Panthers, as well as "New York, New York" with the New York Yankees. The song is also sung by fans and especially students during Wisconsin Badgers football and Boston College Eagles football games.

In 1997, the song was used in the Philippine TV programmes Growing Up and T.G.I.S. (GMA Network).

The Orwells cover the song live very fast and often just the chorus.

Leaked recordings from the "Let It Be" sessions revealed that the Beatles sang the song (along with other covers) in between takes of their own songs.

Pop-rock band Busted included a cover as a B-side to their number 2 single crashed the wedding.[8]

During a "Behind the Scenes" video of the Twenty One Pilots' song "House of Gold", the lead singer Tyler Joseph can be heard playing and singing an original ukulele cover of the song.[9]

The cast of the British series Red Dwarf also cover a short part of the song during Series 2.


Single releases of various versions


  1. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
  2. Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
  3. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  4. "Top 100 1969 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-22. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  6. "Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Mike d'Abo's Bands of Gold". 2003-08-23. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  7. "Busted Online". Busted Online. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  8. "twenty one pilots: House of Gold (Beyond The Video)". YouTube. 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  9. Reid, Sean. "Rockin' Romance 2 Track Listing Announced". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 2016-10-01.

External links

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