I Can't Hear You No More
|"I Can't Hear You"|
|Single by Betty Everett|
|B-side||"Can I Get to Know You"|
|Writer(s)||Gerry Goffin, Carole King|
|Betty Everett singles chronology|
"I Can't Hear You No More" is a composition written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was originally recorded as "I Can't Hear You" in 1964 by Betty Everett. The most successful version was the 1976 Top 40 single by Helen Reddy.
Betty Everett version
The Betty Everett version was released in the summer of 1964 as the follow-up to her Top Ten smash "The Shoop Shoop Song". Robert Pruter in his book Chicago Soul describes "I Can't Hear You" as a "surprisingly weak [song] for Goffin-King that did not give the Vee Jay [Records] staff [musicians] much to work with" and dismisses Everett's single with its number 39 R&B chart (as reported in Cash Box magazine) as "essentially a non-hit." "I Can't Hear You" appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 with a peak of number 66 (number 85 on the Cash Box Pop 100).
In the UK Lulu recorded "I Can't Hear You" as the followup to her breakthrough hit "Shout"; produced by Peter Sullivan and released as "Can't Hear You No More" 28 August 1964 the single fell short of the UK Top 50.
Dusty Springfield version
Dusty Springfield's version of "I Can't Hear You" appears on her Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty UK album release and on its US equivalent You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. Having premiered her version of "I Can't Hear You" on the 28 April 1965 Ready Steady Go! Sound of Motown broadcast with Martha and the Vandellas providing background vocals, Springfield recorded "I Can't Hear You" in a 2 July 1965 session at Philips Studios in Marble Arch with Philips owner Johnny Franz credited as producer (Springfield has stated she herself produced all her mid-60s recordings). The session, conducted by Ivor Raymonde and featuring Madeline Bell and Doris Troy on background vocals, is a rare instance of Springfield recording with her touring band the Echoes.
Carole King version
Carole King herself recorded "I Can't Hear You No More" for her debut solo album Writer in 1970. In his book The Words and Music of Carole King, James Perone says the song "works well enough for King, but the style of the song and the arrangement" - Perone calls the arrangement "Philadelphia soul influenced" - "are such that it doesn't have the impact of some of King's later compositions that were designed around her physical and rhetorical voice."
Helen Reddy version
|"I Can't Hear You No More"|
|Single by Helen Reddy|
|from the album Music, Music|
|B-side||"Music Is My Life"|
|Writer(s)||Gerry Goffin, Carole King|
|Helen Reddy singles chronology|
The 1976 Helen Reddy version was the most successful version which was released as the lead single for her album release Music, Music. The musicians included Victor Feldman (percussion), Harvey Mason and Jeff Porcaro (drums), David Paich (keyboards), Ray Parker, Jr. (guitar) and Tom Scott (saxophone). The albums's credited background vocalists include Jim Gilstrap, Myrna Matthews, Lisa Freeman and Carolyn Willis. Reddy unhappily recorded "I Can't Hear You No More" at the strong suggestion of Capitol Records who hoped a disco influenced song might boost Reddy's career. Ironically "I Can't Hear You No More" became a number 1 Easy Listening hit - Reddy's eighth and last and was also her next to last Top 40 hit with a number 29 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 (Cash Box ranked the track with a number 41 peak).
The song was also recorded by the various groups:
- Russ Ballard
- The Newbeats as the B-side to their 1965 single, "Little Child".
- The French singer Jocelyne (fr) recorded *the French version, "J'ai Oublié" or "I'm Sorry."
- The song is featured in the 1969 film The Reckoning in a live performance by the band "The Spectrum" (Keith Forsey on drums) and featured a lead vocal by actress and vocalist Patricia Gratton.
- Pruter, Robert (1992). Chicago Soul. Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-252-06259-0.
- Lulu: "Can't Hear You No More"
- Perone, James (2006). The Words and Music of Carole King. Westport CT: Praeger Publishers. p. 30. ISBN 0-275-99027-3.
- Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of Adult Contemporary Hits. New York City: Billboard Books. p. 197. ISBN 0-8230-7693-8.