Released on: Australia (Single #20) Epic Records, 2 December 1996
Peak UK Chart Position: #7
Band Ranking: #21
Cover: Originally by Frankie Valli.
Having the Manics cover Camper Van Beethoven was some way off the beaten track, but their version of a 1967 hit single by Frankie Valli was much more so. ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ is one of the most famous pop singles ever recorded, and known for its many other cover versions – but what might have possessed the Manics to have a go at it?
Well, there seems to be a definite connection between the kind of relaxed, laid-back, classically showbusiness feel of this song and another EMG B-side, [B94] ‘Horses Under Starlight’. The two songs actually sound quite natural when played back-to-back, especially because the famous “bah da” wordless vocal of ‘Can’t Take…’ could easily have been one of the inspirations for Bradfield’s vocals in ‘Horses Under Starlight’.
It’s significant that this is a totally honest, faithful version of the song rather than – as some may have expected – some kind of ironic twist on the original hit recording. This is especially important because it leaves the recording as one of the very few genuinely romantic Manics efforts ever made. Even for that reason alone it would be a real standout, but it’s a fun and very pleasant recording as well.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“at last love has arrived / and I thank god I’m alive”