327. ‘The Twelfth of Never’, by Donny Osmond

I press play on this, the second part of Donny Osmond’s chart-topping trilogy, and the first word that comes to mind is ‘syrupy’. Listening to this record’s intro is like being dropped head first into a vat of treacle, and trying to swim to safety…

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The Twelfth of Never, by Donny Osmond (his 2nd of three #1s)

1 week, from 25th March – 1st April 1973

Second thing I notice is that lil’ Donny’s voice has broken. He’s become a man, or at least a proper teenager, and so, we wonder, will his music have grown up along with him? We last heard him chirping about his ‘Puppy Love’; is there any sign that Donny is pushing boundaries, experimenting on the lead single from his fifth (his fifth!) album?

No. If anything – and I have considered this statement very carefully – ‘The Twelfth of Never’ is worse than ‘Puppy Love’. (Meanwhile it makes his little brother Jimmy’s chart-topper sound genuinely enjoyable by comparison.) You ask how much I need you… Must I explain… I need you oh my darlin’, Like roses need rain… You really don’t need to hear any more of the lyrics to get the picture.

But, just in case you were enjoying it, he will love his girl until the roses don’t bloom, until the clover has lost its perfume, and until the poets have run out of rhyme… Until the twelfth of never, And that’s a long, long time… I’ll give this song one thing: it’s powerful. Certain songs make you sad, certain songs make you happy, certain songs make you nauseous. You can guess what category this one falls under…

I dunno. I feel a bit bad. He was only fifteen, and picking on this record feels a bit like taking candy from, well, a kid. I’m sure he was a nice young man, and your nan would certainly have approved (though she might have suggested a haircut), but Donny Osmond did release some utter shite. But then again, as I wrote in my post on ‘Puppy Love’, I am not and never have been a thirteen-year-old girl, and so am far, far away from being this song’s target audience.

‘The Twelfth of Never’, like ‘Puppy Love’, was a cover of an older hit. Johnny Mathis had released his version way back in 1956, and it is much less syrupy, almost gospel-ish. (Mathis, though, disliked the song and kept it as a ‘B’-side.) In the UK, Cliff Richard had had a #8 hit in 1964 with his own version

Donny will have one last UK #1, coming up pretty soon, so brace yourselves. That one is interesting as it is not just a cover of an oldie, but a cover of an oldie that has already topped the charts! Until then, I need a glass of water and a ‘Rennies’…

Follow along with my #1s playlist…

8 thoughts on “327. ‘The Twelfth of Never’, by Donny Osmond

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    Makes you wish Black Sabbath would have kidnapped Donny and forced him to go on tour with them… maybe that would have helped!

  2. The great shame is thst Crazy Horses peaked at 2 and Going Home 4 or so and both Osmonds hits with the older clan on were WAY better than this. Listen and be amazed that they were related in any way, much less have Donny on them!

      1. Ding A Ling kept Osmonds off the top, in a case of familial revenge JImmy knocked off Chuck a couple of weeks later while Donny had fallen short too with his least annoying UK solo hit single of the 70’s – Why.

      2. Even more amazing to think his older brothers wrote, played, sang and arranged the whole song while Donny was lying low as his voice broke – and the record company (clearly behind the dross end of the pop market) didn’t want to release it. The next 2 singles were also Osmonds creations, it’s no coincidence that their best tracks are the ones they had complete creative control over – meanwhile the younger Osmonds were basically record company back-catalogue refreshers….

  3. Pingback: Recap: #301 – #330 – The UK Number Ones Blog

  4. Pingback: 336. ‘Young Love’, by Donny Osmond – The UK Number Ones Blog

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