336. ‘Young Love’, by Donny Osmond

We’ve heard this one before, haven’t we…?

Young Love, by Donny Osmond (his 3rd and final #1)

4 weeks, from 19th August – 16th September 1973

Cast your mind all the way back to early 1957, when blue-eyed, all-American heartthrob Tab Hunter was crooning his way into the hearts of many with his own version of ‘Young Love’. I wasn’t keen on it then – and I quote: “I’ve listened to ‘Young Love’ several times now, trying to find something to like about it, but I can’t do it. It’s insipid. And that’s it” – and I ain’t much keener on it now.

It’s a pretty faithful cover – the same lullaby guitar and lyrics, with a few strings thrown in for that trademark Osmond schmaltz. Donny sounds like… Donny. It’s not as teeth-grindingly terrible as ‘The Twelfth of Never’, but it’s no ‘Puppy Love’. Who’d have thought, when I gave ‘Puppy Love’ it’s glowing review, that it would wind up being the best of Donny Osmond’s three chart-toppers!

No, I’m going to play nice. Yes, this is complete tripe, but as I say every time: I am not the target audience for it. Same way that I will not be the target audience for New Kids on the Block, Boyzone, Westlife or 1 Direction, when their times come. Plus, it’s a song by a fifteen year old kid. No way would I want any of the stupid things I did, said, wore, or released on 7” vinyl around the world, aged fifteen, held against me. I’ll let him be…

But then, oh Jesus, he starts talking. Even Tab Hunter didn’t go this far… Just one kiss, From your sweet lips, Will tell me that our love is real… Donny, son, you’re making it really hard for me to not write terrible things about you… You just know that this was the exact moment in the song where girls across the country leant in to give their Donny posters a good hard snogging.

It’s short, at least, two and a half minutes and we’re through. That’s it as far as this young man’s solo chart-toppers are concerned, though he does have one more #1 coming up soon with his brothers in tow. I feel we need write no more.

Except, I guess it’s interesting that back in the fifties, at the same time as Tab Hunter took this to the top first time around, right on the verge of the rock ‘n’ roll revolution, that it was common for artists to cover songs from the twenties and thirties. Connie Francis took ‘Carolina Moon’ to the top, Bobby Darin did the same with ‘Mack the Knife’, while Tommy Edwards used an old melody in ‘It’s All in the Game’. This disc marks the first time, of many, that a former #1 will return to the top as a cover version. And, scarily, the 1950s are to the 1970s what the 1930s were to the ‘50s…

13 thoughts on “336. ‘Young Love’, by Donny Osmond

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    Puppy love the best in Donny Osmond’s three chart-toppers… that is like picking your favorite serial killer.

  2. Donny’s early teen solo tracks get increasingly worse with age, too right. His US chart-topper Go Away Little Girl was cute, Puppy Love was sweet for a time, Why was quite tuneful and singalong, and then came increasingly bad singles. By 1974 they were excruciating, and it was all over for solo Donny until 1988 and his George Michael phase, bar his duets with Marie which weren’t anywhere near as bad, at least they were lively!

    Well done on holding back! 🙂

    1. Thanks. There’s enough anger online atm without me venting over fifty-year-old pop hits…! : ) I do think, though, that ‘Young Love’ is a slight improvement on the truly abysmal ‘Twelfth of Never’. But I’m intrigued now as to what came after this… I think I’ll listen to his follow-up singles, even though I don’t have to anymore!

  3. And, here I thought Tab Hunter’s version of this was mind-grinding. Yikes.

    This song was done the best by Sonny James.

    Donny was cute when he was younger. When he grew up, he just became a dark-haired Ken doll…and about as useful.

    1. I’ve not heard any other versions… Can this song actually be done well?!

      He was cute. The problem was that he was so cute, he could get away with releasing drivel like this and still have month-long #1s with it!

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