Cherish (The Association song)

"Cherish" is a pop song written by Terry Kirkman and recorded by the Association.[3] Released in 1966, the song reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in September of that year and remained in the top position for three weeks.[4] Billboard ranked the record as the No. 7 song of 1966, and later as No. 2, after a revision of the year-end charts. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in the US in 1966.[5] In Canada, the song also reached number one.[6]

Single by the Association
from the album And Then... Along Comes the Association
B-side"Don't Blame It on Me"
ReleasedAugust 1966
  • 3:25 (album)
  • 3:13 (single)
Songwriter(s)Terry Kirkman
Producer(s)Curt Boettcher
The Association singles chronology
"Along Comes Mary"
"Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies"

Original version edit

Songwriting edit

Terry Kirkman wrote it in half an hour and put it into the live act of his group, the Association. He was looking for an emotional, slow tempo song in the same vein as the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". Mike Whelan, from the New Christy Minstrels, liked it so much that he convinced the Minstrels to record a version of the song, and in fact their recording was almost released before the Association's.[7]

In the lyrics, the protagonist tells his love interest that he "cherishes" her, though he isn't sure if he actually loves her or only wants her. At the same time he's unsure the love interest is interested in him, because she is being courted by "a thousand other guys".[8][9]

Recording edit

The instrumentation of their debut, which includes this song, was recorded at a converted garage studio owned by Gary S. Paxton, who engineered the sessions along with Pete Romano, while the vocals of the group were recorded at Columbia studios.[10] Like most of Association hits, session musicians were called to do the instrumental track, including Mike Deasy on guitar, Jerry Scheff on bass and Jim Troxel on drums, with only Kirkman and Jules Alexander, as members of the band, participating on it.[11] Curt Boettcher added some vocals, most notably the high-pitched "told you" and "hold you" on the final verse.[citation needed]

The song is notable for having two bridge sections, the second leading to a modulation in which the key rises a whole step. The song ends with the words "cherish is the word," over a sustained vibrato electric guitar chord. The song is noted for its use of the Chimes, which are imitated by the backup members of the Association, heard in Intro, the first 2 verses, as well as in the second Bridge sections

For the single released, the song was speeded up and one of the two "And I do cherish you" lines near the end was removed. This was done to hold the track to the three-minute mark, as AM radio programmers frowned on songs that went longer than that. However, even with the edit, the song still ran over. Instead of editing further, producer Curt Boettcher intentionally listed "3:00" on the label as the song's running time.[7][12]

Critical reception edit

In a retrospective review published on Stereogum in 2018, Tom Breihan wrote, "There are things about 'Cherish' that should be good — things that look nice on paper. The Association were singing in lush, Beach Boys–esque harmonies, and they were doing it over intricately layered guitars and banjos and horns. But 'Cherish' is a bloodless affair, a sickly-sweet melody backing up a somewhat creepy lyric about fixating too hard on a girl." In his conclusion, he wrote, "Songs like this — vaguely queasy pop songs with lush and lightly orchestral arrangements — would pretty much dominate pop music for a few years in the early ’70s. The Association got there first, but they don’t get any points for it."[9]

Conversely, Terry Watada states, "Cherish was wonderful, its sensual harmonies and simple sentiments produced the ideal dreamy atmosphere for a last dance."[13] In the 2004 edition of The Rolling Stone Album Guide writer Paul Evans, while critical of the band and its work as a whole, acknowledged the song "tingles as a makeout classic".[14]

Aftermath edit

"Cherish" has become a staple in wedding ceremonies and slow dances, and is considered the 22nd most played song of the 20th Century by the BMI.[8]

In 2012, original Association member Jim Yester said the record label claimed the song sounded "too old and archaic", but quipped that the song's success "just showed we can have archaic and eat it, too."[15]

Personnel edit

  • Uncredited: Chimes

Charts edit

Chart (1966) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[6] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[16] 38

David Cassidy version edit

Single by David Cassidy
from the album Cherish
B-side"All I Wanna Do Is Touch You"
ReleasedOctober 1971
Length3:46 (album)
Songwriter(s)Terry Kirkman
Producer(s)Wes Farrell
David Cassidy singles chronology
"Could It Be Forever"

David Cassidy recorded his own version as a single in October 1971 which later appeared on his album Cherish (1972). His version ended on the repeated phrase in the coda: "And I do Cherish You", which fades out. His version reached number nine on the Hot 100 chart, and spent one week at number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.[17] and peaked at number three in Canada and hit number one in both Australia and New Zealand.[citation needed] In the UK, it was issued as a double A-side with "Could It Be Forever", and peaked at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart. It was his debut hit single in that country.[18] The song was certified Gold by the RIAA in the US in December 1971.[19]

Charts edit

Chart (1971–72) Peak
Australia (Go-Set National Top 40)[20] 2
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[21] 3
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[22] 8
New Zealand (Listener Chart)[23] 5
UK Singles (OCC)[24] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[25] 9
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[26] 1

Other versions edit

Other artists to have covered the song include Dizzy Gillespie (The Melody Lingers On album), The Lettermen, Nina Simone, Ed Ames, Petula Clark (Colour My World album), Rita Wilson (AM/FM album), The Four Tops (Reach Out album), Carla Thomas (Love Means... album), Jodeci, Barry Manilow, Pat Metheny (What's It All About album), Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, and Glee which incorporates elements from the Madonna song with the same title.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Asakawa, Gil (1998). "The Association". In Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. p. 46.
  2. ^ Bielen, Ken (2021). Portraying Performer Image in Record Album Cover Art. London: Lexington Books. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-7936-4073-4.
  3. ^ "Show 37 - The Rubberization of Soul: The great pop music renaissance. [Part 3] : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. 1969. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  4. ^ a b "The Association Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "American single certifications – The Association – Cherish". Recording Industry Association of America.
  6. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5726." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  7. ^ a b Songfacts. "Cherish by The Association - Songfacts". Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  8. ^ a b O'Rourke, Sally. "It Was 50 Years Ago Today: "Cherish" by The Association". Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  9. ^ a b "The Number Ones: The Association's "Cherish"". Stereogum. 2018-09-19. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  10. ^ "The Association | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  11. ^ The Association - Cherish (Single Mix), archived from the original on 2021-12-13, retrieved 2021-03-21
  12. ^ "Today in 1966: The Association's "Cherish" Hits the Hot 100 | Rhino". Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  13. ^ "Cherish is the Word". National Association of Japanese Canadians. 2 May 2015.
  14. ^ Evans, Paul (2004). "The Association". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 26. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  15. ^ Steve Palisin, "The Association teams up with Long Bay Symphony," The Sun News, October 19, 2012.
  16. ^ "The Association Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 50.
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 97. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – David Cassidy – Cherish". Recording Industry Association of America.
  20. ^ "Go-Set National Top 40". Go-Set charts. 19 February 1972.
  21. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5302." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  22. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7551." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  23. ^ "David Cassidy (search)". Flavour of New Zealand.
  24. ^ "David Cassidy: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  25. ^ "David Cassidy Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "David Cassidy Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.

External links edit