The First Cut Is the Deepest

"The First Cut Is the Deepest" is a 1967 song written by Cat Stevens, originally released by P. P. Arnold in May 1967. Stevens' own version originally appeared on his album New Masters in December 1967.

"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
Song by Cat Stevens
from the album New Masters
ReleasedDecember 1967
RecordedOctober 1967
GenreRock
Length3:03
LabelDeram, Decca
Songwriter(s)Cat Stevens
Producer(s)Mike Hurst

The song has been widely recorded and has become a hit single for six different artists: P. P. Arnold (1967), Keith Hampshire (1973), Rod Stewart (1977), Dawn Penn (1994), Papa Dee (1995) and Sheryl Crow (2003).

Cat Stevens versionEdit

Stevens made a demo recording of "The First Cut Is the Deepest" in 1965, but originally hoped to become a songwriter.[1] He wrote the song earlier to promote his songs to other artists, but did not record it as his own performance until early October 1967 with guitarist Big Jim Sullivan, and it did not appear until his second album, New Masters, was released in December 1967. He sold the song for £30 to P.P. Arnold, and it became a huge hit for her,[2] as well as an international hit for Keith Hampshire, Rod Stewart, and Sheryl Crow. The song has won Stevens songwriting awards, including two consecutive ASCAP songwriting awards for "Songwriter of the Year" in 2005 and 2006.[3]

PersonnelEdit

P. P. Arnold versionEdit

American expatriate singer P. P. Arnold had the first hit with the song, reaching number 18 on the UK Singles Chart[4] with her version in May 1967, well ahead of the song appearing on Stevens' album. The Arnold hit featured an up-tempo, soulful vocal set against harpsichord, horns, and strings. It also appeared in the feature film Seven Psychopaths.

Norma Fraser versionEdit

Jamaican singer Norma Fraser covered the song in 1967 on a Studio One recording released as the A side of the Coxsone label 45 rpm disc CS 7017. Fraser's version was subsequently released on various Studio One compilation LPs and CDs.

Keith Hampshire versionEdit

Keith Hampshire had the first chart-topping hit of the song when his recording of it became a number one hit in Canada in 1973, reaching the top of the RPM 100 national singles chart on 12 May of that year.[5] It also topped the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart.[6] This recording also charted in the US, albeit outside the top 40.

Rod Stewart versionEdit

"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
 
Single by Rod Stewart
from the album A Night on the Town
A-side"I Don't Want to Talk About It"
ReleasedFebruary 1977
Format7-inch single
Recorded1976
GenreRock
Length3:21
LabelRiva
Songwriter(s)Cat Stevens
Producer(s)Tom Dowd
Rod Stewart singles chronology
"I Don't Want to Talk About It"
(1976)
"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
(1977)
"You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)"
(1977)

Stewart recorded the song at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, United States, and it appeared on his 1976 album A Night on the Town. It was released as a double A-side single with "I Don't Want to Talk About It". It was a huge success, and spent four weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart in May 1977,[7] number 11 in April in Canada, and also reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. In a departure from the original, Stewart excludes the concluding "But when it comes to being loved, she's first" from the refrain. In 1993, he recorded a live version during a session of MTV Unplugged. This was included on the album Unplugged...and Seated.

Chart performanceEdit

Papa Dee versionEdit

"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
 
Single by Papa Dee
from the album The Journey
Released1995
Recorded1995
GenreReggae
Length3:48
LabelWarner
Songwriter(s)Cat Stevens
Producer(s)
Papa Dee singles chronology
"Jungle Sound Clash"
(1994)
"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
(1995)
"The Journey"
(1996)
Music video
"The First Cut Is the Deepest on YouTube

Swedish rap, ragga and dancehall musician Papa Dee recorded a reggae cover of "The First Cut Is the Deepest" in 1995. It remains his most commercially successful track and was a big hit in Europe. The single peaked at number 5 in Sweden, number 9 in Denmark and Norway, number 20 in Austria and number 38 in Iceland.

Critical receptionEdit

Music & Media wrote about the song: "Dee-lightfully our Swedish Papa tackles the old Cat Stevens hit in a pop dance-infused reggae style with a snappy ragga interlude. Radio, club and dub edits are available too."[15]

Chart performanceEdit

Sheryl Crow versionEdit

"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
 
Single by Sheryl Crow
from the album The Very Best of Sheryl Crow
Released20 October 2003
Recorded2003
GenrePop, pop rock, country
Length3:44
LabelA&M
Songwriter(s)Cat Stevens
Producer(s)John Shanks
Sheryl Crow singles chronology
"It's So Easy"
(2002)
"The First Cut Is the Deepest"
(2003)
"Light in Your Eyes"
(2004)
Audio sample
Music video
"The First Cut Is the Deepest on YouTube

Sheryl Crow's version of "The First Cut Is The Deepest" is the first single released from her 2003 compilation album The Very Best of Sheryl Crow. It became one of Crow's biggest radio hits, peaking at No. 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and becoming her first top 40 solo country hit following the success of her duet with Kid Rock, "Picture".[citation needed] The song stayed on the Hot 100 for 36 weeks and became a gold seller, also reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts. Internationally, the song was a top-twenty success in Hungary, Ireland and New Zealand.

Music videoEdit

The Sheryl Crow music video for "The First Cut Is the Deepest" was directed by Wayne Isham. Filmed in southern Utah, the video features Sheryl in a rocky desert singing with her guitar, riding horses and interacting in a cowboy environment[24]. Sheryl's single was nominated for a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards,[25] losing to "Sunrise" by Norah Jones.

ChartsEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (2003–2004) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[26] 50
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[27] 31
Brazil (ABPD)[28] 59
Germany (Official German Charts)[29] 61
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[30] 20
Ireland (IRMA)[31] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[32] 79
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[33] 19
Poland (LP3)[34] 42
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[35] 22
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[36] 45
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[37] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[38] 14
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[39] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[40] 1
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[41] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[42] 35
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[43] 10

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2004) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[44] 28

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[45] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Islam, Yusuf (2008). "Biography 1964". Official Website for Yusuf Islam. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  2. ^ Marrin, Minette (26 September 2004). "Profile: Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens: Not so much a zealot more a lost musician". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Yusuf Islam Named Songwriter of the Year at ASCAP Awards in London". Ascap.com. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  4. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Cat Stevens Biography on Yahoo! Music". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  6. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 339–40. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ a b "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  9. ^ "i don't want to talk about it/first cut is the deepest | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
  11. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending APRIL 02, 19YY". Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Top 200 Singles of '77 – Volume 28, No. 11, December 31 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Top 100 1977 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  15. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media (1995-06-24). Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Papa Dee – The First Cut Is the Deepest" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. 14 October 1995. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 29 July 1995. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 NR. 132 Vikuna 26.8. '95 - 1.9. '95" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Haddaway – The First Cut Is the Deepest". VG-lista.
  21. ^ "Notowanie nr712" (in Polish). LP3. 22 September 1995. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Haddaway – The First Cut Is the Deepest". Singles Top 100.
  23. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 1995" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Sheryl Crow - The First Cut Is The Deepest". YouTube. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  25. ^ [1] Archived 10 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is the First". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  27. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is the First" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  28. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. 6 October 2001. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is the First". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  30. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  31. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The First Cut Is the First". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  32. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is the First" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  33. ^ "Charts.nz – Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is the First". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  34. ^ "Lista Przebojów Trójki – Polskie Radio Online". Lp3.polskieradio.pl. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  36. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is the First". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  37. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  38. ^ "Sheryl Crow Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  39. ^ "Sheryl Crow Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  40. ^ "Sheryl Crow Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Sheryl Crow Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  42. ^ "Sheryl Crow Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  43. ^ "Sheryl Crow Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  44. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 2004 – Billboard Year End Charts". Bobborst.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  45. ^ "American single certifications – Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is the Deepest". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit