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"Denise" is a 1963 hit by the American doo wop group Randy & the Rainbows,[1] "Denis" was a 1977 gender-swapping cover of the song by the American new wave band Blondie.[2] The cover of the song helped the band break into the international market. It featured on the band's second studio album, Plastic Letters (1978), and was the second UK single release by Blondie on Chrysalis records.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Original song information

Original song information[edit]Edit

Randy & the Rainbows worked with the producers of The Tokens, releasing the single "Denise" in 1963. The song hit #18 on the US Black Singles chart and #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.[3]

"Denise" was written by Neil Levenson, and was inspired by his childhood friend, Denice Lefrak.[4] The song later became a European hit for Blondie, with the title changed to "Denis".

Blondie version[edit]Edit

"Denis"
[1]
Single by Blondie
from the album Plastic Letters
B-side "I'm on E" (US)

"Contact in Red Square"/"Kung-Fu Girls" (UK)

Released February 1978 (UK)

May 1978 (US)

Format 7" & 12" vinyl
Recorded 1977
Genre New wave
Length 2:18
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Neil Levenson
Producer Richard Gottehrer
Certification Gold (UK), Gold (Netherlands)
Blondie singles chronology
"Rip Her to Shreds"

(1976)

"Denis"

(1978)

"(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear"

(1978)

Audio sample
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The initial Blondie version contained a verse with partly improvised lyrics in French by the group's vocalist Debbie Harry. Although Chrysalis insisted that the band re-record the song with a grammatically correct French translation, both the band and producer Richard Gottehrer preferred the first take.[citation needed] Harry stood her ground on the matter,[citation needed]and the version containing the "pidgin French" lyrics was released. The second, re-recorded version had its debut as a bonus track on EMI UK's 1994 re-issue of Plastic Letters.

"Denis" was released in February 1978 and reached number 2 in the UK and broke into the Top 20 in most European countries including number 1 in Netherlands. In the UK, the song was kept at number 2 for four weeks, first by Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" and then by Brian and Michael's "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs". Just like "Rip Her to Shreds", the single was issued on both 7" and 12" formats in the UK, and both feature two B-sides, "Contact in Red Square" from Plastic Letters and "Kung-Fu Girls" from Blondie. "Denis" was the only single released in the US from Plastic Letters (with "I'm on E" as the B-side) though it never charted. In 1988, a remixed version of the track was issued as a single from the Blondie/Debbie Harry remix compilation Once More into the Bleach. This time the single reached number 50 in the UK.

Track listing[edit]Edit

1978 Release
UK 7" and 12" (CHS 2204)
  1. "Denis" (Levenson) – 2:18
  2. "Contact in Red Square" (Destri) – 2:01
  3. "Kung-Fu Girls" (Destri, Harry, Valentine) – 2:33
US 7" (CHS 2220)
  1. "Denis" (Levenson) – 2:18
  2. "I'm on E" (Harry, Stein) – 2:13
1988 Release
UK 7" (CHS 3328)
  1. "Denis '88" - 5:26
  2. "Rapture" (The Teddy Riley Remix) - 7:02
UK 12" (CHS 12 3328)
  1. "Denis" (The Danny D Remix) - 5:26
  2. "Rapture" (The Teddy Riley Remix) - 7:02
  3. "Rapture" (The Teddy Riley Dub Version) - ?:??
UK CD (CHS CD 3328)
  1. "Denis '88" - 5:26
  2. "Rapture (The Teddy Riley Remix) - 7:02
  3. "Heart Of Glass" - 4:00
  4. "Atomic" - 3:32

Cover versions[edit]Edit

Georgina Verbaan version[edit]Edit

"Denis"
Single by Georgina
from the album Sugar Spider
B-side No More Lies
Recorded 2002
Genre PopDance
Label Jive
Writer(s) Neil Levenson
Georgina singles chronology
"This Christmas""

(2001)

"Denis"

(2002)

Dutch singer Georgina Verbaan released a cover version single of the song in 2002 that reached number 30 on the Dutch Singles Chart.

Tracklist
  1. "Denis"
  2. "No More Lies"

Charts[edit]Edit

Randy and the Rainbows (as "Denise")
Chart (1963) Peak

position

U.S. Billboard Hot 100[3] 10
U.S. BillboardHot R&B Singles[3] 18
Blondie version (as "Denis")
Chart (1978) Peak

position

Australia (Kent Music Report) 12
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 1
France (SNEP)[7] 50
Germany (Media Control AG)[8] 9
Irish Singles Chart[9] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[11] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 19
UK (Official Charts Company)[13] 2

Chart (1988) (Remix) Peak

position

UK (Official Charts Company)[13] 50
Chart (1989) Peak

position

New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 30
Georgina Verbaan version (as "Denis")
Chart (2002) Peak

position

Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 30
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[16] 30
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