The song, “Am I The Same Girl?”, was originally recorded by Barbara Acklin in 1968
American songwriters Eugene Record (1940-2005) and William ‘Sonny’ Sanders (1939-2016) wrote the R’n’B song “Am I The Same Girl?” in 1968 for soul singer Barbara Acklin (1943-1998). Released in December, it reached No.79 on the US singles chart and No.33 on the R&B chart in January 1969.
However, producer Carl Davis (1934-2012) didn’t much care for Acklin’s vocal, so had it removed and replaced with a piano! The song was retitled “Soulful Strut” and released by jazz instrumental group Young-Holt Unlimited the same year, this time going to No.3 in America and selling over a million copies!
If you thought you’d had enough of “Am I The Same Girl?” in 1969, then the song wasn’t done yet. Britain’s Dusty Springfield (1939-1999) recorded her version in August and took it to No.43 in the UK and No.75 in Australia, although the single, thankfully, was not imposed upon the American market this time around.
“Am I The Same Girl?” was ‘rested’ for a number of years, but it resurfaced in 1992 when British duo Swing Out Sister recorded it for their third album “Get In Touch With Yourself”. Released as the lead single in April, it reached No.21 in the UK and No.45 in the US as well as topping the Adult Contemporary chart and reaching No.5 in Canada. By far, the most successful incarnation of the song yet.
But which one is the best? BARBARA ACKLIN’s original, YOUNG-HOLT UNLIMITED’s instrumental, DUSTY’s cover or SWING OUT SISTER’s modern classic?