Amanda Holden Sheridan Smith

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘I Know Him So Well’

The song, “I Know Him So Well”, was originally recorded by Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige in 1984

It was ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, along with Britain’s Sir Tim Rice, who wrote the song “I Know Him So Well” for the hit musical Chess. The song began in 1977 as “I Am An A” but Rice helped develop it into “I Know Him So Well”. It was recorded by Barbara Dickson (b.1947) and Elaine Paige (b.1948), who topped the UK singles chart for four weeks in December 1984 and January 1985.

In 1987 Whitney Houston recorded the song with her mother, Cissy, for her second studio album, “Whitney”. It was only released as a single in Germany and The Netherlands, where it peaked at No.14.

The next version was more light hearted. British singing star Susan Boyle has performed the song with Paige as part of a TV special and in 2011, recorded the song proper along with comedian Peter Kay in character as Geraldine McQueen for Comic Relief. The song made No.11 in the UK on this occasion.

Spice Girls Mel C and Emma Bunton recorded a version in 2012 making No.153 on the singles chart from downloads and airplay but in 2020, TV presenter Amanda Holden and actress Sheridan Smith recorded a new version, very much in the style of the original, and with a black and white video. How well will it do? Only time will tell…

So which version is the best? DICKSON and PAIGE’s original, CISSY and WHITNEY’s cover, SUSAN and GERALDINE’s charity single or AMANDA and SHERIDAN’s new version?

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