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?

Take a look at some of the other posts in this series and don’t forget to follow the playlist.


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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!