Boyzone 1997

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Baby Can I Hold You?’

The song, “Baby Can I Hold You?”, was originally recorded by Tracy Chapman in 1988

US Folk-pop singer Tracy Chapman (b.1964) wrote and recorded the song “Baby Can I Hold You” for her 1988 self-titled debut album. Having made a big impact with her debut single, “Fast Car”, Chapman followed this with “Baby Can I Hold You?” in October that year and reached No.48 in the US singles chart and No.94 in the UK. It was most successful in Portugal where it topped the chart in 1990 while Chapman re-released the song in 2001 for her best of collection.

Irish boy band Boyzone recorded “Baby Can I Hold You?” for their third album, “Where We Belong”, and released it as the second single in November 1997. It peaked at No.2 in their home country and in the UK as well as being a mid-charting hit across much of Europe. The song reached No.56 in Australia, eight places higher than Chapman’s original had achieved nine years earlier.

But whose version is the best? TRACY CHAPMAN’s original or BOYZONE’s cover?

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