The song, “I Only Want To Be With You”, was originally recorded by Dusty Springfield in 1963
“I Only Want To Be With You” was written by Mike Hawker (1936-2014) and Ivor Raymonde (1926-1990) for an unknown British singer called Dusty Springfield. It was recorded in September 1963 and released as her debut single two months later, reaching No.4 in the UK, No.6 in Australia and No.12 in America. The song began a long and successful career for the London born singer that would last until her untimely death in 1999.
“I Only Want To Be With You” was recorded by Scottish group the Bay City Rollers for their fifth album, “Dedication” in 1976 and released as the third single in August that year. Their version equalled Springfield’s UK chart position AND replicated the same in the USA! The song performed well internationally where it made the top ten across Europe and in Australia, where it fell two places lower, peaking at No.8.
Short lived band The Tourists, whose singer was one Annie Lennox and guitarist, one David A. Stewart, recorded the song for their second album, “Reality Effect”, in 1979. It was released as the lead single in October that year and ALSO went to No.4 in the UK and No.6 in Australia (the same as Dusty’s original!). The song charted much lower in America, at No.83.
The other notably version of the song came in February 1989, when former model Samantha Fox recorded the retitled “I Only Wanna Be With You”. Produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, Samantha took her version as far as No.16 in the UK, No.19 in Australia and No.31 in America, as well as a top twenty placing in a further ten countries around the world, including Belgium, where it went all the way to number one!
But whose version is the best? DUSTY’s original, BAY CITY ROLLERS’ cover? THE TOURISTS’s version or SAM FOX’s retitled pop number?