Recording "Those Were The Days" in other languages

September 1968 ? • For Mary Hopkin

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Le Temps Des Fleurs (Those Were The Days) / Turn! Turn! Turn! 7" Single.
Timeline More from year 1968

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Mary Hopkin’s first single “Those Were The Days” was released on August 30, 1968, and quickly became a number-one hit on the UK Single Chart). She also recorded it in other languages for release in their respective countries:

We haven’t found any evidence when those versions were recorded, so what is on this page is purely guesswork.

  • Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were The Days” was released on August 30, 1968, in the UK. On September 11, it was #7 in the UK Single Chart, then #2 on September 18, then #1 on September 25.
  • We assume that McCartney and Hopkin would not have started recording it in other languages before it proved to be successful in the UK (so not before beginning of September 1968?)
  • Those Were The Days / Le Temps Des Fleurs” was recorded in France by Dalila on September 20, 1968. From Wikipedia: “Two weeks after the release of Those were the days, while it was still unknown that it was plagiarism as the Gene Raskin took over the credits of melody’s composer Boris Fomin, Eddie Barclay obtained the melody from Raskin legally. In 1973, after it was discovered that Raskin was just a songwriter and not a composer, Barclay stopped giving Raskin a portion of the song’s annual profit, but abandoned the lawsuit and didn’t receive a refund. […] The French lyrics were written by renowned French Jewish lyricist Eddy Marnay, and the song was recorded on 20 September 1968
  • Those Were The Days / Le Temps Des Fleurs” entered the Belgium Single Chart on October 5 (position 24) as reported by ultratop.be (we haven’t been able to locate when it was released in France), hinting at a late September 1968 recording and release.
  • The Italian version was released on October 25, 1968.
  • It is not exactly known when the German version was released.
  • The Spanish version might have released in September 1968 (From 45cat – Mary Hopkin – Que Tiempo Tan Feliz (‘Those Were The Days’ Canta En Español) / Turn Turn Turn – Apple – Spain – H-397)
  • In The Beatles Monthly Book, October 1968, N°63, there is a mention that “the songstress has recorded Those Were The Days in Italian, French and German“.

So best guess is to consider that Mary’s vocals in those various languages were recorded in September 1968.

From The Beatles Monthly Book, October 1968, N°63

Last updated on October 2, 2021

Staff

Musicians

Mary Hopkin:
Vocals

Production staff

Paul McCartney:
Producer

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