British rock ‘n’ roll hero Billy Fury had enjoyed six and a half years of fame and success by the summer of 1965. While, like so many others, his career was never quite the same again after The Beatles swept all before them, he survived the beat boom better than many. Fury continued to have hit after hit, even if a run of top five singles in 1963 was followed by a sequence of more modest, top 20 entries. On July 22, 1965, he entered the British hit parade with “In Thoughts Of You,” which proved to be the last of his 11 top ten 45s.
Billy’s previous Decca release, “I’m Lost Without You,” had peaked at No.16. That was a cover of a song that had recently been recorded by American singer-composer Teddy Randazzo, who wrote it with Billy Barberis. For his next single, Fury turned back to British songwriters in the shape of Geoff Morrow and Chris Arnold, who would enjoy consistent sales as writers in the coming years. That run started with “In Thoughts Of You.”
Simultaneous silver screen
A dramatic ballad with emphatic piano and sweeping strings, the song was helped on its way by the simultaneous release of Fury’s second feature film as an actor. I’ve Gotta Horse, directed by Kenneth Hume, focused on the singer’s love of animals, and co-starred Amanda Barrie, Michael Medwin and others, with a cameo by vocal group the Bachelors.
“In Thoughts Of You” debuted on the UK chart, the week’s highest new entry, at No.38, as the Byrds climbed to No.1 with Bob Dylan‘s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Three weeks later, with those aforementioned Beatles by now ruling the roots again with “Help!,” it reached its No.9 peak. Fury made three further, lesser chart showings in 1965 and 1966, and three more in an early 1980s upturn before his death in 1983, but he never saw the UK top ten again.
“In Thoughts Of You” is on the Billy Fury compilation His Wondrous Story — The Complete Collection, which can be bought here.
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