I love Dean Martin. Love that voice. Really just love it. It’s been known to pull me into a warm aural hug during bad times and aid me in dancing around like a loon during good times. I once listened to Winter Wonderland in the middle of an August heatwave because I couldn’t not listen to it. I listened to him so much at that one point when I was on a school trip, my friends snapped and told me it was horrible and depressing and STOP PLAYING IT!
I didn’t understand that and still don’t. I mean, I understand that it might not be to everyone’s tastes, but depressing? That’s beyond ridiculous to me.
However, I have never liked ‘Everybody Loves Somebody’. It’s like ‘The Fool on the Hill’ by the Beatles, ‘Diddy Levine’ by Thin Lizzy, ‘Celebration Day’ by Led Zeppelin and ‘Tell All The People’ by the Doors: songs I really dislike by people I otherwise adore. These are not songs I listen to – ‘Celebration Day’ isn’t even on my iPod. Nor is ‘Everybody Loves Somebody’. Despite being Dean’s theme tune post-1964, it’s never been something I really consider when I think of Dean.
Partly, it’s because it’s a schmaltzy bit of rubbish hardly deserving of top ranking in a career full of brilliant moments like ‘You Belong To Me’, ‘Oh Marie’, ‘On An Evening In Roma’ and ‘Sway’ to name only the first four I just looked at. If I hadn’t shoved the CD of Late at Night With Dean Martin on to fill the silence while I took six layers of skin off in a (too) hot bath, this wouldn’t have come up.
I really don’t like it and I think the chief reason is that the sentiment is such total bollocks. Everybody does not find somebody someplace. It’s the same problem I have with ‘Somewhere There’s A Someone’ (which isn’t on my iPod either). It’s the kind of rubbishy, easy sentiment that gives so called ‘easy listening’ a bad name. It’s lazy. It’s wrong and he could and did do so much better. Dean Martin sang songs of love so full of joy and heart that it makes me believe in the concept of love to start with. Songs like ‘Ain’t That A Kick In The Head’ and ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ persuaded me of love’s existence. Songs like ‘Return to Me’ and ‘Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes’ showed me how sad it could be. ‘Everybody Loves Somebody’ is just fluff and not very good fluff. I don’t care if it was a big hit, although I find it amusing that when ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ was ruling the Billboard charts, the Beatlemania juggernaut was forced to pause while America bought a Dean Martin record.
That said, if in the unlikely event that I have a gun to my head and am forced to choose between listening to ‘Everybody Loves Somebody’ fifty times or something by Phil Collins once… I’ll pick Dino. Every. Single. Time.