FROM THE ARCHIVE 309 -1972-

The Greatest Performance Of My Life. Sometimes also entitled: Tonight I Gave The Greatest Performance Of My Life.
Written by Roberto ‘Sandro’ Sánchez / Oscar Petri Anderle.
English lyrics by Robert I. Allen.

Released on the 1972 album I Capricorn -It leads us to the constellation ‘Capricorn’- ( 23. December / 21. January ) and on a single. The album has been re-released digitally remastered on CD and additionally this song is available on the CD collections The Greatest Hits – This Is My Life (European release) and Bassey – The EMI/UA Years 1959 – 1979.

Shirley Bassey has performed this song live on some concerts and shows which is always very emotional. You can see that her eyes must be filled with tears at the end of the song. A live performance has been released on Live In Japan ’77 and on the 1995 video An Audience With Shirley Bassey.

The Argentinean composer team Sandro / Anderle have written more than 100 songs together, and I assume that this was originally one of their many Spanish compositions (obviously from 1968). Sandro was an Argentinean pop balladist. He was born Roberto Sánchez in 1945. He was successful not only in Argentina as singer, song-writer and later also as actor.

Robert Allen translated the song to English. He is a pop composer who worked much together with lyricist Al Stillman.  The original Spanish title was ‘Asi’, before the translation.

This song had been sung in English by Nancy Wilson on an album 1971, but I don’t know if the song has been translated for her, or if anyone else has performed it in English before her.

Pagliacci (sometimes also written Paliachi), which appears in the lyrics below, is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo, which has been performed first 1892. Pagliacci is Italian and means Clowns. The opera is about a small theatrical road company with clowns where also someone has to play a clown though his heart is breaking.

Sandro de América   was born in Argentina in 1945 and died in 2010 from complications from heart and lung transplant surgery. The singer, whose real name was Roberto Sanchez, began his rock career in the 1960s in the style of Elvis Presley.
To view a previous post about Sandro CLICK HERE

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To listen to “Asi” (The greatest performance of my life)

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Lyrics:

Tonight I gave the greatest performance of my life
I never lost control,
I played the part so well
That not a single soul could tell that I was lying

And so though it was hard to face our friends
I gave a party
I know I meant to show them all
I’ve gotten over you
And though I saw the unbelieving looks on all their faces
I had to try to make them think that it was true

So I who hardly dance,
danced through the night,
just like a gypsy
And I who seldom drink,
drank like a fish till I was high
And I who hadn’t laughed since God knows when,
out laughed Pagliacci
Till they believed it more than even I

Tonight I gave the greatest performance of my life
I never lost control,
I played the part so well
That not a single soul could tell that I was lying

But love if you had been behind the curtain when it fell
When all the lights were out and I was all alone
You would have seen this actress crying

Yes, tonight I gave the greatest performance of my life
I never lost control,
I played the part so well
That not a single soul could tell that I was lying

But love if you had been behind the curtain when it fell
When all the lights were out and I was all alone
You would have seen this actress crying

(Transcribed by Roman supported by Gordon and Ed)

4 thoughts on “FROM THE ARCHIVE 309 -1972-”

  1. Thank you Pieter. Very interesting. I love how Sandro, Dame Shirley, as well as Nancy Wilson sing this very lovely song. So sad to hear how Sandro Sanchez died at a somewhat very young age. Thanks again Pieter.

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  2. Such a wonderful song, but – like so many of her songs – best enjoyed ‘live’ when sung by DSB. Nothing wrong with the studio version, but as with ‘If I never sing another song’, her live rendition is so much more heartfelt imho.

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  3. The studio recording of “Greatest Performance…” is almost unmatched in the whole Bassey ouevre for drama and grandeur. I love blasting it in the car while driving. And it easily impresses those unfamiliar with Bassey.

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