In 1984 Shirley Bassey was the guest star in the Dutch television show “The Showbizzquiz”.
The record- and the television company had a difficult job in persuading her to do the show because she had just finished her big tour in the United Kingdom.
They wanted Shirley to sing Something because it is was her biggest hit in Holland, which she did not want to do. So two representatives flew to London to talk to her. On the day of the recording in a studio in Dordrecht Shirley’s plane from Switzerland was delayed and she barely made it to the studios in time. Shirley sang I Am What I Am and Something in front of the audience to a backing tape while Michael Alexander was directing her from the first row. When the show was broadcast around Christmas later that year, I Am What I Am” was taken out and If You Don’t Understand replaced it. They wanted to plug If You Don’t Understand because it was her latest single at the time. (Here you can listen to the extended version). What they actually did was record If You Don’t Understand without the audience and instead of that the crew was used as audience. The Dutch fans who were present in the studio during the recording said that ‘unfortunately’ the performance was flawless and it was all recorded in one take. Of course the fans would have enjoyed it if she had to do it again a few times so they could enjoy Shirley performing a little bit longer. Below is the cover of If You Don’t Understand” and some pictures of Shirley receiving a golden disc for her album I Am What I Am, at the Royal Albert Hall. The album sold 150,000 copies in the first few weeks and went immediately gold.
The special dance-mix of If You Don’t Understand
Shirley receives her golden disc from a representative of Tower Bell Records at the Royal Albert Hall in London
-With special thanks to John den Outer for the pictures and his contribution to the report-