For this blog we are revisiting Dame Shirley Bassey’s beautiful song, Thank You For The Years and republishing the answers writer Andy Neve gave to fans’ question back in 2003 when the song and album was released. The album was released for the Dame’s 50th. anniversary and was a compilation album but with 6 new great songs.
This song was released on 26 May 2003 and is available on the CD Album Thank You For The Years, released to coincide with the 50th Anniversary Concert Tour 2003. The album contains two versions of the song; as well as the main version there is also a slower less jazzy “Anniversary Mix”
During its first play on BBC Radio Two’s Russell Davies programme, Russell Davies mentioned that the song had been written some five years earlier, by “Mr and Mrs Andy Neve”, and that the A & R (Artist and Repertoire) director for Sony Music, Nicky Graham had finally united the singer and the song. In the sleeve note for the album, Shirley said that “The song says it all for me”.
The song was first performed on the BBC Parkinson chat show. The song was also performed on Channel Four Chat Show So Graham Norton (See: Shirley Interviewed by Graham Norton). A great rendition was performed during the Thank You For The Years Concert Tour 2003.
Shirley Bassey is a true diva and her new CD Thank you for the Years (Sony Music) is a celebration of her 50 years in the music business. The album features songs from her early years, including her first top 10 hit, The Banana Boat Song, and her first number one hit, As I Love You.
It also contains her Bond themes, her work with The Propellerheads and six new tracks including Thank you for the Years. Shirley Bassey’s uncompromising vocal style continues to reach an ever broader audience and the album is a wonderful collection of 22 classics. (from Shepperton News)
Q: If Shirley was your first choice for “Thank You for the Years” – who was your second? – Mike
A: No one, we kept it for Dame Shirley although we had interest from other people. However, If she was still alive and Dame Shirley hadn’t wanted to do it.. Karen Carpenter would have probably been my next choice.
Q: Is this your biggest release to date? – Margo
A: ………..Absolutely! and we are thrilled that she has done it. We have some exciting new opportunities coming up as a result of this.
Q: Did Shirley like the song straight away or did she need persuading?! – John
A: ………………..Fortunately, she fell in love with it as soon as she heard it.
Q: Are you thanking anyone in particular? Is there a story?! – Mel
A: ……..The first verse, plus an instrumental verse was written as an anniversary present for my wife Elizabeth. I actually had no intention of sending it to anyone. When a friend of mine Nicky Graham (now A&R Director at Sony) heard it.. he said that it was potentially a very strong song and that it needed a bigger audience. We both agreed that Shirley Bassey was probably the only artist who had the vocal range and power to do the song justice. So, after talking to my wife about the idea of presenting her ‘anniversary present’ to one of the finest female singers in the history of music.. I finished the music writing and arranging and Elizabeth and I finished the lyrics together.
We wrote the rest of the lyrics especially for Dame Shirley although we still wrote them from our own personal experience. We had just gone through some very difficult times personally and were just starting to come through them.
We felt that there were very few songs around that talked about longevity in a relationship. Most love songs seem to be about short term romance or breaking up; so we felt that ‘Thank You For The Years’ could strike a chord with people who have been with their wives, husbands or partners for a long time and stayed strong together. And also in Dame Shirley’s case, for fans who have supported her for many years as well. Basically, an ideal anniversary song.
Q: Why did it take so long to unite singer and song? – Patrick
A: ………..Politics, a change in record companies, timing. All these things are factors when placing a song. When the song was first sent to the management there was no new Shirley Bassey album planned so the song just sat there for 2 years. When Dame Shirley finally decided to do a new album she chose ‘thank you for the years’ along with the other songs.
However it took another year before the record deal with Sony was sorted and then it was left another year after that so that it coincided with her 50 years in show business. Although it was frustrating at the time I think the timing has been absolutely perfect.
Q: Do you plan to write any more new material for Shirley in the future? – Mikey Mike
A: ……………….I would love to Mikey. If we write something and we feel it is right for Dame Shirley I will definitely send it to her and see what she thinks.
However I have no info as to whether or not she will be doing another album. Time will tell.
Q: Where can we purchase the sheet music for this fab song? – Simon
………………Thanks Simon!………If the demand for the song is high then sheet music will be produced. However, at the moment we don’t know whether the demand would justify the cost. As I also publish the song I would have to organise the sheet music and this is very costly. We will have to see how things go.
Q: Apart from “Thank you…” what are your favourite all time Shirley tracks? – Ed
A: ………That’s a difficult one as there are so many fantastic tracks over so many years. People like songs for different personal reasons. ‘Something’ I adore, her versions of ‘Solitaire’, ‘Fool on the hill’ and ‘For all we know’ I quite liked, ‘Where do I begin’ (the original not the Remix although I thought that was very clever, (the ‘Away Team’ guys are good friends of mine). ‘History repeating’ worked very well, I quite liked the production. ‘Diamonds are forever’ is my favourite Bond song, I also liked the work she did in the 60s with Nelson Riddle & Geoff Love. So many songs….it must be a nightmare trying
to decide what to do live!
I thank you for the years
I thank you for the good times
As we go on together
I just want to say I’m glad you’re here tonight
Thank you for the way you’ve touched my life
I thank you for your love
It helps me through the hard times
And the joy we share together
gives me all I need to make it through the night
Thank you for the way you hold me tight
I thank you for the years
I thank you for the years
I thank you its been so wonderful
and through all the good and bad times
I just want to say I’m glad you’re in my heart
loving you was only just the start
When we’re down and we are hurting
To the precious things we have
We’ll carry on
We’ll carry on together
Our love’s the reason we are strong
As we grow old together
I just want to say I’m glad you came my way
Thank you for the love you bring each day
I love you now and all I have to say
Is thank you for the years
Reproduced with kind permission of Nevesongs
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