|B-side "Cross My Heart"|
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Pop, schlager
Recorded 3 April 1961
"Halfway to Paradise" is a popular song written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, originally recorded in 1961 by Tony Orlando in the United States. It was much more successful in the United Kingdom when it was recorded by Billy Fury. Fury's version reached No.3 on the British Charts in 1961 and stayed on the charts for 23 weeks, becoming the tenth best-selling single of 1961 in the UK in the process. "Halfway to Paradise" became known as Fury's theme tune and was one of his most popular singles. The song also marked the beginning of Fury's burst at the top of the charts that would only begin to slow down on the arrival of fellow Liverpudlian act, the Beatles.
Fury's single was a big production for both Fury and Decca and involved a whole orchestra, directed by Ivor Raymonde. Its success made Fury known for his big ballad numbers, although he began in rock and roll and was always thought of more as a rock musician.
Bobby Vinton revived "Halfway to Paradise" in a mellow, more romantic version in 1968 (Billboard No. 23). The song was included on the million-selling album "I Love How You Love Me" in early 1969. It was released once again on the 1972 best-selling album Bobby Vinton's All-Time Greatest Hits".
Tina Charles recorded the song for her album Dance Little Lady (1976). Nick Lowe released "Halfway to Paradise" as a single in 1977 (backed with "I Don't Want the Night to End", STIFF Records, BUY 21), remaking into a post-punk power ballad, but without any real chart impact. It was later released as a bonus track on the re-release of his 1978 album Jesus of Cool. Australian singer Jason Donovan recorded a cover of the song for his album Let It Be Me (2008).
The song is also referred to in an episode of the 1970s British TV sitcom "Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?", in which Bob and Terry argue over who it was sung by (Bob erroneously claiming the singer was Paul Anka whilst Terry rightly argues the artist to be Billy Fury). The scene ends with Terry loudly reciting a lyric from the song, "I want to be your lover, but your friend is all I'll be" which the landlord of the pub they are in overhears and assumes the lads to be a gay couple, telling them in no uncertain terms "You two fairies - out!".
A reggae rendition of the song was also recorded in the 1980s by Jamaican reggae group the Unique Vision Band