Pop Archives

John Rowles - If I Only Had Time (1968)

(Pierre Delanoe - Michel Fugain - Jack Fishman)
New Zealand (recorded in UK)New Zealand (recorded in UK) New Zealand (recorded in UK)
#3 UK #2 NZ #2 Belgium #2 Netherlands #15 Germany #17 Austria #5 Sydney #14 Melbourne #3 Brisbane #6 Adelaide #7 Perth

English-language version of Je n’aurai pas le temps, adaptation by Jack Fishman.

Breakthrough single on MCA by New Zealand singing star, recorded in London, produced by Mike Leander.

Released in UK February 1968, charted in March. NZ release on CBS charted in May.

For more on John Rowles see his #1 NZ hit M’Lady.

This page lists a few versions from 1967-68. About 15 others from that period are included among over 50 versions listed at Cover.info. See also Je n’aurai pas le temps at The Originals for a judicious selection.

Michel Fugain - Je n’aurai pas le temps (1967)

(Pierre Delanoe - Michel Fugain)
France France
Original version
#31 Belgium

On EP Un moral d’acier by prolific French singer-songwriter Michel Fugain (b. Grenoble 1942).

Words are by Pierre Delanoë (1918-2006), notable French lyricist whose collaborations with composer and singer Gilbert Bécaud included two other songs that became well known in English versions: Je t’appartiens as Let It Be Me, and Et maintenant as What Now My Love. His copyrights are registered under his full birth name, Pierre Charles Marcel Napoleon Leroyer.

Further reading: 1. Comprehensive Michel Fugain article at French Wikipedia (his official site is defunct and seems not to be archived). 2. Pierre Delanoë: official site.

Italian jobs:

  1. Fugain released an Italian version, Il Tempo Che Ho Non Basterà (1968, “The time I have won’t be enough”), single on Ricordi International, lyrics by Andrea Lo Vecchio
    Listen at YouTube
  2. A further Italian version entitled Betty Blu, again with lyrics by Lo Vecchio, was released by Mal Dei Primitives in Italy (1968) and appeared in the film Pensiero d’amore (1969). See next box.

Grazie a Philippe

Je n’aurai pas le temps, live performance, October 1967, with the orchestra of Raymond Lefèvre
Record release, 1967

Nick De Caro - If I Only Had Time (Je N’Aurai Pas Le Temps) (1968)

(Pierre Delanoe - Michel Fugain - Jack Fishman)
Later version
#71 USA [Cash Box], #95 USA [Billboard]

Instrumental B-side on A&M #1000, November 1968.

As well as having been a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist who released records of his own, Nick De Caro (1938-1992) is remembered by devotees of the small print as a talented and prolific arranger and producer.

Reference, essential reading: 1. Nick De Caro 1938-1992: A Tribute by Denise De Caro, with contributions by Mick Patrick and Tommy Lipuma, at Spectropop.com.

Song lists: 1. Nick De Caro listings at 45Cat.com: arranger and producer. 2. Nick De Caro credits at Discogs.com.

Spectropop’s tribute page notes that a complete Nick De Caro Discography would include at least 315 albums and/or sessions. More difficult to document would be his early work for Liberty and other labels during the mid-1960s.

Leaving aside albums, here are a few examples of records (well-known and more obscure) that were arranged by De Caro: Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind, Harpers Bizarre’s Cotton Candy Sandman (Sandman’s Coming), Helen Reddy’s Angie Baby, James Taylor’s How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), Mel Carter’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Nino Tempo And April Stevens’s All Strung Out, Roger Nichols And The Small Circle Of Friends’ Kinda Wasted Without You, Neil Diamond’s If You Know What I Mean

Spectropop has an alphabetical list of artists or groups with whom Nick De Caro worked as (mostly) arranger, (sometimes) producer, (very occasionally) songwriter or (*) session-player:

Yasuko Agawa, Alessi Brothers, Gregg Allmann, Tori Amos, Herb Alpert, Paul Anka, Ashes, Baja Marimba Band, Shirley Bassey, Marc Benno*, George Benson, Bonnie & the Treasures, Brewer & Shipley, Jorge Calderon, Glenn Campbell, Roberto Carlos, Vicki Carr, Mel Carter, Johnny Cash*, Cecilio & Kapono, Blondie Chaplin, Beth Nielson Chapman, Chunky, Novi & Ernie, Judy Collins, Ry Cooder, Rita Coolidge, Crackin’, Randy Crawford, Credibility Gap…

And that’s just up to the letter C.

Gene Pitney - If I Only Had Time (1968)

(Pierre Delanoe - Michel Fugain - Jack Fishman)
Later version

On Musicor album She’s a Heartbreaker July 1968, released in UK on Stateside as Pitney Today, October 1968. Also released in some countries as a single, for example in Sweden and Canada.

Source for album release dates: Gene Pitney discographies at Prague Frank’s Country Music Discographies.

Jean-Claude Pascal - Je n’aurai pas le temps (1968)

(Pierre Delanoe - Michel Fugain)
France France
Later version

On the album Chansons d’hier et de toujours by French singer and film actor (Jean-Claude Villeminot, 1927-1992), also a fashion designer and novelist. In 1961 he sang Luxembourg’s winning entry at the Eurovision Song Contest, Nous les amoureux.

Mal dei Primitives - Betty Blu (1968)

(Pierre Delanoe - Michel Fugain - Andrea Lo Vecchio)
Italy Italy
Later version
#26 Italy

Single on RCA Italy by Mal & The Primitives, formed in England but based in Italy at this time. The drummer was Pick Withers, later of Dire Straits.

Mal (Paul Bradley Couling, b. 1944) also released records as Mal Ryder. He was born in Llanfrechfa, Wales but grew up in Wolvercote, Oxford.

He had been in Oxford bands The Meteors and The Spirits, adopting the stage name Mal Ryder along the way. Three singles were released, two as Mal Ryder (1964 and 1965) and one as Mal Ryder & The Spirits (1964). The Spirits toured the UK and Germany before breaking up in 1965.

Mal next joined The Primitives who released a single as Mal Ryder & The Primitives before touring in Norway, France, Spain and – most importantly – Italy. Mal has been in Italy ever since, having built a successful career as a recording artist (with the Primitives and solo) and as an actor on screen and stage.

Betty Blu was released in 1968 then performed by Mal dei Primitives in the Italian film Pensiero d’amore (1969) which starred Mal as Reg, a singing “young English peer” who hitches around Europe and finds romance in Italy.

Sources, essential reading: 1. Mal’s website, especially the biography (in English). 2. Mal at Italian Wikipedia.

Single on RCA Italy (1968)
From the film ‘Pensiero d’amore’ (1969)

Petula Clark - If I Only Had Time (Je N’Aurai Pas Le Temps) (1969)

(Pierre Delanoe - Michel Fugain - Jack Fishman)
Later version

Track on Just Pet, a relatively peppy arrangement by the album’s distinguished producer Ernie Freeman.