"A Taste of Honey" is a pop standard written by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow. It was originally an instrumental track (or recurring theme) written for the 1960 Broadway version of the 1958 British play A Taste of Honey (which was also made into a film with the same name in 1961). Both the original and a cover by Herb Alpert in 1965 earned the song Grammy Awards. A vocal version of the song, first recorded by Lenny Welch, became popular when it was recorded by The Beatles in 1963.
The original recorded versions of the song ("A Taste of Honey", "A Taste of Honey (refrain)" and "A Taste of Honey (closing theme)" appeared on Bobby Scott's 1960 album, also titled A Taste of Honey, on Atlantic Records (Atlantic 1355). After being used in the film, the composition won Best Instrumental Theme at the Grammy Awards of 1962.
Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass recorded the most popular instrumental version of this song with a a cover on their 1965 album, Whipped Cream & Other Delights. This recording spent five weeks at #1 on the adult contemporary chart, reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and won three awards including Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1966.
Martin Denny and The Victor Feldman Quartet each scored minor hits in 1962 with their covers.
Acker Bilk released a version in the UK in January 1963, reaching #16 in the UK Singles Chart.
Paul Desmond recorded it on his album Glad to be Unhappy in 1963.
Trini Lopez included "A Taste of Honey" on his 1965 Reprise Records LP The Love Album.
Lenny Welch recorded the first vocal version. It was released as a single in September 1962 on the Cadence label and included on his 1963 album Since I Fell for You. This version also credits Lee Morris as a writer but it is not known if it was he who provided the lyrics. This credit does not appear on any covers of the song, with only Marlow/Scott credited.
The Beatles performed the song in their live repertoire from 1962, adopting Lenny Welch's adaptation, slightly changing the lyrics in the chorus. A version from this time was released in 1977 on the album Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962. As the instrumental version by Acker Bilk was popular in the UK at the time, the song was chosen to be recorded for their 1963 debut album Please Please Me. The Beatles also performed "A Taste of Honey" on many BBC radio shows, including Here We Go, Side by Side and Easy Beat. In 1967, Paul McCartney would write “Your Mother Should Know” based on a line taken from the screenplay of the same name.
Barbra Streisand recorded the song for her debut solo album The Barbra Streisand Album, released in 1963.
Tony Bennett reached #94 in the US with a vocal version in 1964.
Carola recorded a popular Finnish version, "Hunajainen", in 1965.
Allan Sherman recorded a parody version called "A Waste of Money".
Television and film
The original instrumental version appears on the soundtrack to the 1961 film of the same name.
The Rascals and Vincent Gallo recorded the song on the soundtrack of the 1998 film LA Without a Map.
The song is used for the theme of the UK comedy series Hardware.
Song by Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass
Album: Whipped Cream and Other Delights
Released: April 1965 (LP); 1990 (A&M Records CD); March 2005 (Shout! Factory CD)
Genre: Jazz; Instrumental pop
Label: A&M Records; Shout! Factory
Writer: Bobby Scott/Ric Marlow
Producer: Herb Alpert; Jerry Moss
Song by The Beatles
Album: Please Please Me
Released: March 22, 1963 (mono), April 26, 1963 (stereo)
Recorded: February 11, 1963
Genre: Rock and roll
Writer: Bobby Scott/Ric Marlow
Producer: George Martin