The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody - 1965

Introduction to "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers (1965)

Unchained Melody is one of the most enduring and beloved songs of the 20th century. Originally released in 1965 by The Righteous Brothers, it has become a staple in the world of classic pop and soul music. This aiMOOC will take you through the fascinating journey of "Unchained Melody," exploring its origins, the artists behind it, its impact on popular culture, and its musical structure.

The Origins of "Unchained Melody"

Unchained Melody was not originally written for The Righteous Brothers. Its history dates back to 1955, when it was composed by Alex North for the prison film "Unchained," hence the song's name. The lyrics were written by Hy Zaret. Although it has been covered by numerous artists, The Righteous Brothers' version is arguably the most famous. Let's delve deeper into the song's unique story and its journey to becoming an iconic hit.

The Righteous Brothers: The Artists Behind the Song

The Righteous Brothers, composed of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, brought a new depth and emotion to "Unchained Melody" with their powerful vocal performances. Their rendition of the song became a huge hit in 1965 and again in 1990 after being featured in the blockbuster film "Ghost." This section will explore the duo's musical style, their contribution to the soul genre, and their impact on the music industry.

"Unchained Melody" in Popular Culture

Over the years, "Unchained Melody" has transcended its original context and become a cultural icon. It's featured in movies, TV shows, and even commercials, making it a timeless piece of art. This part of the MOOC will look at how the song has been used and interpreted in various media, contributing to its enduring popularity.

Musical Analysis of "Unchained Melody"

What makes "Unchained Melody" so special? In this section, you'll learn about the musical composition of the song, including its structure, melody, harmony, and the vocal techniques used by The Righteous Brothers that make their version stand out.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What film was "Unchained Melody" originally composed for? (Unchained) (!Ghost) (!Top Gun) (!Dirty Dancing)

Which year did The Righteous Brothers release their version of "Unchained Melody"? (1965) (!1955) (!1975) (!1990)

Who composed the music for "Unchained Melody"? (Alex North) (!Hy Zaret) (!Bill Medley) (!Bobby Hatfield)

What genre is "Unchained Melody" primarily associated with? (Soul) (!Rock) (!Jazz) (!Country)

What event in 1990 renewed the popularity of "Unchained Melody"? (Its inclusion in the film "Ghost") (!A remastered album release) (!A performance at a major music award) (!A popular musician's cover version)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

Which duo formed The Righteous Brothers? (Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield) (!Simon and Garfunkel) (!John Lennon and Paul McCartney) (!Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)

In which decade did The Righteous Brothers first become popular? (1960s) (!1950s) (!1970s) (!1980s)

What is a notable characteristic of The Righteous Brothers' vocal style? (Powerful emotional delivery) (!Fast-paced singing) (!Whispery and soft tones) (!Rap sequences)

Which of these songs is also a hit by The Righteous Brothers? (You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin') (!Bridge Over Troubled Water) (!I Want to Hold Your Hand) (!Bohemian Rhapsody)

How did The Righteous Brothers' version of "Unchained Melody" differ from earlier versions? (Emphasis on soulful and emotional vocal performance) (!It was the first version with lyrics) (!Use of electronic instruments) (!Inclusion of a rap section)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is the central theme of "Unchained Melody"? (Longing and love) (!Adventure and excitement) (!Friendship and loyalty) (!Heartbreak and loss)

Which line follows "Oh, my love, my darling" in the song's lyrics? (I've hungered for your touch) (!I've missed you every day) (!I've dreamed of you always) (!I've waited for your love)

How does the song describe time? (Time goes by so slowly) (!Time is a fleeting moment) (!Time stands still forever) (!Time is a river flowing)

Which phrase is repeated several times throughout "Unchained Melody"? (And time can do so much) (!Are you still mine?) (!I need your love) (!I hunger for your touch)

What is the mood conveyed by the lyrics of "Unchained Melody"? (Yearning and passion) (!Joy and happiness) (!Anger and frustration) (!Indifference and detachment)


Create a memory game with matching pairs for this topic.

The Righteous Brothers Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield
Unchained The film the song was originally composed for
1965 Year The Righteous Brothers released their version
Ghost Film that featured "Unchained Melody" in 1990
Alex North Composer of "Unchained Melody"

Open Tasks


  1. Research: Find three other famous covers of "Unchained Melody" and compare them.
  2. Listening Activity: Listen to the song and describe how it makes you feel.
  3. Cultural Impact: Identify a movie or TV show that featured "Unchained Melody."


  1. Vocal Analysis: Analyze the vocal techniques used by The Righteous Brothers in "Unchained Melody."
  2. Musical Composition: Study the song's structure, melody, and harmony.
  3. Comparative Study: Compare "Unchained Melody" with another hit from The Righteous Brothers.


  1. Creative Writing: Write a short story or poem inspired by the lyrics of "Unchained Melody."
  2. Performance: Record yourself singing or playing "Unchained Melody."
  3. Historical Research: Explore the cultural and musical landscape of the 1960s and how "Unchained Melody" fit into it.

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