My Top Eight Favorite Versions of Mack the Knife
The Story Behind Mack the Knife
"Mack the Knife" was composed by Kurt Weill and the lyrics were written by Bertolt Brecht. The original lyrics were written in German for a music drama called Die Dreifroschenoper or, in English, The Threepenny Opera.
It’s a song about a murderer who charms and steals from his victims before killing them. It’s amazing that such a dark song has an upbeat catchy tune. Mack the Knife has been sung by many artists and many of them put their own little spin on it their make it their own. A personal signature if you will.
Below are my top ten picks for "Mack the Knife" in no particular order. Be sure to pay close attention to all of the lyrics by the individual performers and see if you can spot the lyrics they added or changed to make it their own.
I do believe Bobby Darin was the first artiest to perform this song in English. He decided to perform this song after he saw a performance of The Threepenny Opera. He put his own spin on it and sang it in his nightclub acts. He also added the line "Five will get you Ten". The song was well received and later on he recorded it and it was included on his album entitled That's All.
Louie Armstrong performed this in 1959 in Stuttgart Germany. He was an amazing trumpet player and with his deep scratchy voice performed Mack the Knife.
This is Ella's version of Mack the Knife where she performed it live in Berlin. Halfway through the song she forgets the lyrics and improvises. She even imitates Louie Armstrong's voice. This is definitely her best version of Mack the Knife.
Michael Buble' is an Italian/Canadian singer who was born in 1975. He's won three Grammy Awards and multiple Juno Awards. You can read more about Michael here.
Michael Buble's version is very interesting. He put's his own spin on it by imitating Ella Fitzgerald imitating Louie Armstrong.
Dean Martin's version is almost exactly the same as Bobby Darin's. The only twist I was able to spot on this one was that he changed "Lucy Brown" to "Charlie Brown". Still one of my favorite versions.
Ian Reentrant is a guy I stumbled upon on You Tube. He sings this song while playing the ukulele. He's not famous yet but made my top Ten list. Take a listen.
Robbie Williams is an English singer/Songwriter and performs this Live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Pay close attention to his facial expressions.
Westlife is an "Irish Boy Band" who deserve recognition. They do a nice job on Mack the Knife.