“Knock Knock, Who’s There?” was England’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1970. It was sung in the competition by Mary Hopkin who also recorded the single for worldwide release. However, Mary’s version didn’t make it to Australia. (I’ll get to the reason for that shortly.) Instead, it was recorded in Australia by Liv Maessen, a woman with a rather unusual voice.
Milesago describes Liv’s voice as a “deep, resonant contralto”. I call it “disturbingly deep” (or, if you prefer, “deeply disturbing”).
I’ll let someone else give you the reason for Liv’s (rather than Mary’s) version of “Knock Knock, Who’s There” racing up the charts in 1970:
“In 1970, a dispute over royalties between record companies and radio stations resulted in the infamous ‘radio ban‘, in which the commercial radio stations around Australia refused to play recordings originating from the UK. Consequently, many home-grown versions of British hits topped the local chart. One such Australia-only hit was Liv Maessen’s version of the Mary Hopkin chart-topper Knock Knock, Who’s There. The Liv Maessen version reached No. 1 in Sydney and No. 2 on the Australian national chart.”
That’s from a 10-CD box set I own called The Best Singles Of All Time (they’re not) Volume 2, subtitled 200 Classic Songs (well, not all of them).
If you think you’re missing out by not hearing Mary’s version, fear not – here it is:
What a difference in voices. Although I grew up with Liv’s version, and it’s firmly implanted in my musical DNA, I can admit to preferring Mary’s voice.
I can also admit that my first ever crush was on Mary Hopkin, too. (Ah, to be 8 and in love…)
(*I was going to type ‘earworm’ – that’s the phrase most people use nowadays for incredibly catchy songs – but I don’t like the word, mainly because I take it literally. I actually imagine a worm in someone’s ear, and I’m not especially fond of imagining that…)