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Wednesday, 1 May, 2002, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
Gareth Gates: Your views
Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates looks set to topple winner Will Young from the top of the charts with the release of his debut single, Unchained Melody.

"You can hear Gates' boy-band-style voice but at times it gets lost as he is forced to go too deep for his range," wrote BBC News Online's Keily Oakes.

"Although it looks set for a prolonged stay at the top of the charts, Gates' version does not have the class to overtake the Righteous Brothers as the true masters of Unchained Melody," she added.

But what do you think?

Does this single justify Gareth's popularity? Is this the best version of Unchained Melody?

Here is a selection of BBC News Online users' views.

Gareth's voice is one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard and the song is perfect for his voice. He does the song justice. In fact, I agree with Nicky, I prefer his voice to the original one. He's going to be an icon in music. He's the best thing that has ever happened to pop music. South Africa loves him!!!
Elzaine Els, South Africa

Yes, Gareth is really popular and it's the best version ever... he is absolutely gorgeous, but I think that his version of Anything is Possible is the best! I hope Gareth wins the battle for number one - I know that I'll be voting for him!
Rhiana McDade, UK

I think Gareth has the perfect voice for this single. I've heard the Righteous Brothers singing it, Robsen and Jerome and now Gareth's version and I would definitely say Gareth's is the best version yet no matter what anyone else says. I think this single will prove just how popular Gareth really is. Cheers
Nicola Paxton, UK

Gareth, you are the best singer I have ever seen! You are my favourite celebrity. Hope you get to number one!
Samantha, England

This track reminds me of a Disney soundtrack, and that's not really a compliment

Paul, UK
The video is fantastic and he's looking as sexy as usual and it will stay number one.
Tanya, England

Brilliant!!! Just bought it today and I would recommend it to anyone.
Corrine, Doncaster, England

This track reminds me of a Disney soundtrack, and that's not really a compliment. I think Gareth has a nice voice but I don't really think this version does him any favours. The over ornamentation is a bit annoying by the end, it's a great melody so why not leave it alone and sing it straight?
Paul, UK

No, I don't think this justifies his popularity. I think he's good but does not do the song justice. His voice range is limited but his teeny bopper fans can't see past this. Will Young is by far the superior artist. His voice is mesmeric. His single was obviously aimed at Gareth but he certainly put his own stamp on it and did it much better than Westlife. Just wait till his next single then you'll see the real Will Young!
D Downs, UK

Gareth has the most wonderful voice ever and should have won Pop Idol. Hey Gareth, you will make it to number one. I voted for you more than 10 times. You are so cute and I love your hair. You are so cute and I will love you forever. I have written I love Gareth Gates for ever all over my school books. I have loads of posters of you all over my bedroom wall. Love you loads, your biggest fan Hannah.
Hannah Searcy, England

Gareth's voice is unbelievably beautiful. I'm normally a Gangster-rap listener, but his songs moved me close to tears

Kujan Paramanatham, UK
Gareth's version of this record is (to coin a phrase) distinctly average. His producers have obviously twiddled a few knobs for the actual record because it sounds a lot better than the live version. Gareth doesn't have a great voice at all and in my opinion his voice has very little power. But I don't suppose that this will affect his popularity because the majority of his fans wouldn't know a good voice if it jumped out of their soup and slapped them on the face; they are more interested in how he looks. A very sad situation, especially when we find the UK music industry encouraging such behaviour. Talent is so obviously secondary in their book.
Christopher Neave, London, UK

I'm sure he's a very friendly guy but vocally he's quite limited. The best version of Unchained Melody is absolutely the original version which is less arranged. I would rather see Gareth as part of a boy band and not as a solo artist. Nevertheless, he has a commercial face and a boyish mainstream look; with today's technology we can make everyone sing. It's bound to be a success thanks to Pop Idol's overexposure. BMG, go for it!
Robert, London, UK

Gareth's voice is unbelievably beautiful. I'm normally a Gangster-rap listener, but his songs moved me close to tears.
Kujan Paramanatham, UK

It's a classic song, and he more than does it justice, although the rushed overproduction spoils it slightly

Fiona, UK
Gareth truly epitomises everything about a Pop Idol and I feel that the title really belonged to him, although Will is a true star. Gareth's version of Unchained Melody is fantastic, but only really when he sings live, because the record is over-produced. I hope that these lovely new stars never have to mime.
Carolyn, England

Personally I think the guys who have left their comments putting Gareth down are just jealous. He would never have gotten to where he has if he couldn't sing or was vocally limited. It is true that sound engineering can enhance a voice but it has to be a good voice to have a true impact. As far as I'm concerned Gareth Gates should have won Pop Idol... and he will prove his talent with all the hits he'll have. Give the guy a chance - he is a true star!
Gen, South Africa

Gareth, your voice makes me melt, I love it. We want MORE!!!! Well done to you. You are my star.
Louisa, England

As someone who saw the lad give an outstanding and powerful live performance of the song last night, I am getting weary of people claiming his singing is average. I'm well beyond my teenybop years and can therefore differentiate between a cute face, and musical talent, but I'm also big enough to know they sometimes coincide as they do in Gareth.

He's a true star and had the talent to follow it through. There is a quality to his voice that makes people stop to listen, and from time to time shed a tear too. His emotive face helps, but that's just an added bonus. It's his detractors, not his fans that need to see beyond his puppy eyes.

It's a classic song, and he more than does it justice, although the rushed overproduction spoils it slightly. It's far better than Robson and Jerome, and is at least as good, yet distinctive from The Righteous Brothers.

I agree with Carolyn in hoping that as many people as possible get to see him, and the others sing their songs lives. He, like the others in the last few are showing up most of the more established, grown-up, "serious" artists from the charts. The whole Pop Idol thing may be geared for commercial gain, but there can be no doubt that it will also raise the standard of what is expected from emerging artists too, which benefits us all.
Fiona, UK

Gareth will probably sell millions of this - but it's a terrible song. I hope his record company improve on his next song

Tahsin, UK
Forget the earlier versions of Unchained Melody. Who else gets such perfect emotion to match the words as Gareth? Through his eyes, his mouth, his whole skinny but sexy body movements? When he looks into the camera, it is soulful. Your reviewer is missing the point about Gareth.
Pauline Bird, England

This is just another example that publicity sells records, no matter how bad.
Andrew, UK

A really weak version of this song, which I love. I'm really disappointed with it. It's overproduced - at least on the Pop Idol show you could hear the words being sung - but this record is awful. Gareth will probably sell millions of this - but it's a terrible song. I hope his record company improve on his next song.
Tahsin, UK

I am listening to the CD single whilst writing this. I like both Gareth and Will and now I have both versions of Evergreen and Anything is Possible. I think Unchained Melody is a classic song, and Gareth has done it justice, but for a truly wonderful version of a song, just listen to Anything is Possible. This should have been his single. It's a great song and it's beautifully sung. I am an older fan (over 30) and I think Gareth has something special. Long may it continue, can't wait for an album and further concerts.
Anne, Uk

I like Gareth, however the song doesn't do him justice, he has a good voice, but this track is not suited! However, I'm glad Will won Pop Idol, I think he has a much stronger voice and deserves his win!
Laura. S, UK

I think Gareth's new single is absolutely awesome and I know he's definitely number one this week because he's so talented and has an amazing voice. I think he's gorgeous as well. Best of luck for his new single, I'm supporting him no matter what.
Nishama, London

Gareth is truly the most perfect pop star there could ever be!! He is good looking, talented, polite and appeals to all ages. I will never understand how he was not the winner of Pop Idol. From seeing him in concert I can now appreciate for myself Gareth's great ability to entertain and his presence on stage. His single is heavenly and he will surely go to number one!! I love Gareth and I wish him success.
Jo, UK

A thoroughly average version of a thoroughly average song. Sorry Gareth, but I really think your career will be shorter than Hear'Say's.
Dave, UK

Gareth Gates is definitely brilliant. He's incredibly hot and talented. It's a beautiful song and he does it more than enough justice. You have my vote Gareth, you are my Pop Idol.
Kerry, South Africa

Gareth is a true star, his song is brill - even my two-year-old daughter recognises his voice - he has great talent and is already a success and will be for a long time - we love him.
Linda, Bradford

I hate it! I heard it for the first time last night and it is truely awful! I did like some of the songs Gareth sang in Pop Idol but this is dreadful, he should have stuck to a song he could sing!
Livi, England

Gareth has a beautiful, strong, melodic voice that suits his debut single perfectly. His version is absolutely brilliant and at 17 and only singing pop songs for the last eight months I think he has made an incredible impact on the song. Give the lad a break, the songs great, he looks great, anything said other than that is pure jealousy.
Elaine, England

Gareth's version of Unchained Melody is boring and bland, the only song I feel was really worth recording that he did on the show was Yesterday which was beautiful. However, I don't think he is good enough to stay around for long. Will however is a true talent and will go from strength to strength as his own style and personality are allowed to shine through. GO WILL!
Tracy, UK

I think it's OK. It's a shame that they had to make his first song one that has been covered so many times before. It certainly dosn't help his credability. However, he's a good singer and he's cute so here's to a long and successful career for Gareth Gates.
Me, Scotland

I think Gareth is a brilliant singer and he has a cute smile.
Jacqueline Baird, Scotland

I think his new video is fantastic and he looks really cute in it.
Samantha Cropley, Scotland

No doubt this is a clever marketing ploy - cashing in on the success of Pop Idol. This is proved by the rush production of a pop classic. Obviously there was no contingency record contract for the runner-up of Pop Idol. Sadly the hype and competition between Will and Gareth has meant mediocre songs setting sales records. It would be good if the forthcoming albums have new material and some thought of the singer's vocal range and power are taken into account. Otherwise it will be like the Donny Osmond/David Cassidy era, good looks and clever marketing selling the records!
Alan Sweet, England

I am an older fan of Gareth and I can only say that his voice and musical ability has revitalised a long dead interest in the music industry. For the first time in probably 20 years I am actually looking forward to buying an artist's next single and debut album. Gareth has a true musical talent that is second to none and has something special in his voice that touches the emotions. His rendition of Unchained Melody is beautiful.
Jill, Wales

I think his song is great and he can sing it really well but I dont think you should compare it to the old version because he's the best now. Coming to concert 30 March. Can't wait. Love u loads Gareth.
Kate, England

Absolutely delightful, will certaintly buy it. He is a super guy and I am a senior citizen. Can I download it to real player please? Thank you. Good luck Gareth.
Bernadette Donnelly, Ulster, UK

It's absolutely fantastic - it's brilliant! Gareth is much better than Will and he will last for years to come.
Elzaine Els, South Africa

No matter what single repeated by a different artist, it never usually matches the original and people always critisise but I think Gareth's version is fantastic and I was around when the Righteous Brothers was released.

Gareth should reach the No.1 slot in his own right and well deserves it. I went cold when he performed My Girl and would love to hear him release that one too. Gareth deserves to go far and I hope the stupid newspapers don't ruin things for him.

I am 49-years-old and love music and even though I was in hospital when Gareth's single was released on Monday, my daughter was in the record shop first thing buying the single for me, my mum and my mother-in-law. Yes, his version is as good and deserves to be No.1. Gareth, you are lovely.
Chris Barnes, England

I think that Gareth is one of the best singers ever. His voice is so good and he's only 17. He'll be no.1 without a doubt, and I hope he sells more singles than Will, not that I donżt like Will but Gareth deserves it as seeing as he lost pop idol, which was so wrong.

I've got his single and I think it's lush, and his version of Unchained Melody is the best out of all of the people who have sung it. No one can get close to how good Gareth is, he's one in a million and Iżm glad he's got so far and he's still got loads to achieve.

I also like his Evergreen/Anything Is Possible, better than Will's because he has his own style and it's wicked! Iżm definitely going to buy his album when it comes out, because I won't get bored of him singing ever. Also, I'd like to say that he is so gorgeous and all the girls love him, and any men who donżt like him, you're all so jealous.

One more thing, anyone who dislikes Gareth, you're strange because he's such a nice person, as I've seen him in interviews and with fans. I am Gareth's no.1 fan, I love him to bits, and I'm going to see him and all of the pop idols soon and it's going to be ace! GARETH WE ALL LOVE YOU! AND I LOVE U!
Rachael, England

I think Gareth has given his all on this track which is what Gareth does best. He's given the tune life again and made it new and fresh! GO GARETH, I think it's great!
Sandz, UK

I think that Gareth's song is great he has a lovely voice and he is really cute, he has cute puppy dog eyes and that is what makes my heart melt as well as his voice. I am his number one fan. I adore him and his song and he is my Pop Idol. I believe that he will sing for many years to come.
Ophelia, UK

His version of Unchained Melody is much better than the original. Gareth's voice is better and the video is fab. He definitely should have won Pop Idol.
Natalie, England

I totally agree with what Nicky Chapman said about Gareth's version being better than the original. He may not be the best singer in the world but he has ambition and drive which a lot of young people lack today. I say go for it Gareth and enjoy whatever time you have in the limelight.
Cherie, UK

I think your reveiwer Keily Oakes is talking absolute rubbish!!!!!! Gareth is a great singer and it shows it on the single. I agree with Pauline Bird, your reviewer is missing the whole point about Gareth!
Nicola Paxton, UK

I think Gareth's version of Unchained Melody is great. My family also like the song and we all believe he should have won Pop Idol. He has a fantastic voice which is very easy on the ears and he is very talented, I hope he continues to enjoy his popularity. We believe he will go far, no disrespect to Will Young but we think Gareth's vocals are better. We wish him all the best.
Leah, England

Gareth's version of Unchained Melody is brilliant. And I think his version of Anything is Possible and Evergreen is better than Will's. South Africa is behind you all the way Gareth!!!!! Hope you make it to number one!!!!
Nikki, South Africa

See also:

18 Mar 02 | Reviews
Gates records karaoke classic
15 Mar 02 | Music
Fan frenzy for Pop Idols
04 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Final hurdle for Gareth Gates
15 Mar 02 | Reviews
Pop Idol concerts: Your views
10 Mar 02 | Music
Young stays top of the pops
06 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Head-to-head: Pop Idol finalists
15 Mar 02 | Reviews
Press views: Pop Idols unpolished
15 Mar 02 | Reviews
Glossy debut for Pop Idol stars
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