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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 16:10 GMT
Gates records karaoke classic
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By BBC News Online's Keily Oakes

The time has come to unleash Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates on to the public.

After the runaway success of Will Young's single, record label BMG must be laughing all the way to the bank as it is certain to have another till-ringing hit on its hands.

Gates has done a cover of the Righteous Brothers classic Unchained Melody - but then who hasn't.

Gareth Gates
Gareth Gates could be in for a long stay at top of the charts
This is a sickly sweet tune guaranteed to get the young girls fawning and the grannies cooing over the teen songster.

There is little to separate this from any other version of the karaoke favourite, although it inches past Robson and Jerome's effort.

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.

This is a big production and the orchestra has a tendency to drown him out, almost taking over and resigning Gates to the background.

True masters

The track seems an odd choice for a pop idol as this is hardly a pop number, just a classic ballad designed to tug at the heart strings.

And because it is such a well-known and loved track it is hard for Gates to stamp his own mark on it.

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.

Will Young
Young's single became the fastest selling to date
The song was probably chosen to be the single for whichever contestant ended up as Pop Idol runner-up so it could be rush-released, as was Young's double A-side Evergreen/Anything is Possible.

As a consequence both have been forced to record songs that do little justice to their distinctly different voices.

We can only hope record company bosses put more thought and effort into their second singles, giving them a real platform to showcase their obviously huge talents.

Unchained Melody is released on Monday 18 March on BMG

Gareth Gates
Hear a clip from Unchained Melody
See also:

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
18 Mar 02 | Reviews
Gareth Gates: Your views
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