This has to be one of the most loved–and hated–songs every recorded. People either think it’s a masterpiece or belongs in the garbage; there is no middle ground when it comes to “MacArthur Park” with its famous line that “someone left the cake out in the rain.” WHAT??? After hearing the 1978 Donna Summer version recently, I decided to listen to all three of the famous version again to see which one was worse. Take a listen and let me know what you think!
“MacArthur Park” was written and composed by Jimmy Webb and first recorded by actor Richard Harris (of Camelot fame) in 1968. Harris’ version peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number four on the UK Singles Chart. It was subsequently covered by numerous artists, including a 1969 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal-winning version by country music singer Waylon Jennings and a number one Billboard Hot 100 disco arrangement by Donna Summer in 1978.
First, the original recording by actor Richard Harris from 1968.
Here’s the 1969 Waylon Jennings and the Kimberly’s country version.
And finally, a LIVE version from Donna Summer which topped the charts in 1978 (this version was recorded in 2005).