The Searchers

When You Walk in the Room

Song Review by

"When You Walk in the Room" was one of the bigger and more beloved hits by the Searchers, and at least in hindsight is often seen as a prototype for folk-rock, with its jangly 12-string guitars and sensitive lyrics. It still isn't too well known that the song was originally recorded by its songwriter, Jackie DeShannon, in late 1963. This version too was, though less obviously, an ancestor of folk-rock, particularly in the jangly 12-string guitar riff that opened the song and recurs throughout it. The futuristic folk-rock attributes aside, it was an excellent song, capturing well the first flush of romantic attraction, but with more adult lyrics than were typical for a pop/rock song of 1963 and 1964. The Searchers version has the edge, perhaps, because of its full-bodied guitar arrangement, vocal harmonies, and more pronounced British Invasion rock feel. DeShannon's original only just made the Top 100 (at number 99) and was more pop in orientation in a Phil Spector fashion, with some subtle strings and background choral voices. DeShannon's vocal was more emotional, though, bringing out the womanly longing in the song, particularly on the soaring bridge, where the melody became dreamier and the wishfulness more fervent. It was a natural cover choice for the Searchers as they'd already had a big hit with another song originally released by DeShannon, "Needles and Pins." "When You Walk in the Room" wasn't that huge of a hit, but it's been covered pretty steadily over the years, by a diverse roster of artists including Pam Tillis, Karla Bonoff, Jim Croce, Status Quo, Steve Forbert, and Chris Hillman.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
It's the Searchers 1964 BMG / Castle Communications / Sony BMG 0:00
Sounds Like the Searchers 1965 Pye
Take Me for What I'm Worth 1965 0:00
Second Take 1972 Taragon Records 2:30
No Image 1977 Pye
Greatest Hits [Rhino] 1985 Rhino 2:21
The Collection [Castle] 1988 Castle Music Ltd. 2:23
Classic Rock: Rock Renaissance, Vol. 3 1990
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:23
30th Anniversary Collection 1992 Collectables 2:24
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Temple 2:22
Daytrippers, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:23
Daytrippers: 50 Classic Tracks from the Sixties by Original Artists 1997
Various Artists
Cleopatra 2:23
20 Fabulous Hits of the 60s 1997 Music Club Records
Disraeli Years 1998
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:23
60's Box Set 1999
Various Artists
Cleopatra 2:23
Definitive Collection 1999 Castle Music Ltd. 2:22
The Pye Anthology 2000 BMG / Sanctuary 2:22
Hits of the 60's: Waterloo Sunset 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:21
A Decade in Sound 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:21
1964: The Soundtrack 2003
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:23
40th Anniversary Collection 2003 Castle Music Ltd. 2:22
Beat, Beat, Beat, Vol. 4: 1-2-3-4! 2003
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:23
The British Are Coming 2003
Various Artists
Sanctuary 0:00
The Collection [Audio Fidelity Hybrid] 2003 Audio Fidelity / Hybrid 2:21
The Definitive Pye Collection 2004 Sanctuary 2:22
BBC Sessions 2004 Castle Music Ltd. 2:18
The Pye Anthology 1963-1967 [Reissue] 2006 Castle Music Ltd. 2:22
The Most of the Searchers 2006 Virgin / EMI 2:21
Break-A-Way: The Songs of Jackie DeShannon 2008
Various Artists
Ace 2:22
The Very Best of the Searchers [Varèse Sarabande] 2016 Varèse Sarabande 2:23
No Image
Various Artists
Sire 2:22
The Hits That Rocked the Airwaves
Various Artists
Universal 2:22