Friday, December 28, 2007

1001 Greatest Pop Songs Of All Time - #28 - Loves Loves To Love Love by Lulu

Alyson: Whoever invented the nostalgia industry in music (whether it was Bob sodding Dylan or the sodding Beatles, it's always one of those two) unwittingly did a lot of artists a great dis-service. Just as The Kinks (a band you won't be seeing on this list) had a back catalogue ground down by Damon Albarn to Waterloo Sunset only, so several quite important and wonderful pop artists have their catalogue ground down that single what charted quite well, and that one what didn't, when their back catalogue with a little patience can be revealed as stunning, inventive and magical. There's a fascinating world of lost pop classics out there from the 60s and 70s that lie somewhere between "I'm a nerdy record collector" or "I'm a Bob Dylan fan, here's his vinyl". A lot of amazing songs that got to 20-30 in the charts are out there, waiting for a home, a lot of artists that could do with a severe re-assessment.

Take Lulu for instance. In our little musical world, we like to give everyone a fair chance, and after "To Sir With Love" was on I-dull a few years ago, I went and bought "The Best Of Lulu" for about a buck, and it was a revelation. Her back catalogue before Boom Bang A Bang, her German singles, her stunning interpretation of various cover songs (Mr Bojangles is stunning), her work with Take That, her magical phrasing and melisma on "To Sir With Love" (still one of the best love songs of all time), a 4 decade career of wonderful songs, and people still want "Shout" and remember her as the funny cameoer in Ab Fab. It's a shame, maybe she's happy that way, you never know. Let this post, at least slightly, redress the balance.

The 1967 single "Love Loves To Love Love" didn't make the top 30, in spite of being a prime glam rock stomper before it's time. It clocks in at roughly two minutes long, the lyrics are fantastically tongue twisting (just try saying Love Loves To Love Love 8 times in a minute never mind singing it live) and sung by one of the most under-rated vocalists of her time, and it has a beating glittery heart of pure wonderment and magic. Perhaps the best thing about it is every time it's on the IPOD, you can hear a new magical element to it, whether it's the fantastic throbbing backing guitar, or a new part of the lyrical conceit (blue is hung up on red? Brilliant) or the full magic of the bongo breakdown in the middle. And then, it's over, like a cool guest a party who comes only for a flying visit and steals your heart.

I consider this one of the best singles of the 1960s, and an absolutely essential part of any pop IPOD. But still, Boom Bang A Bang is available from your local DJ...


Claire: I really wasn't sure about this one, it's Alysons baby this entry, since I prefer and might one day post about "Can't Hear You No More", one of my favourite songs of the 60s, which is almost Lulu goes Gospel in it's breathtaking strutting wonderful chorus, but I certainly support any appreciation for the under-rated works of Lulu that are much better than "Shout" and "Boom Bang A Bang". Above all she's endlessly fascinating, not just musically, but with the life she's lead. Sometimes she's cool, sometimes she isn't, but it's always interesting, and you can't say that about "the new Lulu", er, Sheena Easton.

Above all else, Lulu is massive fun to listen to, her songs are unabashed, noisy and vigorous, especially in her late 60s pomp. Love Loves To Love Love is about my third favourite Lulu song, it's probably a little more technically clever than "Can't Hear You No More" (which has a great doomsday reference), so I knock it down a bit, but it is fantastic fun and wonderfully daft (in a good way) like a lot of great, don't worry about the beats get the tune in late 60s songs were. And really, get her Greatest Hits. You'll be surprised. Honest.


Blogger M.C. Glammer said...

It'd have to be bloody good to beat Can't Hear You No More. Dusty Springfield was on Motown, but Lulu should've been on Stax.

4:45 AM  

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