24
Jul 06

THE LOVE AFFAIR – “Everlasting Love”

FT + Popular85 comments • 17,134 views

#243, 3rd February 1968

Spot the drummer

I don’t normally go into the “making of” stuff on Popular, but this one is a great little snapshot of the 60s pop biz at work. The band formed as a rich man’s present to his aspirational drummer son – all photogenic teen boys, they worked their way round the London soul clubs, looking for a breakthrough, found it in this song. They could play a bit, but didn’t on this record – or any of their other hits. “Everlasting Love” struggled in the charts, was helped along by the band getting into trouble for climbing the Piccadilly Eros, and also by the £200 that Dad – a handbag magnate – slipped to Radio Caroline for airplay. It hit number one and the band were hearththrobs for a year, then vanished. Perfect.

The record’s pretty great, too. The label surely made the right decision ignoring the demo (on which the Love Affair actually played) in favour of sessionmen a full orchestra – in contrast to a lot of over-arranged 60s hits, “Everlasting Love” is tightly and smartly constructed: every element is there simply to make the record more exciting – the sudden stop and whistling breakdown before the climax chorus, the bass, the brass. None of it gets in the way of Steve Ellis’ vocal – the only member of the band on the hit, he puts in a fantastic performance. He’s taking his cues from soul music, but Ellis was only 18, which shows not in any fluffs or mis-steps but in a tremulous hoarse intensity – as the chorus hits again and again, he nails the overwhelming urgency of teenage love superbly. What you get is ruthless studio craft allied to hormone rush: classic boyband formula.

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Comments

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  1. 76
    Martin Amor on 30 Jan 2012 #

    Our drummer in Big Bertha was always talking about Fergie Maynard as one of the best drummers ever. I was wondering if this is the same Fergie on this site? Our drummers name was Jim Dunn who I think had been taught by Fergie. He use to mention something about Shirley Maclaine but I am not sure again if it is this Fergie who new her.

  2. 77
    Richard Malin on 20 Mar 2012 #

    Hi Martin,
    You can contact Fergie at maynardcosmos@aol.com (See Fergie’s entry at No72 above).
    Fergie was a great drummer and I had lessons with him back in 1973/74. These days I understand he has been in films and is playing piano. Back in the early 70’s he wrote scripts for and appeared in Crossroads! I am sure he would love to hear from you.
    Regards,
    Richard Malin

  3. 78
    Richard Malin on 4 May 2013 #

    Hi all,
    Sad to report the death of British drummer Fergie (John) Maynard. Fergie was a well known and well respected drummer in the 1960’s & 70’s having played with artistes as diverse as Shirley Bassey, Matt Monro, Henry Mancini as well as Ken Macintosh and then in the early 70’s he played with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. In later years he tried his had at learning piano and lived out his retirement on he south coast. He even wrote a few scripts (and appeared in) Crossroads back in 1973! His most recent film work included an appearance in the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma. A man of many talents indeed! You can see some entries on the forum if you scroll up the page a bit!

  4. 79
    Clare M on 4 May 2013 #

    Hi Richard,

    Fergies daughter Clare here. Thank you for writing the heartfelt mention of him, he will be sadly missed a lot. A great talent and sense of humour.

  5. 80
    Geoff Leonard on 8 Dec 2013 #

    Interesting to read about Russ Stableford here. I’m currently writing a book about The John Barry Seven, and have the 1963 work diary of Vic Flick, who led the band then. In August of ’63 they were minus a drummer and bass guitarist, and Vic has written “Russ Stableford” & “Andy White” next to a gig at Biggleswade. I know Andy played a few dates for the Seven but I’ve never discovered if Russ did, too.

  6. 81
    mapman132 on 17 Feb 2014 #

    Didn’t play on any of their hits? So a proto-Milli Vanilli then! Actually I guess this was more common than I realized in the 60’s. For example, in 1962 there was a US#1 (“He’s a Rebel”) that was purposely credited to entirely the wrong group. And then there’s the Monkees….

    As for the song, it’s good to hear (the definitive?) early version of it that was actually a number one hit. It was the U2 version that first introduced the song to me. Interesting which songs get remade over and over and over again.

  7. 82
    Red Seeker on 5 Dec 2014 #

    I love this song – I know it is manufactured but what a superbly made record. The unusual thing about this song is it starts with a verse and then followed by three (altered) chorus’.Excellent stuff.

  8. 83
    wirral squirrel on 24 Sep 2015 #

    Hello folks. I am trying to find who played bass on Cilla’s Surround Yourself With Sorrow and I suspected Herbie Flowers but he was kind enough to reply to me and told me it wasn’t him. He suggested Dave Richmond or Russ Stableford. I’ve seen Russ’s son’s comments re Everlasting Love etc on this site, albeit some while ago and wondered if he or anybody else could solve this mystery for me. Many thanks, Colin Bermingham.

  9. 84
    lonepilgrim on 11 May 2016 #

    this is such an exhilarating song that bounces along breezily on a combination of session player concision and enthusiastic singing. As mentioned before there’s more than a hint of Motown in the arrangement with (to my ears, anyway) a little bit of Righteous Brothers in the vocal.

  10. 85
    Phil on 11 May 2016 #

    That was a good drum break.

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