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.