Apr 08

TINA CHARLES – “I Love To Love”

FT + Popular78 comments • 5,648 views

#386, 6th March 1976

I get the strong impression that whoever wrote this came up with the line “I love to love but my baby just wants to dance” and then wrote a lyric around it – which is fine, it’s a great line, but it leaves Tina Charles in the position of having to sell a song around the idea of a boyfriend who never wants sex because he’s always out disco dancing. Maybe there are deeper issues, Tina. Just saying, like.

Anyway, this is British disco, not as tight as the American stuff or as futuristic as the European, with an arrangement that sounds like it’s been built from a “disco sounds” checklist, but a singer who gives it a lot of welly. Charles may not be the greatest vocalist but she actually does sell the song, or at least give you permission to howl along with it. It wrings a good deal of enjoyment out of some fairly ropey raw materials and you’d never begrudge it its success, but I end up wanting to like it more than I actually do.



  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 27 Apr 2008 #

    The verses are pretty good in their own right, though, and do a little bit more than merely supporting the chorus. The dynamic of emphasis and rhyme (MIN-ITT! SWING IT! DIG IT! etc) makes the song something that you follow along with all the way – and Tina Charles has a vibrant voice that you’re always happy to hear.

    What lets it down is the lack of much of a narrative. Having set up the character of the dancing boyfriend from the get-go, I’d like a bit more of a story about how the quickly established situation is then dealt with.

    And if you contrast this with ‘He’s The Greatest Dancer’ by Sister Sledge, both as music and as a song (in which the sexuality of the desired dancer is a bit clearer), you realise what you’re not getting here! So six or seven is about right.

  2. 2
    DJ Punctum on 27 Apr 2008 #

    Well the whole song is an extended metaphor really (“I Love To Come But My Baby Just Wants To…” and you can fill in the rest)…

    She sang lead on the late ’75 European hit (and “Black Is Black” ripoff) “I’m On Fire” by 5000 Volts and was understandably narked at Luan Peters appearing as the public face of the band, miming to her vocals on TOTP etc. However, it was all good publicity and she got signed up in her own right to CBS where she was mentored by Biddu, who thus scored his second UK number one as producer (“Kung Fu Fighting,” as you may recall, was the first).

    All bouncily harmless – it’s a sort of Home Counties “Rock The Boat” – but at least she sounds as though she’s having fun (her “Whoo!”s towards the end don’t sound forced) and Biddu was never going to be Nile and Bernard but he doesn’t do a bad job here, and the various pings of syndrums and the vague angularity of the string arrangement certainly put me in mind of the young lad, just down from Durham, who at the time was putting in the hours as trainee tape op/engineer/producer under Biddu’s tutelage and also played bass in Tina’s touring band – although he was a little peeved since he was basically a Yes fan and wanted to be Jon Anderson. His name was Trevor Horn.

    This is also the moment where the first of my previously mentioned “phantom” number ones occurred – the one which was top at lunchtime but demoted to #3 by teatime when the BMRB remembered to include the missing day’s sales data – so a word for the late bandleader Geoff Love, who under the moniker of “Manuel and his Music of the Mountains” spent four hours at number one with his interpretation of the second adagio movement from Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto d’Aranjuez, which was to the Miles Davis/Gil Evans version as “I Love To Love” is to “He’s The Greatest Dancer.”

  3. 3
    intothefireuk on 27 Apr 2008 #

    I don’t have any significant memories associated with this song except that, IIRC Ms Charles sported an interesting line in voluminous flouncy dresses. The song itself wasn’t that substantial and I didn’t particularly enjoy Tina’s shouty, shrill vocal. It has endured though and strangely enough I enjoy it now a lot more than I did then (here we go again, another GP ?). I can appreciate the Brit Disco angle though apart from Tina’s vocal it doesn’t really have any balls.

  4. 4
    rosie on 27 Apr 2008 #

    I’m feeling a bit like death warmed up this morning (usual thing, slight cold turns to chest infection turns to all sorts of respiratory problems) so anything that cheers me up in an undemanding way goes down well. This manages it rather well, if you don’t listen too closely (and it’s clearly for dancing to after all, not for semiotic introspection, and the actual words don’t matter much. It would work just as well if Tina were singing in Swabian, and the important thing is that she sounds like she’s having a really good time, and it’s infectious. You can’t not feel happy.

    Sketches of Spain is indeed a little musical miracle and as the version of the Concierto d’Aranjuez contained therein isn’t performed on guitar then it should be jusdged as sui generis, perhaps. Certainly Geoff Love’s rendering doesn’t bear serious comparison with a performance by, say, John Williams (the real one, not the Hollywood hack composer).

  5. 5
    Doctor Casino on 27 Apr 2008 #

    Decent composition, well-performed, but I’m with Tom that the lyrics are kind of letting this one down. Either the situation needs to be fleshed out more or it needs to be reversed, where the protagonist just wants to dance and the boys are getting in the way with all their winks and come-ons.

    The production also feels a little off/thin, but that might just be the version I’m hearing.

  6. 6
    rosie on 27 Apr 2008 #

    The reverse situation appears in Jim Steinman’s Dance In My Pants:

    I’m a lover not a dancer
    Don’t want to be on my feet when I can be on my back

    While his girl just wants to dance. In a real Vertical Expression Of A Horizontal Desire way.

  7. 8
    jeff w on 27 Apr 2008 #

    Tina was a RUBBISH dancer I seem to recall, so I’m not surprised her baby was always out dancing alone. I quite like the song though. 6 is about right, maybe I’d go 7.

  8. 9
    LondonLee on 27 Apr 2008 #

    Never been too fussed about this one really, it’s OK but she’s no Teena Marie.

  9. 10
    vinylscot on 27 Apr 2008 #

    Was the song not deliberately unsubstantial? It was, IMO, supposed to be a bit of throwaway pop, with a nod the the European end of disco rather than the American end.

    Tina herself was one of these unlikely popstars who certainly didn’t have “the look” and would never be cool, but who would no doubt have had a decent session career anyway. In addition to the 5000 Volts song, she had also been (with Linda Lewis) a backing vocalist on an earlier no1 – Steven Harley and Cockney Rebel’s “Make Me Smile”.

    I don’t particularly like her performance of the song, but it does have some significance to me because of its connection to later pop/rock/mad superstar Bjork.

    Legend has it that she got her first break at age 11 after her teacher sent a recording of her singing this to an Icelandic radio station. They played it; she got picked up by a record company, and made her first album at age 12.

  10. 11
    rosie on 28 Apr 2008 #

    One point already made about Tina Charles is that she’s not the greatest singer ever but her voice with all its energy is more than adequate to carry this song. I’ve always known that, I think, but until yesterday I hadn’t a clue what she looked like, not any idea of whether she could dance or not. It never seemed relevant.

    By 1975 I’d long left Top of the Pops behind and I’m still a radio person having given up on keeping a televisual device ages ago. So I suppose the visual aspect of a performance has never been of great importance to me. But we do seem to have got into a situation where the quality of a singing voice is of marginal importance. Because I’ve never seen any of these Pop Idol type programmes I have only anecdotal evidence, but isn’t there a cult, with Mr Simon Cowell at its head (I believe there are two Simons, I hope I have the right one) of humiliated perfectly good singers who don’t look right, or move right? What I did hear some years ago was a young woman from Glasgow who appeared on Woman’s Hour who had gone through that humiliation. When she sang in the studio she had the kind of beautiful, smoky, bluesy voice that makes your scalp tingle. I wish I could remember her name – I’d buy her records!

    I have a nasty feeling that Alison Moyet, whose time can’t be far off now, will pass us by. Now there’s a singer with ooomph who didn’t look glamorous and never, I think, even tried to dance.

  11. 12
    Mark G on 28 Apr 2008 #

    There were a sudden spate of songs where people decided they wanted to go out and “DANCE” and not “fuck” in very small lettering.

    Nolans, GMichael/Wham, ooh….

  12. 13
    Tom on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Rosie – it’s true that the Pop Idol programmes tend to bring up conveyor belt voices but in terms of looks/images there’s a wider variety than you might think: Michelle McManus, most famously, won Pop Idol despite being pretty enormous; Andy Abrahams the singing binman has done well for himself – and then away from the reality TV world someone like Adele is closer to the Alison Moyet template (though not half as good) than she is to the Aguilera one.

  13. 14
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Strangely enough, yesterday’s Capital Gold retrochart show, which I always try to catch since they are good enough to play the WHOLE Top 20 rather than a sanitised “Pick,” David Jensen was doing the chart from March ’76 (they don’t strictly go by the “this week x years ago” rule) and the studio guest was – Tina Charles!

    She still sounded pretty keen on Trevor – at the time this hit number one, they did have a thing going on and were living in a little flat in Streatham – and also confirmed that Geoff Downes was her touring keyboard player, so basically this was where Buggles started!

    She’s now a grandmother, which made me feel even older than I normally do!

    About PopIdol etc. I have nothing to say at the moment except that it’s a major tragedy that Alison Moyet will play no direct part (and only one indirect part) in Popular whatsoever.

  14. 15
    Mark G on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Indirect? Um, as she was the lead vocal in (BUNNYSTAMPED), it can all go there surely?

  15. 16
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    I’ll go on strike if it doesn’t.

  16. 17
    Snif on 28 Apr 2008 #

    “John Williams (the real one, not the Hollywood hack composer).”

    Any man who does the themes of “Lost In Space”, “Time Tunnel” and “Land Of The Giants” is no hack in my book.

  17. 18
    Mark M on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Presumably it was Michelle McManus that Rosie heard on Woman’s Hour. I would say that the combination of the emphasis on powerhouse ballads plus the underdog factor actually makes reality TV pop friendlier to a wider range of types than the 1990s music industry (as well as those mentioned by Tom, I’d add the mountainous American Idol winner Ruben Studdard). It’s after the contest is over that singers face the pressure of bullying management and the press.
    Also, as Tom says, the Brit school bunch include the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse, who was never a living Barbie even before the tats and permanently tired-and-emotional state.

  18. 19
    mike on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Back in March 1976, this struck me as a fairly inconsequential piece of pop-disco fluff, and I didn’t have particularly strong feelings about it in either direction. However, twelve years later, I found myself playing the 1987 Sanny X/DMC remix week in, week out to my mixed gay club crowd, where it slotted in neatly next to “Shame Shame Shame”, “Rock The Boat”, and similarly mid-BPMed chix-cooed chugging bouncers (pace James Hamilton). It was a bit of a naff old remix – stuttered vocal samples, and a notable upping of the “WOO!” factor – but something about it worked, and I ended up feeling a good deal more fondly about the song as a result.

    I’d also like to think that the Trevor Horn factor is what lifted “I Love To Love” above the usual schlock churned out by the Biddu factory. I’ve got loads of his early 1970s productions on promo 7″, and they’re a dreary old bunch…

  19. 20
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    See also second John Howard album which involves both Biddu and Horn and is markedly better than other Biddu things like “Summer Of ’42 BUT DONE DISCO STYLE”…

  20. 21
    rosie on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Michelle McManus it was. Thank you. I didn’t realise she’d actually won, despite the bullying. My estimate of reality TV voters has just risen!

    Amy Winehouse I like to think of as the British Billie Holiday. It’s such a shame that her personal failings are eclipsing an amazing talent in the public eye.

  21. 22
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    I think more of Amy W as a noughties version of Carmel, if anyone remembers her.

    Perhaps if she engaged the services of decent writers and producers rather than singing over old Helen Shapiro backing tracks her talent might become more apparent.

  22. 23
    Matthew H on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Mark/Punctum, #15/16 – you’ve got me confused, and I’m not even allowed to ask.

    As for ‘I Love To Love’, songs like this and ‘Baby Love’ used to make me feel a bit funny in my tummy when they were played on Radio 2 when I was a wee lad. The Three Degrees too.

  23. 24
    mike on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Butbutbut surely Duffy = The New Carmel? (BTW, it was good to hear this year’s Norwegian Eurovision entrant covering Carmel’s “More More More” at The Scala on Friday night.)

    My opinion of Amy changed after seeing her live last spring (we were lucky enough to catch her on a relatively straight and sober night), and was further reinforced by her stunning performance of “Love Is A Losing Game” at the Mercurys. Up until then, I’d found her second album far too self-consciously mannered to sound convincing. But now, I don’t.

  24. 25
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Vocally Duffy is more like the new Billie Davis, except I like Billie Davis since at least there’s some oomph in her voice rather than the thin Costcutter string cheese incident that is Duffy’s larynx.

  25. 26
    Erithian on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Mike, you beat me to it re Duffy as Carmel! I caught a few minutes of Duffy being “interviewed” by George Lamb on T4 yesterday – blimey, who gave him a job?

    Re Amy’s personal failings – you’re right, Rosie, and she’s being helped on her way by some of the most intrusive papping anyone’s ever had. Slebs falling out of nightclubs is fair game, but who wants to see her buying chocolates at the all-night store or trying to open her garage while looking dog-rough?

    Anyway, re “I Love to Love”: can’t agree with Doc Casino (#5) that the situation needs to be reversed – in itself it’s a nice reversal of the usual scenario, set out in previous Popular favourite “Come Outside” among others, where the girl wants her pleasures vertically and the bloke wants them horizontally. Beyond that it’s a nice little disco number, nothing special. GRRR books’ (Gambaccini, Read and the Rice brothers) tome marking the 500th number one observed that Tina Charles was possibly the shortest adult ever to top the UK chart, taller only than Little Jimmy Osmond who would now tower over her!

    But it was good to see Tina get recognition after her uncredited appearance on the 5000 Volts record. It’s as if Loleatta Holloway had had a solo number one after a certain infamous 1989 hit which the producers couldn’t be arsed to spell properly (bunny says to stop there). The singer who appeared on TOTP, doing “I’m On Fire”, Luan Peters, had made a few flop singles beforehand but is probably best remembered as the guest whose breast is hilariously mistaken for a light switch by Basil in an episode of “Fawlty Towers”.

    Number 2 Watch – Tina denied us the joy of seeing CW McCall’s “Convoy” reach number one!

  26. 27
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Surprised that “Convoy” did anything in the UK, to be honest, but CB did catch on here pretty quickly. These days the record sounds like some creepy far right call to arms but if nothing else it’s better than Red Sovine’s HIDEOUS, similarly themed “Teddy Bear” which waited until 1981 before invading our top five (bet Dale plays THAT one).

    In the Fab 208 chart not only did “Convoy” hit number one, but also the sidesplitting “Convoy GB” performed by DLT and Paul Burnett under the pseudonym Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks (only #4 on the BMRB list, mind).

  27. 28
    Mark G on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Just a thought, as someone mentioned Grrr books…

    When did they stop publishing? I was wondering if they ever did a ‘nineties’ volume, and how late did the ‘hit singles’ go up to?

  28. 29
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    I know someone did a book when the 1000 mark was passed but I can’t remember who published it (I don’t think it was GRRR) and it wasn’t very good either.

  29. 30
    Mark G on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Just went to Amazon. Someone called David Roberts seems to be ‘authoring’ the books now, and one came out in July last year.

  30. 31
    Matthew H on 28 Apr 2008 #

    I have a 1000 book on my desk right here, by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh – published by Omnibus. It’s not bad for anecdotal stuff.

  31. 32
    Matthew H on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Re #30 – I stopped picking up the Guinness Hit Singles books at about edition 12 or 13. Said edition was so riddled with inaccuracies it was a complete waste of time – actually detrimental, in fact.

  32. 33
    Tom on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Yes, I have the Kutner/Leigh – I used to check it for the occasional facts, but frankly now I’ve got you lot I hardly need a source of anecdote :) (or corrections!)

  33. 34
    Erithian on 28 Apr 2008 #

    B-b-but Tom, some of OUR anecdotes come from Kutner/Leigh! Said book is certainly better than the GRRR 500 number ones book. I also had, but have mislaid, a similar well-produced book of US number ones which began arbitrarily with “Rock Around The Clock” and ended with USA for Africa, as though that was the very last word. (to be fair, they had to stop somewhere)

    My favourite “British Hit Singles” booboo was the year they listed Judy Garland as “US, male vocalist”.

  34. 35
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    The quite extreme booboo with the current edition of British Hit Singles And Albums is the complete omission of all Various Artists compilation albums.

  35. 36
    mike on 28 Apr 2008 #

    My faith in the Guinness series was shaken when one volume omitted one of Abba’s big hits (I think it was “Chiquitita”) – and that was just on Page One. In fact, that edition was so error-ridden that a revised version was hastily issued. (Which begs the question: how can anyone muck up an annual copy-paste so badly?)

    Guinness used to publish a book of complete week-by-week Top 40 singles listings, but I think that stopped a good few years ago. Far too useful!

    It must have been around this time that the headline of one of the NME’s singles columns read “Don’t Look Now, But You’re Living In A Golden Age”. That did seem to be stretching it somewhat.

    Meanwhile, and courtesy of a near-immaculately preserved collection of 78s which had just been exhumed from my gradmother’s basement (one of her former lodgers had left it behind a few years earlier), I was going through a major Sidney Bechet phase.

  36. 37
    Mark G on 28 Apr 2008 #

    One major boob was the song “Enz Live” on two-tone records, apparently a hit for Herb Alpert.

  37. 38
    Lena on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Yes, I am also surprised that “Convoy” did so well! It went to #1 in the US, back in January (as Popstrology says, it’s in the Had To Be There constellation). Meanwhile, a variety of songs followed – “I Write The Songs” by Barry Manilow, “Love Rollercoaster” by Ohio Players and Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.”

  38. 39
    Matthew H on 28 Apr 2008 #

    I love it that everyone* here has a story about an error in the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles. It takes a special kind of forum…

    *you knowharrimean

  39. 40
    rosie on 28 Apr 2008 #

    A forum about hit singles?

    I expect that there are forums for trainsp railway enthusiast where everybody has stories about errors in Railway World!

  40. 41
    LondonLee on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Looking at the lyrics it seems Tina’s bloke does just love to dance, maybe she should have added: “I love to love but my baby just loves to dance and buy antiques and watch Judy Garland movies” to make the nudge-nudge subtext a bit clearer.

  41. 42
    Matthew H on 28 Apr 2008 #

    To Rosie at #40:

    Well, quite, but it’s the eye for the minutiae, the statistics, and actually knowing better than the machine. Great stuff.

  42. 43
    mike on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Re: “Convoy”: Well, CB Radio did become quite a thing over here. Ever the eager faddist, my dad had it installed at home – and a couple of years later, my teenage step-sisters would spend many a happy hour chatting up truckers, in that quaint argot which everyone felt obliged to deploy.

    (“Yeah, four on that, four on that.” Why don’t you just say YES? Which you’ve actually just said ANYWAY?)

    But then, maybe a major part of the song’s British appeal lay in decoding the CB-speak, and feeling all special because you had unwrapped the meaning.

    (Me aged 14, to a visting American family friend: “What’s a reefer?”)

  43. 44
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Listening to yesterday’s Gold countdown, “Dat” by Pluto Shervington was also hanging around in the top ten and I remember Record Mirror publishing translations of lyrics for both that and “Convoy” at the time.

    Although the best record in yesterday’s top ten was “It Should Have Been Me” by Yvonne Fair – Christ, what a voice she had, what a performance, and a sight better than at least one certain wedding-themed number one to follow in the VERY long term…

  44. 45
    Lena on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Was that the song Adeva covered?

    I’ve never heard of “Dat”!

  45. 46
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Yes, the very same song.

    “Dat” was a shaggy dog story, sung entirely in Jamaican patois, about a Rasta sneakily trying to buy some pork despite it being against the tenets of his religion but it was great fun and a fab tune. He also produced Paul Davidson’s holy cover of “Midnight Rider.”

  46. 47
    mike on 28 Apr 2008 #

    “Dat” is bloody GREAT! I hadn’t made the “it’s fun to decode the lingo” connection with “Convoy” before, but it was certainly part of the appeal of both for me.

    “Dat” was cited in the same NME column as evidence of said “Golden Age”, and I’d have thought it more than likely that Yvonne Fair must have been mentioned as well. Other possbile candidates: “Love To Love You Baby”, “No Regrets”, “Love Machine”, “Low Rider”…?

    Round about the same time, another NME singles column slagged off the new Gladys Knight single as “music to shave your legs to”, drawing on-air praise for the columnist from John Peel. The name of this new recruit to the NME staff? Julie Burchill.

    I also remember a Shock Horror Why Oh Why Must We Fling This Flith At Our Pop Kids “think” piece in the Daily Mail, citing “Love To Love You Baby”, The Who’s “Squeeze Box” and R&J Stone’s “We Do It” as disturbing evidence of a new wave of disgustingly lewd perv-pop. Little did they know what was to hit them before the year was through…

  47. 48
    Erithian on 28 Apr 2008 #

    We’ve touched before on the subject of the exoticism of US place-names, and part of the appeal of “Convoy” were the references to “Shaky Town”, Interstate 44, long-haired friends of Jesus, bears in the air and so on – which is also why the Laurie Lingo version appealed, with its counterblast of Newport Pagnell, Toddington and Spaghetti Junction.

    In my hitch-hiking days I spent a fair amount of time listening to CB conversations on the road to the likes of “Brown Bottle City” (that’s Newcastle to you) as truckers would say things like “eyeball-eyeball 14-wheeler” and swap news of the road ahead. I also met one trucker who was having it away with his boss’s daughter. She wasn’t much to look at, apparently, but then “you don’t look at the mantelpiece when you’re poking the fire.” Kings of the road…

  48. 49
    mike on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Talking to anonymous strangers down a telephone line using weird specialist lingo? OMG WTF LOL, what were we thinking!

  49. 50
    Mark G on 28 Apr 2008 #

    When we speak, we elongate the language. When we type, we go shortn.

  50. 51
    rosie on 28 Apr 2008 #

    mike @ 47: Meh – there’s nothing new under the sun. When the Stones did Let’s Spend The Night Together ten years earlier it was the end of civilisation as we know it.

  51. 52
    DJ Punctum on 28 Apr 2008 #

    I gather Jo Stafford’s 1954 top tenner “Make Love To Me” also raised questions in the House.

  52. 53
    LondonLee on 28 Apr 2008 #

    Not to mention the trouble Will Shakespeare got into with the Lord Chamberlain when he penned “Hey nonny nonny is that a lute I espy in my codpiece or am I just pleased to see thee?”

  53. 54
    Waldo on 29 Apr 2008 #

    The main thrust of this, if you pardon the pun, was that Tina Charles’ “baby” was clearly of a certain persuasion. Whilst it is true that she was no Catherine Deneurve, Tina was a jolly wholesome and grabable girl who was clearly foaming for it. “Baby”, alas, preferred boogie-woogie to upsie-downsie. His loss. As a matter of fact, I recall Tina appearing on “Swop Shop” and practically verifying this truth about “Baby”, having been persistently prompted by a manic Noel Edmonds, who was flirting with her most unsubtly, thereby ticking every box which would today guarantee him a visit from a police armed response unit.

    ILTL, meanwhile, was certainly an above average pop song and Tina’s own performance was strong and first rate (very Lyn Paul). She could actually belt out a number as powerfully as any female I can think of, despite some rather odd antecedents. Having much earlier failed to capitalize following a season with The Two Ronnies (it wasn’t always Barbara bloody Dixon) when she was very young indeed, Tina settled down as a backing singer, notably for Steve Harley, before being handed this chance, which was gratefully snapped up. What stands out even more was the presence at number one of a single female British artist, the first of only four to do this in the entire decade, which is remarkable.

    DJ Punctum #2 – I rather fear that you’re one number one too late to talk about Geoff Love’s phantom chart topper, as from personal memory (I invite you to see my contribution) it affected The Four Seasons and not Tina Charles.

  54. 55
    Erithian on 29 Apr 2008 #

    LondonLee – I see your Shakespeare and raise you The Miller’s Tale, which must have got old Geoff Chaucer into hot water for lines like:
    “This Nicholas anon leet fle a fart
    As greet as it had been a thunder-dent”
    (i.e a fart like a thunderclap)

    Mind you I think it was Sounds which reported that a reverend in the US objected to “Love To Love You Baby” on the grounds that “there are 22 orgasms in it”. Sounds gleefully asked: “Who’s counting, Rev?”

  55. 56
    DJ Punctum on 29 Apr 2008 #

    Quite correct, Waldo – it was the chart w/e 28 Feb and the Four Seasons were still on top with Tina making her move to the all-important number two position.

  56. 57
    Lena on 29 Apr 2008 #

    I heard Toni Basil’s “Mickey” the other day and I guess it’s the same thing, only done cheerleader style?

  57. 58
    DJ Punctum on 29 Apr 2008 #

    What, “I Love To Love”? Not really…much more like a Brit “Rock Your Baby” as Lulu might have sung it; here’s a helpful link

  58. 59
    pink champale on 29 Apr 2008 #

    sorry, a bit late on this, and it’s not about the tina charles record which I don’t think I’ve ever heard, but the big thing about michelle mcmanus was that she would never have won pop idol if she hadn’t been fat. her winning was entirely down to a desire on the part of the audience to play out the against all odds narrative of the girl who doesn’t look like a conventional pop star but has a million dollar voice, the producers went all out to play this up too, but she was pretty much the worst singer in the final twelve. simon cowell and pete waterman consistently pointed out that this was all just wishful thinking and that a) she wasn’t a very good singer; and b) the public would have zero interest in her as a pop star. this would always be met with ferocious booing by the studio audience who i imagine were fairly representative of the people who then a) bought none of her records b) bought loads of the celeb mags and tabloids that bullied her mercilessly about her weight.
    leona lewis excepted, the thing that does get you voted off these programmes, regardless of how good a singer or how attractive you are, is being black. andrew lloyd webber had a bit of a rant about this at the weekend when the last black contestant got kicked off the oliver show – he stopped short of saying the ‘r’ word but it was pretty clear that’s what he meant.

    it could well be that michelle mcmanus was good on r4 though – as the oliver programme is proving with terrible precision, there’s a big difference between having a good voice/being a good singer and being able to sing pop songs well. or perhaps living through the terrible experiences of the last few years has given her access to the well of the pain and oppression the lies at the heart of soulful and authentic proper music…

  59. 60
    DJ Punctum on 29 Apr 2008 #

    I can’t even remember any of the other singers who were alongside Michelle in that series, which may prove something or other but I’m not quite sure what.

    I’m afraid you may have a point with the incipient racism in the public vote for these types of programmes; note for instance how the judges on the last series of Dancing On Ice were always adamant about keeping Zarrah Abrahams in the contest despite her regularly having to appear in the “dance-off” even though she was clearly one of the best dancers/skaters on the show (Alecia Dixon is perhaps the other exception that proves the rule here) and this was also very evident in the last X-Factor series where the only qualification for victory now seems to be that you cry a lot and love your mum and two immensely superior black female singers got the early bath (and ageism is also an issue here).

    Don’t know about the existence of “soulful and authentic proper music” which to my mind has become as artificial a marketing device as any other in recent years, i.e. Adele and Duffy are “soulful” and “authentic” whereas Estelle has the temerity to be (a) pop and (b) black.

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    pink champale on 29 Apr 2008 #

    sorry, i was joking about “proper music”.
    to be honest i can’t remember the others either but i do remember thinking most of them were better than mm and shouting at the screen “no she hasn’t!!” every time they went on about what a great voice she had

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    Erithian on 29 Apr 2008 #

    I wonder if you could add (c) British to the list? I caught a feature on regional TV the other night claiming that black British artists are being underappreciated and not supported even by urban music stations, on the basis that American=good and British=bad. The Estelle record is bloody good, but she had to get an American in to collaborate on it and use the word in the title. Meanwhile the likes of Ms Dynamite and Dizzee Rascal make a splash then suffer diminishing returns, and the likes of Beverley Knight plug away for years without being as big as they deserve. I must admit I’m not an expert in the genre, but can anybody who is comment on that?

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    Tom on 29 Apr 2008 #

    Most of the ‘talent show’ types of programmes are vote-to-keep rather than vote-to-kick, aren’t they? Which would definitely have an impact – it stops direct voting against non-white contestants but then leaves the performers vulnerable to the audience “not identifying with” them (and also leaves the show vulnerable to over-identification with a performer or ‘storyline’).

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    pink champale on 29 Apr 2008 #

    yes, i think it’s more to do with who the voters ‘identify with’ than it is conscious racism. underdogism probably has something to do with it too – it often seems that the audience think it makes the competition unfair if there’s anyone in it who’s actually any good at singing and withold their votes accordingly

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    DJ Punctum on 29 Apr 2008 #

    Re. Ms Dynamite – fell into the classic British black music trap of trying to sound as American as possible and thereby eliminating everything that was fun and profound and individual about her (whereas despite the major American input, Estelle is very intent on sounding like “herself” such that something like “American Boy” sounds far closer to Saint Etienne than it does to, say, Faith Evans).

    Dizzee – momentary beneficiary of fashion craze for a brand of music which was never really going to cross over (it’s our loss since The Bugsy Malone One at the very least should have been part of Popular) or, conversely, did cross over before going underground.

    Beverley Knight I think is a long-term victim of the Zarrah Abrahams syndrome.

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    Erithian on 29 Apr 2008 #

    pink champale (#59) – ironically, in the BBC dramatisation of “Oliver Twist” last Christmas, Sophie Okonedo was a black Nancy and did it brilliantly.

    Sorry, who is Zarrah Abrahams? – for those of us who steer well clear of that sort of thing on a Saturday night.

  66. 67
    DJ Punctum on 29 Apr 2008 #

    Zaraah Abrahams (self-spelling correction) is an actress, ex- of Coronation Street and currently appearing in Waterloo Road.

    (and Dancing On Ice was on a Sunday this year so that’s my excuse…)

  67. 68
    mike on 2 May 2008 #

    Well, there’s a thing. What should pop through my letter box yesterday but a promo for the first Tina Charles album in thirty years?

    A few Tina Charles Fun Facts from the press release:

    1. Not only did TC sing on an earlier Number One (“Make Me Smile”), but she also sang on a 1979 Number One with a very close connection to her bass player.

    2. “Blame It On The Boogie” was offered to TC in 1976, two years before The Jacksons had a hit with it.

    3. That Sanny X remix of “I Love To Love” that I mentioned? It got to #2 in France in 1989, and stayed there for eight weeks.

    4. Elton John sang backing vocals on one of TC’s early singles (“Good To Be Alive”).

    5. TC provided the vocals for “Slave To The Rhythm” for The Producers (Trevor Horn, Lol Creme et al) on their 2007 tour.

    6. In 2006, TC went Top Five in the Billboard Hot Dance chart, providing lead vocals on “Higher” by Sanny X (yes, him again).

    Let’s hear it for the Little Lady with the Big Voice!

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    SILVIS on 13 May 2008 #

    esta genial me la he leido entera y esta escrita con mucho carisma y estusiasmo. ¡SE NOTA QUE ES INTELIGENTE!

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    la chava on 13 May 2008 #

    joder tos los comentarios stan en inglis pitinglis y yo no tengo ni idea. voy a quedar de paleta coño

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    one american on 13 May 2008 #

    this abaut stupit and silly boy and girl this very very goood uitry, this of cinema, is one girl for this eat one cafe yhe yhe he aprendido un poco de spanis yhea yes

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    Ashley Pomeroy on 13 Oct 2008 #

    Ah. This was number one when I was born. It was a terrible disappointment when I found out; the song is bland and does nothing for me. I remember and can still hum most of the pop hits from 1978, 1979 and so forth – Joe Jackson’s “Stepping Out” will haunt me til the end of my days – but there’s something about the post-glam, pre-punk pop era that has been erased from British cultural history. I didn’t even know that Tina Charles existed until I took the trouble to find out who was number one when I was born. I don’t have a mental picture of her.

  72. 73
    vinylscot on 13 Oct 2008 #

    Re-reading this thread, can anyone confirm which edition of Guinness Hit Singles was the one with 1000+ errors. I had it but threw it out in disgust, and would quite like to get it back to laugh at..

  73. 74
    mike on 13 Oct 2008 #

    I threw it out as well, sorry…

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    SteveM on 14 Oct 2008 #

    Ha ha I had AN edition with many errors (two that stand out for me, for some reason, were their confusion of the two separate charting Stardust acts and the omission of the hit song ‘Black-Eyed Boy’ from Texas’ oeuvre) so on that basis it was probably the edition published in 1999 or 2000.

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    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Nov 2015 #

    I’ll never look at this record in the same way again after having watched “River”, a TV series I thought was utterly remarkable. It was a very dark show indeed but was top and tailed by the two principle characters (one dead) singing “I Love To Love” in utter delirium. The end where they are dancing in the street was hilarious and incredibly poignant at the same time.

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    Dada Felix on 19 May 2019 #

    I agree with Jimmy the Swede. The song effectively book-ended River and made for a poignant ending to a superb series. It also took me back to my disco-dancing days!

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    lonepilgrim on 12 Nov 2019 #

    Unlike the Four Seasons looking backwards this is firmly placed in the present and despite (or even because of) its slightly amateurish execution is a simple pleasure if not a deep joy

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