Sep 06

EDISON LIGHTHOUSE – “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes”

FT + Popular56 comments • 9,819 views

#281, 31st January 1970

American bubblegum pop was often like garage rock’s bouncy little brother: lacking the moodiness and sex appeal, but you could see the shared DNA. British bubblegum was born out of the same talent glut of session musicians and songwriters and shared a sweet tooth, but it was quite different in approach, owing rock almost nothing and rarely placing much of a premium on kid energy. Not all Britgum hits were as lushly arranged as “Love Goes”, with its post-Beatles trumpets and strings, but most of them share its total emphasis on the chief hook. Whereas the chorus in “Sugar, Sugar” acts as a bedrock for lots of other stuff that’s going on, the chorus in “Love Goes”, built up to and bashed out again and again, is the song. Luckily it’s a pretty great chorus but the song still ends up rather unfilling.



  1. 1
    Marcello Carlin on 27 Sep 2006 #

    I do like it but it kept “I Want You Back” off the top boo.

  2. 2
    Tom on 27 Sep 2006 #

    I will leave it to someone else to mention the Tony Burrows Fact.

    Robin Carmody’s essay on British Bubblegum is a must here:

  3. 3
    Admin on 27 Sep 2006 #

    If it’s not too winsome, regular commenters may want to use
    <img src="/pictures/stork-boy.gif">
    <img src="/pictures/stork-girl.gif">
    at some point to mark their birth.

    NOTE only registered and logged in users can use HTML (or IMG tags at least) in comments. It’s easy to register tho!

  4. 4

    have you got one for my tenth birthday? >:(

  5. 5
    Admin on 27 Sep 2006 #

    you can go back in time on popular and comment there! Jump back to the start of the 60s!

  6. 6

    didn’t work :(

    picture doesn’t read either as you marked it up or with the first bit written in

  7. 7

    oh did you korrekt it? perhaps i miswrote the freakytrigger bit when i tried :o

  8. 8
    Tom on 27 Sep 2006 #

    If you copy the text as adminalan put it then it doesn’t work for some reason. I went into the HTML of Alan’s comment though and got the propah stork.

  9. 9
    Tom on 27 Sep 2006 #

    Edison Lighthouse seems a poor comments draw, meanwhile…

  10. 10

    yes let’s talk more about html

  11. 11
    Admin on 27 Sep 2006 #

    sorry folx – i think WordPress’s typographical niceties got in the way there, correcting my ordinary quotes to curly quotes, which HTML doesn’t care for.

    anyway i fixed the above sample code to copy as straight quotes – so it should now work.

  12. 12
    jeff w on 27 Sep 2006 #

    I have just fuXXored up my stork attempt in Ticket To Ride comments. Grateful if someone cd sort.

  13. 13

    best comments thread evah!

  14. 14

    you can follow it on the rss feed!

  15. 15
    Marcello Carlin on 27 Sep 2006 #

    Poor old Tory Burrows, unduly neglected on his sole Popular entry…

  16. 16
    wwolfe on 27 Sep 2006 #

    What is an Edison Lighthouse, anyway? A cousin of Jefferson Airplane?

    The opening of this always makes me think the record was mistakenly played at 33 RPM, instead of 45 RPM, for some reason – it sounds oddly slow, somehow. It picks up as soon as the vocal comes in, though.

    I own a dog-eared collection of “Rolling Stone” magazine reviews bought for a dime at a garage sale, circa 1970. The review of this song says something to the effect that one way you can tell a bad record is that no matter how many times you hear it, you can only remember the opening line and the hook. I quoted that to my best friend, who immediately sang the whole song. An eloquent rebuttal, I thought. The irony being that I’ve always liked this record, too. I guess I was feeling smugly superior that day.

    This is kind of a “Vini, vidi, vici” record: it had one goal – Hitsville! – it achieved it, there’s not much else to say. Except it managed to be pleasant in the bargain. The only two moments that stand out above the generul thrum of pleasantry are the one couplet: “I’m a lucky fella/And I wanna tell her,” for its cheeky non’rhyming rhyme, and the counter-vocal at the fade, with Burrows singing, “Love keeps growing every place that she’s going” against the repeated hook.

    I wonder what Rosemary is doing these days. I hope the years have been kind.

  17. 17

    i think it’s a pun on edison (=inventor of the phonograph, lightbulb, modern world) and the eddystone lighthouse, which is what you think it is

  18. 18
    scott on 27 Sep 2006 #

    Someone (somewhere, can’t remember where) wrote a good review of this record once, interpreting it as a damn fine song about a handjob. (Me, I’d give it an 8 or a 9–the song, I mean.)

  19. 19
    Marcello Carlin on 28 Sep 2006 #

    There was also the insinuation at the time that “Rosemary” wasn’t referring to a woman, as per “Along Comes Mary” etc.

  20. 20
    markgamon on 28 Sep 2006 #

    ‘rather’ unfulfilling?

    I can’t believe the late 60s got as bad as this. One piece of irrelevant dim-witted cheesy braindead dross after another.

  21. 21
    Marcello Carlin on 28 Sep 2006 #

    Do you hate fun, or are you just trolling?

  22. 22
    Erithian on 28 Sep 2006 #

    There’s a reference to “the Tony Burrows Fact” in the Robin Carmody essay that Tom linked to above, but to save you looking for it I’ll do it for you (since nobody else has!)
    Tony Burrows, “lead singer” of Edison Lighthouse, was a session singer who had appeared on the Flowerpot Men’s “Let’s Go to San Francisco” in 1967, and in early 1970, while “Love Grows” was number one, he also sang lead on the Pipkins’ “Gimme Dat Ding”, White Plains’ “My Baby Loves Loving” and Brotherhood of Man’s “United We Stand”. Then one week three of the four records were on Top of the Pops in the same week, and he became notorious for fronting three different bands in the same edition of TOTP. As the “Glitter Suits and Platform Boots” website relates, at the end of the show he was approached by a staff member and told that he’d been unofficially blacklisted. He didn’t have another major hit until he sang on “Beach Baby” by First Class some four years later.

  23. 23
    Marcello Carlin on 28 Sep 2006 #

    Also he has never entertained at a Tory Party Conference; it was the two girls out of Brotherhood of Man Mk II (of which latter, sadly, much more later)…

  24. 24
    rosie on 29 Sep 2006 #

    Um, I seem to have made rather a hash of trying to put my little stork thingy under David Whitfield’s Cara Mia. (I know, I know, I’m sorry, a record given a rather generous 2…)

    Could somebody sort it out for me please? Thanks!

  25. 25
    Alan on 29 Sep 2006 #

    sorted – and i’ve worked out what’s going on. unregistered users that aren’t logged in can’t use html, so it’s being stripped out. i might add in a shortcut for all users, something like typing “:stork-girl:” gets automagically changed :-)

  26. 26
    rosie on 29 Sep 2006 #

    But I am registered and I am logged on!

  27. 27
    Doctor Mod on 30 Sep 2006 #

    Well, how shall I put this? This record has long had a place in my “closet collection”–records I just love but don’t want my friends to know about. It’s probably one of the very last singles I bought, as by this time I was more interested in album-oriented rock. But AM radio was inescapable, playing in the background in a lot of offices, so I was still pretty much aware of what was going on in the charts–and anyway, my car radio couldn’t pick up FM stations.

    I admit there were some songs that I really enjoyed, but this sort of stuff was really so “uncool” by 1970 that I wouldn’t admit it. Still, “Rosemary” is an example of incredibly well-crafted pop. Much better, I think, than, “Sugar Sugar” inasmuch as it has a clever rhyme scheme and a great hook, and it actually articulates a sentiment beyond songs with which eight-year-olds can identify (i.e., repeated invocations of sweet confections that, when consumed in excess, can give you a rush in the short term and make you fat in the long).

    As to Scott’s suggestion–Could it be “There’s something about her had holding mine . . . . (???). But–and this is the English professor speaking–the possessive pronoun “mine” modify a noun within the phrase or sentence, and “hand” is the only one possible. Of course, sleazy thoughts know no syntax……

    BTW, no stork for me. I’m sorry to admit that I’m a year older than the charts. What a drag it is getting old!

  28. 28
    Chris Brown on 30 Sep 2006 #

    I don’t actually remember much about this tune, but in my annoying determination to comment on every entry I’ll make a point that crossed my mind re: Rolf – I always quite enjoy the fact that if you try to impose some sort of arbitrary landmark on the charts like the first chart-topper of a decade, the fiftieth anniversary, the Thousandth Number One or whatever, it tends to rebel and come up with something not obviously pivotal.

  29. 29
    Doctor Casino on 14 Nov 2006 #

    Agree 100% with the text of Tom’s review, and hence feel it deserves something along the lines of a 2 or a 4. To the extent that I heaped hate on “Sugar, Sugar,” this deserves all the same bashing, and “Sugar, Sugar” was at least a more interesting composition. This really is just the hook, OVER and OVER and OVER. It’s a nice little bit, but I would rather have my dessert overpowered by sugar than by rosemary…

  30. 30
    Lena on 5 Jan 2007 #

    Tony Burrows totally makes this song – imagine Tom Jones (or rather, don’t) bellowing it – it sounds to me as if he is smiling while he’s singing, even good-naturedly winking at points – he’s a lucky fella and he knows it.

    No idea about Eddystone Lighthouse, but this isn’t braindead or cheesy or dross…

  31. 31
    Stuart Edwards on 8 Jan 2007 #

    In reply to Tom. Sep 2006

    It’s actually “Love grows” not “Love goes” and I think it’s great. So did 15 Million others!

    Stuart Edwards (original guitarist)

  32. 32
    punctum on 9 Jan 2007 #

    Agreed! I’d have given it an eight!

    Tony Macaulay wrote some good ‘uns in his time, it has to be said.

  33. 33
    Becky on 3 Aug 2007 #

    I’ve just bought a CD for 99p – and this track is the opener.

    No matter what any fancy analysis says about it and no matter how disparaging people get about it, it’s a song that can bring back amazing memories and it needs to be recognised for being one of those tracks that makes you feel good – which is what great music is all about. Nothing else matters!

  34. 34
    wichita lineman on 25 May 2008 #

    OK… starts with an instantly identifiable guitar hook, rising strings, chugging bass, intriguing lyric (“clothes are kinda funny, hair is kinda wild and free” – can’t you jus picture this beat angel?), repeated chorus with the odd middle eight (“hand holding mine…” which could be a chorus in the hands of lesser mortals). This is a be-a-utifully made record. Think it’s simple? Heck, what’s not to like?

    I once had a friend who couldn’t get into soul because he thought it sounded too put on. His fav singer was Tony Burrows. Obviously this opened him up to insane amounts of abuse from my trendy mates, but from Love Grows alone you can see he had a point (his name was/is Jak Knowles in case anyone knows him, and he had a Glitter Band haircut in 1991 which is heroic as well as a little bit scary). The vocal is entirely believable.

    Weirdly, in the UK Love Grows wasn’t followed up at all, with the next Edison Lighthouse 45 (It’s Up To You Petula) not appearing for over a year. Anyone got a clue how or why this happened? Or of any other (living) act who didn’t bother releasing a follow-up to a number one?

    I think that in America, the EL brand continued as Love Grows was followed by Melanie Makes Me Smile (released over here as a Tony Burrows solo 45), almost as good as Love Grows – upbeat bubblegum with a similarly unexpected, eyebrow-twisting (with heartstrings following) downwards tug on the chorus.

    This is pop pop popular, as well-crafted and joyous as it gets. It took the combined mights of Macaulay, Cook and Greenaway to make it so irresistible – shame they didn’t try more often. A 9 plus for me.

  35. 35
    wichita lineman on 25 May 2008 #

    Except of course it was Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason… well, BM had to make up for The Last Waltz and I Pretend somehow.

    Barry Mason was once an understudy to Albert Finney at the Royal Court. And that’s probably how he ended up with a cameo in Saturday Night And Sunday Morning, singing What Do You Want in a pub while Arthur Seaton wins the drinking contest. “You get thirsty working that machine all week”.

  36. 36
    Conrad on 3 Sep 2009 #

    “Anyone got a clue how or why this happened? Or of any other (living) act who didn’t bother releasing a follow-up to a number one?”

    Yes, Pink Floyd – they didn’t follow up “Another Brick…” at all. The next single wasn’t released until well over 2 years later.

    “Love Grows” is a terrific song btw.

  37. 37
    mike on 3 Sep 2009 #

    There were other Edison singles, though – albeit with a different line-up. I remember the last one – “Find Mr Zebedee”, a song about a school caretaker’s leaving party, of all things – as it was performed on the Basil Brush show. I’ve even got a promo 7″ of it in the garage…

  38. 38
    Venga on 13 Sep 2009 #

  39. 39
    inakamono on 19 Sep 2009 #

    This, if I remember correctly, was the No.1 single the week Led Zeppelin made No.1 on the album charts for the first time.

    In hindsight, it’s the moment when the disparity between the worlds of 45 and 33 became irreconcilable. On the one hand, (un)forgettable fluff, and on the other hand, (un)forgettable fluff. But how vast the chasm between them. And that chasm, at the time, seemed unbridgeable.

    But, as someone growing up at this time (my belongs with “My Old Man’s a Dustman”), LedZep was the music we were hearing every day, just as much as we listened to the singles chart. As the years went by, I learned to hate LedZep with a passion, but at that time they were everywhere. To me, it’s “older sister music”, and you desperately wanted to like it, to find out why it seemed cool, because older sisters are kinda cool, and if that’s what they like it has to be good. But, hard as I tried, I never managed to find the key that would unlock that door. Years later, I found myself by chance at the Knebworth last-live concert. I fell asleep and missed them, although my mate woke me up so I did hear “Stairway” live. But I still never got it: why do I have to listen to this self-indulgence?

    Obviously Led Zeppelin are quite outside the remit of this project — (which, as someone who’s just found it, I find awesome) — but that music was the backdrop to everything we were hearing at that time and for years ahead. The progression ( to use a tainted word) was Elvis -> Beatles -> Led Zeppelin. Anything that was happening outside of that sequence was, in “older sister” language, forgettable fluff. That’s why we enjoyed Bolan and Bowie, Slade and Wizzard, and all the others, But the backdrop was always “Whole Lotta Love”.

  40. 40
    Tom on 19 Sep 2009 #

    Welcome inakamono and thanks for a great first comment. Hope you stick around!

    I used to very much agree with you on Led Zep – I identified them as an enemy of pop and stuck to my guns on this for some years: I can’t remember exactly what converted me. (And the conversion wasn’t exactly “OMG Zeppelin were poptastic all along!!!”).

  41. 41
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 19 Sep 2009 #

    was it the kittens singing the immigrant song? (i think it was actually the immigrant song for me: tho this was 30 years before the kittens sang it)

  42. 42
    Tom on 19 Sep 2009 #

    I think it was immigrant song for me too, or one of the nice folky ones on III – sadly the kittens came later.

  43. 43
    wichita lineman on 14 Oct 2011 #

    My revelatory Led Zeppelin moment was seeing an all-girl tribute act, Lez Zeppelin, tearing through Communication Breakdown and Good Times Bad Times five or six years back.

    Having said that… CCS supertight version of Whole Lotta Love (ie the TOTP theme) pisses all over Zep’s floppy blues workout. And I’d still rather hear Love Grows than Kashmir.

  44. 44
    punctum on 14 Oct 2011 #

    there you go again wl, glueing the wheels of progress with your either/or.

    (missing love grows/kashmir link: “Mythological Sunday” by the Flowerpot Men)

  45. 45
    wichita lineman on 14 Oct 2011 #

    Always seems like an either/or for people who were of a certain age back then; I’m just falling into line! I didn’t find it hard to entirely avoid Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd et al in the early 70s because they didn’t get played on daytime radio and I didn’t have an older brother or sister. So the charts reflected my reality – those bands had a huge mystique because I’d see their artwork in WH Smith or Woolies and knew they were “important”. But I never heard the records.

    The two unreleased Flowerpot Men albums from ’69/’70 are very good, aren’t they? Personal fave – White Dove, which combines ’66 California harmonies, CSNY feel and some indefinable tang of Denmark Street.

  46. 46
    thefatgit on 14 Oct 2011 #

    Oddly, “Kashmir” is one of those LedZep songs that I encountered many years back, (“Physical Graffiti” was a bit of a hit & miss album for me) but didn’t take any notice of until Schoolly’s appropriation of it. That’s when I sat up and took notice, quite simply because the rhythmic qualities of “Kashmir” in a Hip Hop context were far more compelling than Schoolly D’s trash-talk on “Signifying Rapper”. And lo and behold! if I went back to “Physical Graffiti” once, I went back 20 times listening with fresh ears. I guess Mr Combs was listening too.

  47. 47

    Lena says:
    Fly away:
    Thanks for reading, everyone!

    (for some reason FT wouldn’t let her post this…)

  48. 48
    Lena on 27 Mar 2012 #

    Thanks for posting for me, Mark! Here is the latest boogietastic entry from MSBWT: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/pitching-in-canned-heat-lets-work.html Thanks for reading as always, and yes, the 70s start with the next entry…

  49. 49
    hectorthebat on 7 Jun 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010)
    Bruce Pollock (USA) – The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 (2005)
    Q (UK) – The 1010 Songs You Must Own (2004)

  50. 50
    Larry on 27 Oct 2014 #

    I don’t hate fun, but I feel compelled to dissent from the “Rosemary” love. It’s as bland as a McDonalds ice cream cone. The opposite of everything I love about music.

    ETA: “Love Grows” was UK #1 for five weeks???

  51. 51
    wichitalineman on 28 Oct 2014 #

    The opposite of everything you love about music. Melody, concision, string arrangements? What do you mean exactly?

  52. 52
    Tommy Mack on 28 Oct 2014 #

    There are plenty of people who dislike strings, concision and melody (at least this kind of melody). I certainly wouldn’t count myself among them but it’s not such a risible notion.

  53. 53
    Mark G on 29 Oct 2014 #

    I don’t want to overhash, but #45 and some of #46 were my exact feelings re Zep.

    Now, I actively like “Houses of the holy”, have time for “Physical Graffiti” but the rest are either dull or overplayed, or that I felt the Small Faces did it better.

  54. 54
    lonepilgrim on 7 Oct 2017 #

    there’s a lot going more going on in the production than I remember. It has an insistent rhythm track with a pulsating bass line and tight horn section. A clear, light melody over the top must have made this sound great over the radio – and it still sounds great on youtube. I’d like to hear a dub version: this is the nearest I can find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoyoWgXoWl0

  55. 55
    Makosi Ngumbu on 25 Apr 2021 #

    Edison Lighthouse gets a 6/10 from me; quite like it and I’m glad it knocked Two Little Boys from #1! In my opinion Let’s Work Together and Leavin’ on a Jet Plane were a couple of decent records that stalled at #2 during Love Grows’ reign.

  56. 56
    Gareth Parker on 27 May 2021 #

    Good fun in my view. A strong 6/10 here.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)

If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page