27
Sep 06

EDISON LIGHTHOUSE – “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes”

FT + Popular56 comments • 9,815 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.

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Comments

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  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:
    http://freakytrigger.co.uk/old-ft/essays/2002/01/cottage/

  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…

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