Apr 08

TINA CHARLES – “I Love To Love”

FT + Popular79 comments • 6,577 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.



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  1. 61
    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

  2. 62
    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?

  3. 63
    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’).

  4. 64
    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

  5. 65
    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.

  6. 66
    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.

  7. 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…)

  8. 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!

  9. 69
    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!

  10. 70
    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

  11. 71
    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

  12. 72
    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.

  13. 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..

  14. 74
    mike on 13 Oct 2008 #

    I threw it out as well, sorry…

  15. 75
    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.

  16. 76
    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.

  17. 77
    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!

  18. 78
    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

  19. 79
    Gareth Parker on 10 May 2021 #

    Sorry, not for me at all. Not keen on the vocals, just seems all rather flat in my opinion. 2/10.

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