Great Songs Are Everlasting
I think I may have remarked before here (or if I haven't, I've said it to an old friend of the same vintage as myself) that I think that my generation had the best of it in so many ways.
We had our childhood in the mid to late sixties, when not only was there a liberation in terms of social attitudes (although this is often overstated; it didn't necessarily apply to gay men, women in general or those of a non-white disposition), but it was a time of increased prosperity for nearly everyone, at least compared to the Wo-Wah (™ The Gammon Marketing Council Of Great Britain) and the straitened circumstances which were the inevitable consequence.
And, of course, this fresh breeze of openness blew through popular culture and produced - especially between about 1965 and 1970 - some of the greatest music ever committed to the lugoles of the masses.
I'm absolutely certain that I have mentioned here before my belief that music is the nearest we will ever get to a functioning time machine, and here's another example.
The Love Affair was a London-based band who had had one flop single in early 1967 before changing labels from Decca to CBS and recording a cover version of Everlasting Love, a Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden song which had already been a Top 20 US hit for Robert Knight in the summer of that year.
The Love Affair's version was released in early December of 1967 and, once the dross of Christmas had been swept away, reached the top of the UKanian charts in the last week of January 1968.
That it got a lot of airplay is, of course, a given. It certainly seemed to be everywhere the five-and-a-half-year-old me was listening at the time (mostly Radio Luxembourg at that time, I suspect), so it inevitably stuck in the mind in that deep way that formative experiences of all kinds do.
I had a copy of Robert Knight's version in the collection, but I realised last night that it was the cover which I had heard way back in the when, so I went and sought it out on YouTube. Which is why you're about to hear it for yourself (if you can be arsed clicking on the link below, of course; you'll just be sitting there in silence looking like a pillock otherwise).
A few footnotes:
- I don't know where this video came from but - remarkably - it's contemporaneous with the release of the single. This sort of thing tended not to happen at that time, except with one or two of the biggest name artists. It's quite clearly of its time.
- Of the band itself, only vocalist Steve Ellis actually played on the record. The producer Mike Smith felt the band's performance wasn't quite up to snuff (or whatever he was shoving up his nose at the time; this was 1967 after all), so he got some stalwart session guys in, these allegedly including ex-Tornado Clem Cattini on drums and John Paul Jones (yes, that one) on bass. Topping it all off was an orchestral arrangement by Keith Mansfield.
- Steve Ellis was just seventeen when he made this, yet sings with a soul that only some of the Motown masters could have matched then or since.
Put all together, the result is one of the most perfect pop singles ever made. Enjoy!