So many things Music Monday wants to say, in a song that sounds like it is being cheerful, when it actually is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
When I first heard today’s song, while immersed deep in the Adult Contemporary station I’ve been listening to since I was a kid, I thought this song was supposed to be fun. What I found out many years later, as an adult looking up the meaning of this supposedly fun song, is that it is actually about having an affair.
So yeah, my music choices run the gamut of emotional distress.
“Your Love” is a song by the British group The Outfield, from their 1985 debut album Play Deep. Written by The Outfield’s guitarist John Spinks, the song was their second release from the album. The group had formed in 1984, and this song put them on the map, and was both their biggest hit and their biggest album.
The song itself was released as a single in November 1985, pushed to Album-Oriented Rock (AOR) Radio, in order to gain the momentum brought on by the group’s lead single “Say It Isn’t So.” After entering Billboard’s Top Rock Tracks chart within the top ten, Columbia Records expanded the song’s footprint to Top 40 radio in February 1986. And that, my friends, is where the song really gained its listenership – it peaked at #7 in the Top Rock Tracks chart the week of March 1, 1986, and peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of May 10, 1986, spending 22 weeks in the Hot 100.
The song (and the group) found more success in the United States (perhaps the group’s name was a little more Americanized?) during the 1980s, and the song has made many a 1980s compilation album and Adult Contemporary playlist over the years.
The Escape Club, another British group with a somewhat American sound, had a similar issue.
I love this song – it has been a mainstay of my music listening life since I first heard it in the 1980s. I never knew (and later never thought to look up) the meaning of the song.
I’ll get to that, but first, the reason you’re here…the music!
As for what the song was about…
“Your Love” is about an extramarital affair/philandering between the “narrator” and some unnamed woman, while “Josie” is not around. For such a cheerful, upbeat song, it really drives home a fairly negative message, don’t you think?
The music video indicates none of this – it actually features a woman (played by actress JoAnn Willette) painting inside a soundstage, while the band plays (filming a music video within the music video). It was shot over one day on a soundstage in Astoria, a neighborhood of Queens, New York.
The soundstage itself, now called Kaufman Astoria Studios, is legendary in its own right, having hosted filmings of television shows, movies, and yes, music videos. It is still active today, and yes, this is where Sesame Street is still filmed 50 years after it debuted.
Well at least something wholesome happens here. Because the song isn’t exactly squeaky clean.
Song about having an affair with the preferred older woman-type or not, I really like this song. Sure, the message is all wrong, but the execution is so very delightfully 1980s.
As for The Outfield, their success continued through the late 1980s, though their later releases never quite reached the level of success their debut album – and this single – did. A commercial decline that lead to their hiatus, and The Outfield disbanded in the early 1990s, but reunited to record Replay in 2011. Songwriter/guitarist John Spinks died in 2014 of liver cancer, and the group became inactive at that time. They do have new material written prior to Spinks’ death, but it is unclear if it will be released anytime soon.
At least we’ll always have their “signature” song, even if it doesn’t exactly promote a clean image.
At least the sound is clean.
Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!