The Lover Speaks – No More “I Love You’s”
Here’s a song that actually was a gigantic hit – just not for the people who deserved it. You may recall that in 1995 Annie Lennox
ran out of steam creatively decided to pay homage to her favourite songwriters and released the covers album Medusa. No More “I Love You’s” was the first single, and it confused a lot of people as it sounded both brand new and exactly like the sort of song the granite-faced Aberdonian would write herself. Her biggest solo hit, it peaked at no.2 in the UK and managed no.23 in America.
Being generally inquisitive I swiftly discovered that The Lover Speaks were responsible for the original, and managed to find their long out of print self-titled album in the treasure trove that was Echo Music on Byres Road in Glasgow. My initial reaction was one of horror, as I couldn’t quite believe I’d managed to miss it when it first came out – as a Smash Hits reading, Chart Show watching, mildly pretentious pop obsessive this was precisely the kind of music I loved.
Now, I love Annie’s version, but the original is just epic – David Freeman‘s huge vocal borders on being unhinged but is balanced by a lovely sensible-sounding female backing singer. It’s all very Simple Minds if they’d gone to art school i.e.) absolutely brilliant.
What was happening in 1986 that condemned No More “I Love You’s” to the bargain bin? I’d say it was a surfeit of quality pop, but The Lady in Red was Britain’s no.1 at the time this was released, so clearly that’s not the explanation. The sad fact of it, sometimes it just doesn’t work. For all that marketing, charisma (or lack thereof) and timing matter, a lot of the time it’s down to luck as well; and The Lover Speaks were unlucky – at least until Lennox came along.
Now for the good news: having been unavailable for more than 25 years, the entire album – in all its Jimmy Iovine-produced glory – is currently being prepped by Vinny Vero for a deluxe reissue complete with bonus tracks and extended versions and should be out on Cherry Red in the UK in the coming months. Hooray!
Entered chart: 27/07/1986
Chart peak: 58
Weeks on chart: 8
Who could sing this today and have a hit? Something of a moot point, but then it has been twenty years – Robyn.
Spot on about a Robyn cover. Maybe if we wish really hard…