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Love Affair in 1968
|Past members||Rex Brayley|
Love Affair's first single, "She Smiled Sweetly", written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, released on Decca Records flopped, but the band reached the top of the UK Singles Chart in January 1968 with "Everlasting Love". By this time the group had relocated to CBS Records. The song was first recorded by Robert Knight, whose version had reached No. 13 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the autumn of 1967, and it was previously offered to Marmalade, who turned it down. On the B-side was a cover version of "Gone Are the Songs of Yesterday", which was written by Phillip Goodhand-Tait. After its success, Goodhand-Tait saw an opportunity and signed a contract with Love Affair's managers John Cokell and Sid Bacon. Goodhand-Tait went on to write more songs for Love Affair.
Ellis had a similar vocal style to Steve Marriott of the Small Faces, and the production was similar to a Motown soul record. Controversy ensued when the group admitted they had not played on the record, but that all the work was done by session musicians, although such a practice had long since been common. Their first recording of the song, produced by Muff Winwood, had featured them playing all the instruments. But the record label rejected this version in favour of one produced by Mike Smith, recorded with a recording studio rhythm section, strings, brass, flutes and backing vocalists, arranged by Keith Mansfield – and Ellis as the only member of the group to be heard. The backing vocals were provided by four female singers who became well known in their own right: Kiki Dee, Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and Kay Garner (as one of the Ladybirds). The bass part was played by Russ Stableford and Clem Cattini played drums.
Four further Top 20 hits followed, "Rainbow Valley", "A Day Without Love" (both 1968), "One Road" and "Bringing on Back the Good Times" (both 1969). At the end of that year, they released the album, The Everlasting Love Affair.
The group became frustrated at being treated like teen idols, unable to hear themselves on stage because of the constant screaming and at being pigeonholed as a "pop group". All the A-sides featured heavy orchestral and brass arrangements behind Ellis's vocals, with minimal participation from the others, although they wrote and played on the heavier B-sides themselves.
As Ellis wrote in the booklet notes to a later compilation CD, Singles A's and B's, "In an attempt to break the mould we recorded a song far removed from the anthemic-like previous hits." The song was called "Baby I Know". Released at the end of 1969, competing with releases from other big names for a place in the charts over Christmas, it failed completely. Ellis felt the band had run its course and he left in December 1969 for a solo career: "We never really made it big anywhere but Britain and I think that if we had started to happen in America, I wouldn't have left". The rest of the band soldiered on without any further success, continuing briefly as L.A. with new vocalist, August Eadon (aka Gus Yeadon). Further releases likewise never charted.
The group has since been revived, though sometimes without any original members, for cabaret dates; and Ellis has also performed live with a reconstituted Steve Ellis's Love Affair.
Love Affair's first hit song, "Everlasting Love", was used in the film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. However, the CD of the soundtrack contained Jamie Cullum's cover version, instead of the Love Affair version used in the film. Cullum's version is played over the end credits.
- Rex Brayley (born Rex Charles Brayley, 3 January 1948, London) – guitar (1967–1971)
- Maurice Bacon (born 26 January 1952, Southgate, London) – drums (1967–1971)
- Mick Jackson (born Michael Jackson, 27 January 1950, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire) – bass (1967–1971)
- Steve Ellis (born Stephen John Ellis, 7 April 1950, Edgware, London) – vocals (1967–1970)
- Lynton Guest (born 28 November 1951, Leicester, Leicestershire) – keyboards (1967–1968)
- Morgan Fisher (born Stephen Morgan Fisher, 1 January 1950, Mayfair, London) – keyboards (1968–1971)
- Decca F12558 (10 February 1967) "She Smiled Sweetly" b/w "Satisfaction Guaranteed"
- CBS 3125 (8 December 1967) "Everlasting Love" b/w "Gone Are the Songs of Yesterday" – UK 1
- CBS 3366 (5 April 1968) "Rainbow Valley" b/w "Someone like Me" – UK 5
- CBS 3674 (30 August 1968) "A Day Without Love" b/w "I'm Happy" – UK 6
- CBS 3994 (7 February 1969) "One Road" b/w "Let Me Know" – UK 16
- CBS 4300 (4 July 1969) "Bringing on Back the Good Times" b/w "Another Day" – UK 9, NZ 10
- CBS 4631 (31 October 1969) "Baby I Know" b/w "Accept Me for What I Am"
- CBS 4780 (6 February 1970) "Lincoln County" b/w "Sea of Tranquility"
- CBS 5017 (29 May 1970) "Speak of Peace, Sing of Joy" b/w "Brings My Whole World Tumbling Down"
- Parlophone R5887 (19 February 1971) "Wake Me I Am Dreaming" b/w "That's My Home"
- Parlophone R5918 (10 September 1971)"Help (Get Me Some Help)" b/w "Long Way Home"
- CBS 63416 (December 1968) The Everlasting Love Affair
- CBS 64109 (September 1971) New Day – credited to "LA"
- Columbia 469202 2 (1991) "Everlasting Hits" – 16 tracks recorded by the band in 1968/1969. Released under Sony's "Memory Pop Shop" label.
- Columbia 504419 2 (2001) The Best of the Good Times – includes three new previously unreleased tracks by Ellis
- ACA 8031 (2002) Singles A's and B's – includes six tracks recorded by Ellis as a solo artist (1970–71)
- "Phillip Goodhand-Tait singer/songwriter". Pg-t.com. 25 March 1979. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 113. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- "index.no.net". Home.no.net. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "The Love Affair". 45-rpm.org.uk. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 208. CN 5585.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 331. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Love Affair – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. 1 January 1950. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
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