Game of Love

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"The Game of Love"
Single by Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders
from the album The Game of Love
B-side "Since You've Been Gone"
Released 1965
Length 1:58
Label Fontana
Writer(s) Clint Ballard, Jr.
Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders singles chronology
"Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um"
"The Game of Love"
"Just a Little Bit Too Late"

"The Game of Love" is a 1965 song by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, released in the States as "Game of Love". It was covered by New Zealand musician Tex Pistol and released in 1987.

Original version[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Game Of Love"   C. Ballard, Jr 2:04
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
2. "Since You've Been Gone"   Stewart*, Ellis*, Lang* 1:55


The song reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the UK Singles Chart in 1965.

Tex Pistol version[edit]

"The Game of Love"
Single by Tex Pistol
from the album Nobody Else
B-side "Boot Heel Drag" (12" only)
"W.11 to Whangaroa Bay"
Released 1987
Format 7", 12"
Genre Pop, rock
Label Pagan Records
Writer(s) Clint Ballard, Jr.
Producer(s) Ian Morris
Tex Pistol singles chronology
"The Game of Love"
"Nobody Else"
Music video
"Game of Love" at NZ on Screen

The song was covered in 1987 by New Zealand musician Ian Morris, under the stage name Tex Pistol[1] and released as "The Game of Love".


Morris was looking for a "more commercial" follow up to his Tex Pistol debut single "The Ballad of Buckskin Bob". He had begun work on a cover of The Underdog's "Sitting In The Rain" when advertising music collaborator Jim Hall suggested "The Game of Love" as a good song to cover. Morris "immediately knew how it would sound". He credits its success to "a combination of technology of the time and a good simple song".[2]

The song is notable for its unusual drum sound. Morris had been working on the audio for a card ad at the time. His curiosity piqued by a supplied video clip of a racecar going over a hill, Morris recorded the sound, sped it up, and mixed it with a clip of a snare drum.[3][4]

The song also features Callie Blood, Morris's later collaborator on advertising jingles, on backing vocals.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Game of Love"   C. Ballard, Jr  
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
2. "Boot Heel Drag" (12" release only)    
3. "W.11 to Whangaroa Bay"   Morris  

Charting and awards[edit]

The song went to number 1 on the New Zealand music charts.[5] According to Morris's brother Rikki Morris, the song was a surprise hit and so the 500 pressed copies sold out, meaning that the single hit number one but could not remain there.[4]

The reworking of the song gave Morris a 1987 RIANZ award for best engineer and a nomination for best producer. The song was accompanied by a video by then-teenager Paul Middleditch that was also nominated for best video and is now considered one of the highlights of New Zealand 80s music-video making.[6]

Other versions[edit]

A cover by French singer Sylvie Vartan was featured in the 2012 American film Ruby Sparks. The song is also sampled in American rapper Eminem's song "Love Game", from his 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and hip hop group De La Soul's song "My Brother's a Basehead" from the 1991 album De La Soul Is Dead.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Ian Morris on Musical Chairs: Part 2". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Morris, Ian. "A Tale of Two Snare Drums". IG Music. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Rikki Morris on Musical Chairs". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Game of Love: Charting". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Game of Love". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
Preceded by
"I'm Telling You Now" by Freddie and the Dreamers
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
(Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders version)

April 24, 1965 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits
Preceded by
"La Bamba" by Los Lobos
RIANZ Number-one single
(Tex Pistol version)

16 October 1987 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil