Love Is Strong

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For the album by Paul Overstreet, see Love Is Strong (album).
"Love Is Strong"
Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Voodoo Lounge
Released July 5, 1994
Format 7" vinyl, cassette, 3 x CD
Recorded July - August, November - December 1993
Genre Rock
Length 3:49
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Jagger/Richards
Producer(s) Don Was & The Glimmer Twins
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Ruby Tuesday" (live)
(1991)
"Love Is Strong"
(1994)
"You Got Me Rocking"
(1994)

"Love Is Strong" is the opening track, and first single, by The Rolling Stones from their 1994 album Voodoo Lounge.

Inspiration and recording[edit]

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Love Is Strong" is a brooding number about an encounter between the singer and an unnamed person which leads the singer to a "love/lust at first sight" immediate attraction and longing for the couple to unite despite the obstacles.

Your love is strong and you're so sweet;
You make me hard, you make me weak;
Love is strong and you're so sweet,
And some day, baby, we've got to meet...
What are you scared of, baby?; It's more than just a dream;
I need some time; We make a beautiful team...

The song was written in Ireland by Richards and originally had the name "Love is Strange". Popular bootlegs of the sessions abound, as Ron Wood, Richards, Ivan Neville and producer Don Was worked the song while Jagger was supporting his record Wandering Spirit. Later takes have Richards changing the title to "Love is Strong"; although the final release was significantly altered by Jagger's added lyrics and use of a harmonica, a trademark instrument for him rarely utilized in the Stones' middle period work. Jagger said at the time of its release, "We ran through it a bunch of times and I was playing harmonica, and I started singing through the harmonica mike, so you get this strange sort of sound. And then I started singing down an octave, so you get this kind of breathy, sexy tone... It was good to put harmonica on a track like this. You always think of playing it on a 12-bar blues, and it's kind of fun to put it on one which isn't. It's good to work with another sequence."[1]

Recording began in September, 1993 at Wood's home studio in Ireland and continued at A&M Recording Studios in Los Angeles in 1994.

Personnel[edit]

  • Mick Jagger - lead vocals, harmonica, maracas
  • Keith Richards - electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
  • Ron Wood - electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
  • Darryl Jones - bass guitar
  • Charlie Watts - drums
  • Bernard Fowler and Ivan Neville - background vocals

NOTE: Chuck Leavell is frequently credited with providing piano for the track. It is impossible to hear on released recordings however, because of the numerous guitar overdubs.

Release and aftermath[edit]

Released as the first single from the album, "Love Is Strong" performed below expectations, barely making it into the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States. It became the lowest charting first single ever by the band and marked a change in the composition of the singles chart as well as the Stones role on it. Despite this, the song remains one of the band's well-known songs from the 1990s. Five years earlier "Mixed Emotions" was a Top 5 pop chart single. Considerable promotional expense was spent on the Voodoo Lounge CD release, as it was the first on Virgin Records, including a popular music video directed by David Fincher and edited by Robert Duffy at Spot Welders; the black and white video shows giant versions of the Stones, as well as a few residents locked in romantic embraces, rambling about New York City.

The single's weaker-than-expected lead dampened CD sales, despite positive critical reviews and a Grammy Award win for Best Short Form Music Video. In time, the track proved popular in Europe going to number 14 in the United Kingdom and received significant airplay in the United States. The Rolling Stones performed the song at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards.

Although it had disappeared from several recent concert tours setlists in favour of the more live friendly "You Got Me Rocking" (the follow-up single from Voodoo Lounge), the Stones reintroduced "Love is Strong" to their A Bigger Bang Tour setlist on July 22, 2007 at their Brno, Czech Republic show and at their Hamburg show in August.

It was included on their 2002 career compilation album Forty Licks.

Track listing[edit]

  • 7" VS1503
  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"
  • Cassette VSC1503
  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"
  • CD VSCDE1503
  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"
  • CD VSCDT1503 - "Special Collectors" edition
  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"
  3. "So Young"
  4. "Love is Strong" (Bob Clearmountain Remix)
  • CD VSCDX1503 - remix edition
  1. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Radio Remix)
  2. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Extended Remix)
  3. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Extended Rock Remix)
  4. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Dub Remix)
  5. "Love Is Strong" (Joe The Butcher Club Remix)
  6. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Instrumental)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Love Is Strong". Time Is On Our Side. Retrieved 2006-09-25.