The Look of Love (ABC song)

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"The Look of Love"
Single by ABC
from the album The Lexicon of Love
A-side "The Look of Love (Part One)"
B-side "The Look of Love (Part Two)", "Theme From Mantrap" (US)
Released 7 May 1982
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1981
Genre New wave,[1] synthpop[2]
Length 3:26
Label Mercury Records (U.S.)
Neutron Records (UK)
Vertigo Records (France and Canada)
Writer(s) ABC
Producer(s) Trevor Horn
Certification Gold (CRIA)
Silver (BPI)
ABC singles chronology
"Poison Arrow"
(1982)
"The Look of Love"
(1982)
"All of My Heart"
(1982)

"The Look of Love" is a song recorded by ABC in 1981, included on their debut album, The Lexicon of Love.

History[edit]

Released as a single and as a 12" remix, it went to number 1 on the Billboard Dance/Disco chart as well as the Canadian Singles Chart. It was their biggest hit in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 4, and was a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, peaking at number 18.[3]

The single consists of four parts, referred to as "Parts One, Two, Three and Four". Part One is the standard album version, Part Two is an instrumental version, Part Three is a vocal remix and Part Four is a short acoustic instrumental part of the song, containing strings and horns, as well as occasional harp plucks and xylophone. A different US remix dub version by producer Trevor Horn appeared as a-side on the 1982 US 12".

The '82 US remix dub version was not widely available after its initial release, but the track remained much in demand by club DJs and fans alike, and copies of the original 12" version fetched high prices. When Neutron (the band's UK label) discovered this, they issued a limited edition dj-pressing of the Horn remix in November 1982 as a DJ promo 12" vinyl under the title "ABC Look Of Love Special Remix 12" Neutron NTXDJ103.

Through the 1980s, BBC Radio 1 DJ Gary Davies used the last crescendo on Part 2 of the song as a closing theme to his daily lunchtime programme called The Bit In The Middle, only changing it in 1991 when his show was rebranded as Let's Do Lunch and given fresh music beds and themes.

The US B-side, entitled "Theme From Mantrap", was an alternate version of "Poison Arrow".

In 1996, Euro band Eclipse released a dance cover version, which reached number 30 on the Australian charts.[4]

In February 2014, all four parts appeared together as one single track (running 12:29) on the ZTT Records compilation "The Art of the 12" Volume Three".

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, taped on a soundstage, was influenced by old British music hall, the chalk pavement sequence in the Mary Poppins film, carnival sideshows, and Punch and Judy puppet shows; the four band members were featured wearing Edwardian-style light suits with vertical pastel stripes, accompanied by many colourful extras, including a Charlie Chaplin impersonator and cameos from producer Trevor Horn and music promoter and journalist Paul Morley. The video vaguely pays homage to the ballet sequence from An American in Paris.

Accolades[edit]

Year Publisher Country Accolade Rank
1982 NME United Kingdom "Singles of the Year" (50)[5] 5
1982 Sounds United Kingdom "Singles of the Year" (20)[6] 18
1982 The Village Voice United States "Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll: Top 10 Singles"[7] 9
2003 Paul Morley United Kingdom "Greatest Pop Single of All Time"[8] *
2005 Q United Kingdom "Ultimate Music Collection" (Pop Tracks)[9] *
2006 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Songs of the 80's"[10] 43
2009 The Guardian United Kingdom "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" (Love)[11] *
2010 Pause & Play United States "Vault Of Fame" (Songs)[12] *
2011 NME United Kingdom "75 Tunes That Defined Rock 'N' Roll" (Deep Cuts)[13] *
2011 Robert Dimery United Kingdom "1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die"[14] *
??? The Village Voice United States "Top Singles Of The 80's" (100)[15] 59

(*) indicates the list is unordered.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Original release[edit]

1983 re-issue[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
UK (Official Charts Company)[36] 71

The Look of Love (1990 Mix)[edit]

"The Look of Love (1990 Mix)"
Single by ABC
from the album Absolutely (ABC album)
Released 13 April 1990
Recorded 1989
Genre Synthpop
Length 4:01
Label Mercury Records
Writer(s) ABC
ABC singles chronology
"The Real Thing"
(1989)
"The Look of Love (1990 Mix)
(1990)
"Love Conquers All"
(1991)

In 1990, to promote the compilation album Absolutely, a new remix of the song by Paul O'Duffy was officially released, though without participation or approval from the band's members. The remix incorporates part of the melody from Kraftwerk's "Computer Love", which had been in the UK Top 40 at the same time as the original release of "The Look of Love" in 1982.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
position
Germany (Media Control Charts)[37] 31
Ireland (IRMA)[22] 30
New Zealand (RIANZ)[38] 44
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[39] 68

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Wave (Top Songs) (1/2) at the Wayback Machine (archived 20 February 2012). AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  2. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Eighties Mix [Import] – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 24 June 2013. The lion's share of coverage focuses on the rise of synth-pop, highlighted by perennial favorites like (...) ABC's "The Look of Love" 
  3. ^ a b c d "ABC – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Eclipse – The Look Of Love". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "NME Singles 1982". NME. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sounds End Of Year Lists > 1982: Singles". Sounds. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll: Top 10 Singles By Year, 1979-2013". The Village Voice. Pazz & Jop. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Paul Morley". Paul Morley. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Q Ultimate Music Collection". Q. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "VH1: '100 Greatest Songs of the 80's': 1-50". VH1. Rock On The Net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Series: 1000 songs everyone must hear – Part one: Love". The Guardian. 14 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  12. ^ The Songs at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 May 2011). Pause & Play. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  13. ^ "NME: 75 Tunes That Defined Rock ‘N’ Roll". NME. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Dimery, Robert (2011). 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-8440-3717-9. 
  15. ^ "Village Voice Top Albums & Singles Of The 80's & 90's". The Village Voice. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 94 (40): 58. 9 October 1982. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – ABC – The Look Of Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  18. ^ "The Look Of Love – ABC" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 26 July 2013. Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1 
  19. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6928." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  20. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "ABC" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Officialcharts.de – ABC – The Look Of Love". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  22. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – ABC - The Look Of Love search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – ABC – The Look Of Love" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  25. ^ "Charts.org.nz – ABC – The Look Of Love". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  26. ^ "THE LOOK OF LOVE – ABC" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  27. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – ABC – The Look Of Love". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Archive Chart: 1982-06-12" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  30. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – DECEMBER 25, 1982 at the Wayback Machine (archived 21 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  31. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  32. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 37, No. 19, December 25, 1982". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  33. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1982 at the Wayback Machine (archived 21 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  34. ^ "Canadian single certifications – ABC – The Look of Love". Music Canada. 
  35. ^ "British single certifications – The Look of Love". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Look of Love in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  36. ^ "The Official Charts Company – The Look Of Love by ABC Search". Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 
  37. ^ "Single – ABC, The Look Of Love 1990 Mix". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  38. ^ "Charts.org.nz – ABC – The Look Of Love 1990 Mix". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  39. ^ "ABC: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 July 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Down Under" by Men at Work
Canadian RPM number-one single
13 November 1982 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Gloria" by Laura Branigan
Preceded by
"1999" by Prince
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
18 December 1982 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls