A Groovy Kind of Love

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"A Groovy Kind of Love" is a song written by Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager based on a melody by the classical composer Muzio Clementi.

It has been recorded by numerous artists, with the Mindbenders and Phil Collins releasing very successful versions.

Background[edit]

"A Groovy Kind of Love" was written when Bayer Sager was a 22-year-old schoolteacher, and Wine was a 17-year-old high school student. Composition of the song took place at Bayer Sager's home in New York City, only a few blocks away from the Brill Building and 1650 Broadway. These buildings housed numerous music publishing companies and record labels, including Wine and Bayer Sager's label, Allegro Music (later Screen Gems); the buildings also contained facilities for songwriting and composition. However, Bayer Sager's residence was preferred because it was more comfortable, and more private. Wine composed the music, and Bayer Sager wrote the lyrics. The song was originally recorded by Patti Labelle and The Bluebelles on US Atlantic 2313 (UK Atlantic 4064) in 1965[1]

The title was an early use of the slang word "groovy", and both women were interested in using the word because they recognized it as new and "happening". Wine said, "Carole came up with 'Groovy kinda… groovy kinda… groovy…' and we're all just saying, 'Kinda groovy, kinda groovy, kinda…' and I don't exactly know who came up with "Love", but it was 'Groovy kind of love'. And we did it. We wrote it in 20 minutes. It was amazing. Just flew out of our mouths, and at the piano, it was a real quick and easy song to write."[1]

The melody is based on the Rondo from Muzio Clementi's Sonatina, Opus 36, No. 5.[2] Carole Bayer originally pitched the song to pop star Lesley Gore in early 1965, but Gore's producer at the time, Shelby Singleton, rejected it, as he found the word "groovy" too slangy.

The Mindbenders version[edit]

"A Groovy Kind of Love"
MindbendersAGKoL.jpg
Single by The Mindbenders
from the album The Mindbenders
B-side"Love Is Good"
Released1965 (1965)
Format7"
GenrePop
Length1:59
LabelFontana
Songwriter(s)
The Mindbenders singles chronology
"A Groovy Kind of Love"
(1965)
"Can't Live with You, Can't Live Without You"
(1966)

Jack McGraw, who ran the Screen Gems offices in London, thought the Wine and Bayer Sager song was a perfect match for the new group The Mindbenders (previously the backing group for Wayne Fontana, who had recently left the band) and especially their guitarist, who now became their new lead vocalist, Eric Stewart. The band recorded their version of "A Groovy Kind of Love" in 1965. They liked the result so much that they included the song on their first album without Fontana, The Mindbenders (US title A Groovy Kind of Love) and released it to radio as their debut single. It reached No. 2 in the UK the week of January 19–26, 1966, and it also reached No. 2 in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in late May and early June 1966. "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge kept the song from No. 1.[3] The song features a female backing chorus, and they sing the words "You and me" and the repeated title towards the end of each verse of the song. Eric Stewart went on to co-found the British art pop band, 10cc.

Chart performance[edit]

Country Peak
position
Ireland[4] 9
United Kingdom 2
United States 2

Phil Collins version[edit]

"A Groovy Kind of Love"
A Groovy Kind of Love.jpg
Single by Phil Collins
from the album Buster: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
B-side"Big Noise"
Released22 August 1988[5]
Format
Recorded1988
GenrePop
Length3:30
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • Carole Bayer Sager
  • Toni Wine
Producer(s)
Phil Collins singles chronology
"In the Air Tonight"
(1988)
"A Groovy Kind of Love"
(1988)
"Two Hearts"
(1988)

Phil Collins recorded a new version of "A Groovy Kind of Love" in 1988. He had originally suggested the song as a good one for collaborator Stephen Bishop to record, with Collins producing. Collins originally recorded his demo as a suggestion for the film Buster (1988), then found out later that the demo was actually used in the film.[6] He later decided to record the song himself when he took the starring role in the film, which was set in the 1960s.[7] Collins' rendering was originally released on Buster: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. A live performance appeared on his Serious Hits... Live! album.

Unlike the Mindbenders' version, which was an upbeat guitar-based pop song, Collins' was a slow ballad with a prominent keyboard and strings. His take on it hit No. 1 on both the U.S. and UK charts, and remains Collins' only single to top the charts in both countries; it was his last No. 1 single in the UK.[8] The single was certified silver in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry. It also reached No. 1 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. The song earned Collins a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1989.

The TV series New Girl featured the Phil Collins version in the episodes "Wedding" (2011) and "The Curse of the Pirate Bride" (2018).[9]

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[10] 2
Austrian Singles Chart[10] 6
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Top 40[11] 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[12] 7
French Singles Chart[10] 15
German Singles Chart 3
Irish Singles Chart[13] 1
Italian Singles Chart[14] 1
New Zealand Singles Chart[10] 3
Norwegian Singles Chart[10] 2
South Africa (Springbok)[15] 1
Swedish Singles Chart[10] 5
Swiss Singles Chart[10] 1
UK Singles Chart[16] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
Zimbabwe Singles Chart[18] 2

Other covers[edit]

Other cover versions include the following:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Toni Wine: Songwriter Interviews". Songfacts.com. 2007-05-08. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  2. ^ Dennis, Jon (14 June 2012). "Readers recommend: classical songs – results". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  3. ^ https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1966-05-28
  4. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results for "A Groovy Kind of Love"". Archived from the original on 31 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  5. ^ "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Phil Collins (page 3)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  6. ^ a b Phil Collins. Not Dead Yet. London, England: Century Books. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-780-89513-0.
  7. ^ "Record Reviews, Streaming Songs, Genres & Bands". AllMusic. 1998-10-01. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  8. ^ Maury Dean (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 60. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
  9. ^ Beard, Lanford (October 5, 2011). "New Girl recap: Suppress the Jess". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "lescharts.com entry". Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  11. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 41, 1988". Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  12. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  13. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results for "A Groovey Kind of Love"". Archived from the original on 31 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  14. ^ "A Groovy Kind of Love". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  15. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  16. ^ a b "everyhit.com search results for "A Groovy Kind of Love"". Archived from the original on 19 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  17. ^ "Phil Collins Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  19. ^ "Original Soundtrack - The Wedding Planner". Allmusic. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  20. ^ Raeside, Julia (7 May 2011). "The Hard Sell: Walkers Crinkles". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 9 May 2014.