Do You Love Me
|"Do You Love Me"|
A-side label of the U.S. vinyl release
|Single by The Contours|
|from the album Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)|
|B-side||"Move, Mr. Man"|
|Released||June 29, 1962|
|Recorded||Hitsville USA (Studio A); 1962|
|Genre||Soul, rhythm and blues, rock and roll|
|Songwriter(s)||Berry Gordy, Jr.|
|Producer(s)||Berry Gordy, Jr.|
|The Contours singles chronology|
"Do You Love Me" is a 1962 hit single recorded by The Contours for Motown's Gordy Records label. Written and produced by Motown CEO Berry Gordy, Jr., "Do You Love Me?" was the Contours' only Top 40 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. Notably, the record achieved this feat twice, once in 1962 and again in 1988. A main point of the song is to name the Mashed Potato, The Twist, and a variation of the title "I like it like that", as "You like it like this", and many other fad dances of the 1960s.
The song is noted for the spoken recitation heard in the introduction which goes: "You broke my heart / 'Cause I couldn't dance / You didn't even want me around / And now I'm back / To let you know / I can really shake 'em down."
The song has a false ending.
Berry Gordy wrote "Do You Love Me" with the intention that The Temptations, who had no Top 40 hits to their name yet, would record it. However, when Gordy wanted to locate the group and record the song, they were nowhere to be found (the Temptations had not been made aware of Gordy's intentions and had departed Motown's Hitsville USA recording studio for a local Detroit gospel music showcase).
After spending some time looking for the Temptations, Gordy ran into the Contours (Billy Gordon, Hubert Johnson, Billy Hoggs, Joe Billingslea, Sylvester Potts, and guitarist Hugh Davis) in the hallway. Wanting to record and release "Do You Love Me" as soon as possible, Gordy decided to let them record his "sure-fire hit" instead of the Temptations. The Contours, who were in danger of being dropped from the label after their first two singles ("Whole Lotta' Woman" and "The Stretch") failed to chart, were so elated at Gordy's offer that they immediately began hugging and thanking him.
"Do You Love Me," the fifth release on Gordy Records, became a notably successful dance record, built around Gordon's screaming vocals. Selling over a million copies, "Do You Love Me" peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks starting on October 20, 1962 and was a number-one hit on the Billboard R&B Singles chart. An album featuring the single, Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance), was also released. None of the Contours' future singles lived up to the success of "Do You Love Me", although its success won the group a headlining position on Motown's very first Motor Town Revue tour.
According to music journalist Kingsley Abbott, "Do You Love Me" is representative of Gordy's talent as a musician, producer, arranger, and songwriter: "The result is not only classic rock and roll but a tribute to his stature as the greatest backstage talent in rock history." Gordy viewed the song as an example of the musical overlap between rhythm and blues, pop, and rock and roll, telling Billboard in 1963, "It was recorded r. & b. but by the time it reached the half-million mark, it was considered pop. And if we hadn't recorded it with a Negro artist, it would have been considered rock and roll."
Like many American R&B songs of the 1960s, "Do You Love Me?" was covered by a number of British Invasion groups. Three British groups who recorded their own versions of the song were Brian Poole and the Tremeloes (who hit number one with it in the UK Singles Chart after learning it from Liverpool's Faron's Flamingos), the Dave Clark Five, and The Hollies on their 1964 album Stay with the Hollies. The song has also been covered by The Sonics, The Kingsmen, Paul Revere & the Raiders, and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. In 1965, Bob Marley and the Wailers recorded the song "Playboy," which incorporates "Do You Love Me"'s chorus. The song was covered by the English glam rock band Mud for their album mud rock (1974). The song was one of the highlights of The Blues Brothers' live set. Bruce Springsteen frequently ended his shows in the mid-1980s with the song, as part of a medley with "Twist and Shout". Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1988 album The Chipmunks and The Chipettes: Born to Rock. Indie band Steadman has a well known cover of the song, played in the style of the Dave Clark Five. Andy Fraser covered the song in the style of the 1980s back in 1984. Westlife performed a live version for their The Greatest Hits Tour in 2003. German girl group Preluders covered the song for their cover album Prelude to History in 2004. In 1992 David Hasselhoff famously sang the song in an episode of Baywatch. In November 2013, The Overtones covered the song for their album Saturday Night at the Movies. In February 2015, Chester See & Andy Lange uploaded a cover of "Do You Love Me" to See's YouTube channel. In 2017 Colt Prattes, Nicole Scherzinger, and J. Quinton Johnson covered the song for ABC's Dirty Dancing movie remake. In 2018, Ian Gillan and the Javelins recorded a version as the lead single of their self-titled album of rock and roll covers.
"Do You Love Me" is featured prominently in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, reviving the record's popularity. Re-issued as a single from the More Dirty Dancing soundtrack album, "Do You Love Me" became a hit for the second time, peaking at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1988. The Contours, by then composed of Joe Billingslea and three new members, joined Ronnie Spector and Bill Medley, among others, on a 'Dirty Dancing Tour' resulting from the success of the film. The song also appeared in the episode "The End" in season 5 of TV series Supernatural. The song was also made into a music video in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Toon TV". David Hasselhoff performed it on Baywatch in the 1992 episode "The Reunion". He later performed "Do You Love Me" with Kids Incorporated in 1984 in the Season 1 episode "School's For Fools". Kids Incorporated covered "Do You Love Me" in 1991 during the Season 7 episode "Teen Spotlight".
With the re-release of the single in 1988, Motown also released a 12" maxi-single (Motown 68009) with an extended dance remix, running 6:26. The remix was also included in the late 1988 Motown CD reissue of the album Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance) on Motown 37463-5415-2. This remix only appears on the CD and Cassette tape issues, as the Vinyl LP of the same release has the original 2:54 minute hit version.
This song was in the soundtrack for Dirty Dancing (1987), Sleepwalkers (1992), and Getting Even with Dad (1994). It was featured in the 1979 movie The Wanderers. The song also had an appearance in Beethoven's 2nd, where George Newton (Charles Grodin) dances to the song while preparing his breakfast. It was also featured in Teen Wolf Too, sung by Jason Bateman, in 1987.
Personnel: The Contours
- Lead vocal by Billy Gordon
- Background vocals by Hubert Johnson, Billy Hoggs, Joe Billingslea, and Sylvester Potts
- Guitar by Huey Davis
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
- Abbott, Kingsley (2001). Calling Out Around the World: A Motown Reader. Helter Skelter. p. 38. ISBN 1900924145.
- Biro, Nick (January 5, 1963). "R & B Roundup". Billboard. p. 16. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 565. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.