I Love You (The Zombies song)

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"I Love You"
B-side to "Whenever You're Ready" by The Zombies
Released August 1965
Recorded 8 July 1965, Decca Studios
Label Decca
Songwriter(s) Chris White
Producer(s) Ken Jones

"I Love You" is a 1965 song by The Zombies, written by their member Chris White, which was covered by People! and The Carnabeats and by several other artists, including foreign translations.


"I Love You" was written by Chris White, who indicated: "The thing that came first was the riff. That was the root of writing that one. In actual fact I think I nicked it off Tommy Roe".[1] It was recorded by the British pop band The Zombies on 8 July 1965 at Decca Studios.[2] It was released in August 1965 as the B-side to "Whenever You're Ready" in the UK (Decca 45 F 12225), USA (Parrot 45-PAR 9786), Japan (London HIT-547), the Netherlands (1968: Decca AT 15106), Italy (Decca F 12225), Sweden (Decca F 12225), Turkey (London F 12225), Japan (1967: London TOP 1167),[3][4] and the Philippines (London F 12225).[5] The single failed to make the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and the UK Singles Chart and achieved only limited chart success in other countries. Daniel Williams speculates that: "Perhaps, as happened to sixties groups desperately looking to rediscover a magic formula, some fatal hesitancy was exhibited about which side of a single was which; ‘I Love You’'s structural inversion of chorus and verse makes it both a dramatic and memorably harmonic B side, trumping ‘Whenever You’re Ready’'s more traditional delights and wig-out organ".[6]

In 1966 "I Love You" was included in an album that is now known as the I Love You album that was only released in the Netherlands and Japan.[7] After the popularity of "I Love You" and two other Zombies songs in the Philippines, The Zombies sold out 10 concerts at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, near Manila, in March 1967.[8] Soon after their return from the Philippines, their contract with Decca lapsed and, although they recorded a further LP, Odessey and Oracle, for their new record label CBS in the summer of 1967, the band disbanded once that album was finished (and before its 1968 release in the UK and US).[9] However, after the chart success of the cover version of "I Love You" by American band People!, in mid-June 1968 Decca reissued The Zombies' original version in the UK, backed with "The Way I Feel Inside" (Decca F12798).[10] However, it again failed to chart.

Cover versions[edit]

"I Love You"
B-Side to "Somebody Tell Me My Name" by People!
Released February 1968
Genre psychedelic rock
Length 4:35
Label Capitol Records
Songwriter(s) Chris White
Producer(s) Captain Mikey


People! (1968)[edit]

People! 1968 Back Row: (l to r) Robb Levin, Denny Fridkin, Al Ribisi, Geoff Levin; Front Row: Gene Mason and Larry Norman

The cover version by People!, released in February 1968 (officially, it was the B-side of "Somebody Tell Me My Name",[11][12] which was written by Dennis Fridkin and Geoff Levin) (Capitol Records 2078) was a No.14 hit in the USA[13] and went to No.1 in Japan (Capitol CR-1960).[14][15][15][16] In 1968 Capitol released People!'s version in Mexico (Capitol 6353); Australia (Capitol 1729);[11] Canada (Capitol 2078), where it reached No.7 in May 1968;[17] Brazil, backed with "1000 Years B.C." (written by Larry Norman and Robb Levin) (Capitol 7C-11072); France (Capitol CLF 2078); Germany (Capitol 23827); Japan (Capitol CR -1960); United Kingdom (Capitol 15553); and Singapore (Capitol CL-15553).[14] An EP was released in Spain (Capitol EAP-21103).[18] After extensive promotion by the band and its manager,[19] and industry advertising by Capitol,[20] "I Love You" quickly became a hit single, selling more than one million copies, and reaching a peak of No.14 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 14 June 1968[21] and reaching No.13 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart on 29 June 1968,[22] and became a #1 single in several markets, including Italy, Israel, and Japan.[23][24] According to the liner notes of the 2006 Best of People! Volume 1 album, People!'s version of "I Love You" could have topped the US national charts if not for industry rivalries:

"It was No.1 in Japan. It was big everywhere. Israel, South Africa, England, Scandinavia, Argentina and America where it actually hit No.1 in every 'market' all over the country, but not in the same week. Bill Gavin and Bill Drake had two competitive companies who did exactly the same thing. For an expensive membership each would advise radio stations on what was bubbling up and was going to be a popular release to put into rotation on the radio playlist. But People! was produced by Mikel Hunter, an upstart who broke all the rules of AM Boss Jock Radio and could predict much more accurately what was going to be a hit. So any radio programmer could take a look at Hunter's playlist, several weeks ahead of the nation, and pick the hits for free. Gavin and Drake decided to bury Hunter and one way was to advise programmers NOT to play "I Love You." "It's not going to be a hit." was their steady message for the four months during which "I Love You" fought its way to the top of every chart. A sad story. But a funny one, because People! was able to do a concert in every city while their single was the hottest thing on the local charts. Most bands can only do concerts for a week as their song hits No.1 and then is pushed off the charts by a Beatles song, or even a Monkees song. So People! followed the path that the song laid down and had the biggest and longest thrill ride any band can have. It was a freakish phenomenon and one that never happened again. The suppression and blackball attempts of Gavin and Drake spun the band into the majors and the band toured with The Who and would have kept on going. But Larry [Norman] left the band on the day when Capitol followed up the little hit that could with a revamped version of the album for its premier release. Had the song been left on its own, unopposed, it would have sat atop the national charts at #1 for several weeks according to the overall tally in the end. Had Larry stayed in the group, who knows what might have happened".[25]

After the release of their single "I Love You", People! toured extensively, appearing three times on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and also on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show.[26] Billboard ranked People!'s version as No.53 in their top 100 songs for 1968,[27][28] while it was ranked #75 in the Cashbox annual charts.[17]

Cover art for People!'s I Love You (Capitol Records 1968)

The success of People!'s version of "I Love You" frustrated The Zombies. According to Zombies member Colin Blunstone: "That was a bit of a heartbreaker. It wasn't a favourite song of mine to be absolutely honest, but it was a little disappointing that we were struggling so hard".[29]

In July 1968 "I Love You" was included on People!'s debut album also named I Love You, which was released in the USA (Capitol ST-2924), and subsequently in Canada (Capitol ST-2924), Germany (Capitol SMK 74 559), Brazil (Capitol ST-2924), New Zealand (Capitol ST-2924), Taiwan (Leico PLS-3304), and Singapore (Capitol ST-2924).[30] Despite the success of the "I Love You" single, People!'s heavy touring schedule, a promotional film of the group performing the song which aired on American Bandstand,[31] and despite favorable reviews,[32] the subsequent album, which was named after their hit single, was released by 13 July 1968,[33] but only reached No.138 on the Billboard album charts on 10 August 1968.[34]

Los Chijuas (1968)[edit]

"I Love You" was covered in 1968 by Los Chijuas,[35][36] a garage band from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico,[37] on their eponymous album on the Musart label.[38][39][40][41] The album was reissued by Action Records (AR-303).[42] Los Chijuas also released a Spanish-language version, "Te Quiero",[43] on their 2003 album El Esquimal (Musart/Balboa).[44]

The Summer Sounds (1969)[edit]

In 1969 The Summer Sounds,[45] a five-piece pre-Psychedelic garage band from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, sang "I Love You" on their self-published 1969 debut album Up-Down (Laurel LP 331098), "a beat-garage concept album detailing the highs and lows of a summer vacation romance",[46][47] which was distributed by Canadian label Laurel Records.[47]

The Endless Knights (1970)[edit]

The Endless Knights - The History Of Syracuse Music Volume I: The Groups - 1958-1970 1970: (ECEIP PSLP 1005); 2006: (WPM 67-1).[48]

The Bent Scepters (1997)[edit]

Garage rock group The Bent Scepters, which was formed in Iowa City, Iowa in 1991, covered "I Love You" on their 1997 album Blind Date With Destiny[49][50] (Bizarre Planet Records).[51]

Japanese: Suki Sa Suki Sa Suki Sa (好きさ好きさ好きさ)[edit]

"Sukisa Sukisa Sukisa
A-side to "口笛天国" "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman" by The Carnabeats
Released June 1967
Label Philips Records
Songwriter(s) Chris White

The Carnabeats (1967)[edit]

The song was translated into Japanese by Kenji Sazanami[52] as "Sukisa Sukisa Sukisa" (好きさ好きさ好きさ) and recorded by Tokyo band The Carnabeats (ザ・カーナビーツ),[53] a Japanese Group Sounds band,[54][55][56] with 16-year-old drummer Ai Takano singing the lead vocal.[55] On 1 June 1967 the single (Philips FS-1018) was released in Japan by Philips Records, backed with a cover of I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman (口笛天国).[57][58][59] The single debuted at #7 in the local charts in September 1967,[60] before peaking at #2 on 4 November 1967.[61] "Sukisa Sukisa Sukisa", the band's first and biggest hit,[55] was included on their debut album Carnabeats First Album,[62] which was released in 1968,[62][63] and re-released in 2003 by Teichiku Records (TECN-20941).[64] After several more singles, and their only album, The Carnabeats disbanded in the Fall of 1969.[53]

The success of The Carnabeats' Japanese version of "I Love You" in Japan, resulted in the original version by The Zombies being released in Japan,[53] where it was a best-selling hit and was ranked #8 for the year of 1967.[65]

Nana Kinomi and Leo Beats (1968)[edit]

In 1968 21-year-old Mariko Ikeda (池田鞠子) (born 11 July 1946 in Tokyo),[66][67] the daughter of a trumpeter of the Nichigeki Theatre Orchestra, who had been recording as Nana Kinomi (木の実ナナ) since 1962,[68] sang a "sultry Suki Sa Suki Sa Suki Sa",[69] with the Leo Beats on her album Let's Go Nana (Cutie Girl with GS series) (PARADE).[68] Nana released 24 EPs and 2 albums in 1962-1969. After the 1970s, she performed in musicals, and can still be seen on TV in Japan.

Other Japanese cover versions[edit]

Several other Japanese artists also released their versions including Kobayashi Ayako (小林彩子) on 21 November 1990; J-pop female band Mi-Ke in November 1991,[70][71][72] the KinKi Kids (キンキキッズ,) in 1993,[73] and MaKi.[74] The Prince of Tennis (テニスの王子様) manga character Keigo Atobe (跡部 景吾), who is voiced by Junichi Suwabe (諏訪部 順一), has also released a version in October 2008.[75]

Spanish: "Te Amo"[edit]

Los Shippy's (1968)[edit]

In mid-1968 Mexican psychedelic garage rock band Los Shippy's[76][77] recorded a Spanish-language versions of "I Love You" ("Te Amo") on their eponymous third album Los Skippy's (Discos Capitol; Capitol).[78][79]

Portuguese: "Te Amo"[edit]

Os Incríveis (1968)[edit]

Brazilian band Os Incríveis (The Incredibles), who were formed as The Clevers in São Paulo, Brazil in 1962,[80][81] recorded a Portuguese language version, "Te Amo" on their April 1968 album Internationais (RCA Victor BBL-1460).[82][83][84]

Other cover versions[edit]

Other cover versions include:[85]

  • Ed Rogers[86] - on The Losers Lounge, How Can a Loser Ever Win? (Zilcho Records, 2001)[87]
  • Erik Paparazzi on Tribute to the Zombies (The Loser's Lounge)[88]
  • Outcasts
  • The Uptight


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External links[edit]