Let Your Love Flow
|"Let Your Love Flow"|
1976 single cover
|Single by The Bellamy Brothers|
|from the album Let Your Love Flow|
|B-side||"Inside My Guitar"|
|Format||7" (45 RPM)|
|Songwriter(s)||Larry E. Williams|
|The Bellamy Brothers singles chronology|
The song's composer Larry E. Williams had been a roadie for Neil Diamond's live shows, and "Let Your Love Flow" had been published by Bicycle Music, who had been founded by the singer and owned Diamond's own catalog. On Diamond's apparent disinterest in recording the song himself, Howard Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers has commented "it really wasn't in his [ie. Diamond's] vein." According to Howard, Johnny Rivers had also passed on "Let Your Love Flow". The song as recorded by Gene Cotton was a single release in the autumn of 1975, making Cotton's version - featured on his 1976 album release For All the Young Writers - the earliest released version of "Let Your Love Flow," although it is unclear if Cotton's recording of song was made prior to that by the Bellamy Brothers.
The Bellamy Brothers - siblings David and Howard Bellamy from Pasco County - had been working as session musicians at the Studio 70 recording studio in Tampa when a demo of a song written by David, "Spiders and Snakes", was optioned for Jim Stafford whose 1973 recording became a million-selling hit single. On the recommendation of Stafford's producer Phil Gernhard, the Bellamy Brothers relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a recording career. The duo initially stayed with Stafford in the Hollywood house whose purchase Stafford's success with "Spiders and Snakes" had made possible, and for a time Howard acted as Stafford's road manager while Gernhard arranged for David to record as a solo act for the Warner Bros Records affiliate Curb Records with a resultant regional hit, "Nothin' Heavy", #77 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the autumn of 1975.
David Bellamy's recording sessions featured members of Neil Diamond's band including drummer Dennis St John, and it was St John who recommended "Let Your Love Flow" to the Bellamys. Howard Bellamy recalls that Dennis St John "one day...came over to our house and brought the demo of 'Let Your Love Flow' and said: 'Hey, this sounds like something you guys would do.'" David Bellamy recalls St John mentioning the song as appropriate for the Bellamys to record, but that St John sent the demo of the song to Phil Gernhard: David Bellamy (quote) - "the next day I went to Phil's office and listened to it. I [then] called Howard and said :'I’ve got to play you this song!'" David further states: "We went back in with Neil's band" - to the Wally Heider Recording Studio in Hollywood - "and cut the song. We got the right key, the band hooked it right away and we probably didn’t do more than two or three takes on the whole session. It was the perfect song for us and became the key to our career."
"Let Your Love Flow" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated 1 May 1976, also crossing-over to the Billboard chart rankings for Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks with a peak of #2, and also for Hot Country Singles with a peak of #21. According to David Bellamy (quote): "There were a couple of guys from Holland [ie. the Netherlands] who were in town when the single was released, and our record company gave it to them to take home and they also sent it to Germany", and "Let Your Love Flow" would in fact debut at #22 on the Dutch Top 30 chart dated 6 March 1976, the same date as the track's Billboard Top 40 debut at #38: the track would eventually peak at #6 on both the Dutch chart and Belgium's Flemish chart. In June and July 1976 "Let Your Love Flow" spent five weeks at #1 in Germany and also in Switzerland, while the track would be ranked at #1 on the monthly Austrian hit parades dated the 15th of August, September and October. "Let Your Love Flow" was afforded further European success with a seven-week tenure at #2 in both Norway and Sweden, while in the British Isles the track achieved chart peaks of #7 in the UK and #3 in Ireland. "Let Your Love Flow" also reached #1 on the hit parade for South Africa, #2 in New Zealand and #6 in Australia.
Revival and use in media
In 2008 and 2009 "Let Your Love Flow" enjoyed a UK chart renaissance due to the song's being featured in a television ad for Barclays promoting the bank's Barclaycard in its contactless format. Filmed in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the ad's focus was on an office clerk - played by Robert Wilfort - who utilizes his Barclaycard while traveling home on a waterslide, a metaphor for the ease with which the card may be used. The ad was first aired 25 October 2008,and two weeks later "Let Your Love Flow" re-entered the UK Top 100 singles chart dated 8 November 2008 at #48, with the track eventually peaking at #21 over a six-week tenure with subsequent UK chart tenures of five weeks in February/ March 2009 (peak #48) and three weeks that summer (#76). Speaking for the Bellamy Brothers, David Bellamy would state: "We had no idea the song 'Let Your Love Flow' had been licensed to Barclay for an advertisement [until] after the single started climbing the charts in England. Any artist is always thrilled when one of your signature songs has longevity like this because it was thirty-two years ago when we first released the tune. We’ve always had such faithful fans in Europe, like we do in the United States, but with the single charting again we’re introducing our music to a whole new generation of music lovers."
In other media, "Let Your Love Flow" was featured in the 1980 Tatum O'Neal film Little Darlings, the 2008 period drama Swingtown, and season 2 episode 'No Room at the Inn' of the HBO series The Leftovers.
"Let Your Love Flow" has been covered by numerous other artists, most notably Joan Baez, who included it on her 1979 Honest Lullaby album. Another re-recording by the Bellamy brothers with Gölä is included on the album The Greatest Hits Sessions. "Ein Bett im Kornfeld", a German language adaptation of the song recorded by Jürgen Drews, spent six weeks at #1 in West Germany in 1976, immediately subsequent to the five-week #1 tenure of the Bellamy Brothers' original.
- "Howard Bellamy : Songwriter Interviews". www.songfacts.com.
- "Gary James' Interview With Howard Bellamy Of The Bellamy Brothers". www.classicbands.com.
- "Alan Cackett - The Bellamy Brothers". alancackett.com.
- Hackett, Vernell. "Story Behind The Song: 'Let Your Love Flow,' Bellamy Brothers". The Boot.
- "Bellamy Brothers". Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- Erlewhine, Stephen Thomas. "The Bellamy Brothers biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- "Barclays Has Fun with 'Water Slides'". The Financial Brand. April 9, 2009.
- "Barclaycard Water Slide". The Inspiration Room. October 30, 2008.
- GMT, Tue 18 Nov 2008 12:18. "Bellamy Brothers enjoy English revival with \'Let Your Love Flow\'". www.christiantoday.com.
- Hit Bilanz Deutsche Chart Singles 1956-1980, p. 347. Taurus Press, Hamburg
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Austriancharts.at – Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Musicline.de – Bellamy Brothers Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bellamy Brothers" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.nz – Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow". VG-lista.
- "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow". Singles Top 100.
- "Swisscharts.com – Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "The Bellamy Brothers Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
- "The Bellamy Brothers Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
- "The Bellamy Brothers Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
- "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART.
- "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1976". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
- "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1976 - hitparade.ch". swisscharts.com.
- "Top 100 1981 - UK Music Charts". www.uk-charts.top-source.info.
- "Pop Singles" Billboard December 25, 1976: Talent in Action-6
- "Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976 - 45cat". www.45cat.com.