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Love Potion No. 9 (song)

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"Love Potion No. 9"
Single by The Clovers
B-side"Stay Awhile"
ReleasedJuly 1959
RecordedJune 8, 1959
StudioCapitol (New York City)
LabelUnited Artists
Songwriter(s)Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Official Audio
"Love Potion No. 9" on YouTube
"Love Potion Number Nine"
Single by The Searchers
from the album Meet the Searchers
B-side"Hi-Heel Sneakers"
ReleasedNovember 1964
StudioPye Studios, London, England
GenreRock and roll
LabelKapp KJB-27
Songwriter(s)Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Producer(s)Tony Hatch
The Searchers singles chronology
"When You Walk in the Room"
"Love Potion Number Nine"
"What Have They Done to the Rain"
Official Audio
"Love Potion No. 9" on YouTube

"Love Potion No. 9" is a song written in 1959 by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally performed by the Clovers,[1] who took it to No.23 on the US as well as R&B charts that year.[2][3] It reached #20 in Canada.[4]

The Searchers recorded it in 1964 and reached No.3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No.2 on Cash Box during the winter of 1965.[5]

Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass did an instrumental version (side 2, track 1) on his 1965 album Whipped Cream and Other Delights.

The Coasters released their take in December 1971 with "D. W. Washburn" on the B-side. It reached No.76 on the Billboard Pop chart and No.96 on the Cash Box chart.

It's also track 1 on the studio album Two Days Away, released in 1977 by Elkie Brooks and produced by the song's writers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.


The song describes a man seeking help to find love. He enlists the help of a Romani person who determines, by means of palmistry, that he needs "love potion number nine". The potion, an aphrodisiac, causes him to fall in love with everything he sees, kissing whatever is in front of him, eventually kissing a policeman on the street corner, who reacts by breaking his bottle of love potion.

In the LP release, at the ending of the song the Clovers used the alternative lyrics:[1]

I had so much fun that I'm going back again,
I wonder what'll happen with Love Potion Number Ten?

This version was used in the film American Graffiti and released on the LP version of the soundtrack, but replaced by the single version on the CD release.

The song was the basic premise of the 1992 film of the same name starring Sandra Bullock and Tate Donovan.

Charts, The Searchers[edit]

Chart (1965) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[6] 6
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[7] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 3
US Cash Box Top 100 2
West Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 23

Later versions[edit]

The heavy metal band Tygers of Pan Tang recorded "Love Potion No. 9" in 1982. Their version charted in the UK, reaching No.45 in 1982.[10] Punk band MDC released their version of the song on their 1989 album Metal Devil Cokes[11] showcasing the very punk attitude of the song, as it describes how police kills love. The White Stripes covered it live at the Gold Dollar in Detroit, Michigan, on July 14, 1997, including the alternative ending lyrics; this version was released in 2012 on the EP "Live On Bastille Day".[12] In 2016 the song was performed by John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell for BBC 6 Music Live.[13] It was released as a single by indie rock band The Wallies in November 2019 and has also been covered by punk rock group The Queers on their 2021 album Reverberation.[14]

Rockapella also covered the song.


  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 14 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 4] : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  2. ^ The Clovers' charting singles Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 124.
  4. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade - November 9, 1959".
  5. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 1/23/65". tropicalglen.com. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5573." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 11 February 1965
  8. ^ "The Searchers Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Searchers – Love Potion Nr. 9" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved June 10, 2018. To see peak chart position, click "TITEL VON The Searchers"
  10. ^ "Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. 1982-03-27. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  11. ^ "MDC - Metal Devil Cokes | Releases | Discogs". Discogs.
  12. ^ The White Stripes - Live On Bastille Day, retrieved 2022-12-29
  13. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "John Cooper Clarke & Hugh Cornwell - Love Potion #9 (6 Music Live 2016)". YouTube. 18 October 2016.
  14. ^ "REVERBERATION, by The Queers". The Queers. Retrieved 2023-08-28.

External links[edit]