Perhaps Love (song)

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"Perhaps Love"
Placido Domingo & John Denver - Perhaps Love Single.jpg
Single by Plácido Domingo and John Denver
from the album Perhaps Love
Released 1981
Recorded 1981
Genre Pop
Label CBS Masterworks
Songwriter(s) John Denver
Producer(s) Milton Okun

"Perhaps Love" is a song that John Denver wrote and recorded as a duet with Plácido Domingo. The song appeared on Domingo's 1981 album of the same title. "Perhaps Love" is the only song on the album with Denver's vocals alongside Domingo's. However, Denver also appears on the album's cover version of his composition "Annie's Song", where he accompanies Domingo on guitar. Released as a single with "Annie's Song" on the B side, "Perhaps Love" peaked at #22 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart and #59 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982.[1] Remaining in print, the song sold almost four million copies by 2008.[2]

Background and influence[edit]

"Perhaps Love" was addressed to Denver's wife Annie Martell (the eponym of his #1 hit "Annie's Song") while they were separated and moving towards a divorce. In an interview the day after Denver's death in 1997, Annie said that this was her favorite song of his, rather than "Annie's Song" (which she also said she enjoyed).[3]

Milt Okun, the album's producer, first suggested that Domingo, an opera singer, pair with the famous folk singer on the song. The producer worked hard to promote the song after its release.[clarification needed] An independent radio promoter told Okun at the time, "It's very beautiful, but there's no chance at all of this getting on the air." To both men's surprise, one of the top five radio stations in the United States in Philadelphia began playing the song every hour on the hour, greatly contributing to its success and the willingness of other stations to play it. Okun discussed this with the station owner. The owner told the producer that his "wife was in love with the tenor" as explanation for repeatedly playing the opera singer's record.[2]

Lee Holdridge, who conducted the music on the album, credited the pairing of Domingo and Denver with paving the way for recent "popera" phenomena like the Three Tenors, Josh Groban, and Andrea Bocelli.[2]


"Perhaps Love" was the first single released by CBS Masterworks. Initially, the record company did not intend to release any singles from Perhaps Love, which first came out in September 1981, but decided to after the album unexpectedly sold half a million copies by December. Key representatives of the pop division of the associated company, Columbia Records, promoted the single, as well as the album.[4]

Later recordings[edit]

Denver recorded a solo version of the song for his 1982 album Seasons of the Heart. This version also appears as a bonus track on the 1998 reissue of Rocky Mountain Christmas.

Domingo recorded the number with his son, Placido Domingo Jr., on the 2013 album, Great Voices Sing John Denver. Okun and Holdridge collaborated again with the tenor (and other opera singers) on this newer album. The two Domingos also performed the song live at the 2014 iTunes Festival, which was shown on television. Additionally, the elder Domingo sang the duet with tenor Rolando Villazón during a televised concert at Schönbrunn Palace in 2008.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary 22
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 59
UK Singles Chart 46
Irish Singles Chart 26
Dutch Top 40[5] 16
New Zealand Singles Chart[5] 15
South African top 20[6] 11
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[5] 23

Other versions[edit]


  1. ^ "allmusic ((( John Denver > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles)))". allmusic. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Butler, Susan (21 June 2008). "Milt Okun: Music Legend Milt Okun Honored for a Lifetime of Vision". Billboard: 31–34. 
  3. ^ "Interview with Annie Martell", , Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel, 13 October 1997.
  4. ^ "CBS Releases Domingo Single". Billboard: 92. December 26, 1981. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Placido Domingo & John Denver - Perhaps Love". (Official Hit Parade) (with additional chart information for the Netherlands and New Zealand). 
  6. ^ Retrieved 1 April 2014
  7. ^ "allmusic ((( Perhaps love > Performances > Complete)))". allmusic. Retrieved 14 September 2010.