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The Game of Love (Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders song)

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"The Game of Love"
Single by Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders
from the album The Game of Love
B-side"Since You've Been Gone"
ReleasedJanuary 22, 1965 (UK)
February 1965 (US)
Songwriter(s)Clint Ballard Jr.
Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders singles chronology
"Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um"
"The Game of Love"
"It's Just a Little Bit Too Late"

"The Game of Love" is a 1965 song by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, released in the United States as "Game of Love".

Track listing[edit]

Original version[edit]

Side A
1."The Game Of Love"C. Ballard Jr2:04
Side B
2."Since You've Been Gone"Eric Stewart, Glyn Ellis, Bob Lang1:55

US re-pressing[edit]

Side A
1."Game Of Love"C. Ballard Jr2:04
Side B
2."One More Time"Stewart, Ellis2:06

Chart history[edit]

The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 week of April 24, 1965 and No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1965.

Tex Pistol version[edit]

"The Game of Love"
Single cover
Single by Tex Pistol
from the album Nobody Else
  • "Boot Heel Drag" (12" only)
  • "W.11 to Whangaroa Bay"
GenrePop, rock
LabelPagan Records
Songwriter(s)Clint Ballard Jr.
Producer(s)Ian Morris
Tex Pistol singles chronology
"The Game of Love"
"Nobody Else"
Music video
"Game of Love" at NZ on Screen

The song was covered in 1987 by New Zealand musician Ian Morris, under the stage name Tex Pistol[14] and released as "The Game of Love".


Morris was looking for a "more commercial" follow up to his Tex Pistol debut single "The Ballad of Buckskin Bob". He had begun work on a cover of The Underdog's "Sitting In The Rain" when advertising music collaborator Jim Hall suggested "The Game of Love" as a good song to cover. Morris "immediately knew how it would sound". He credits its success to "a combination of technology of the time and a good simple song".[15]

The song is notable for its unusual drum sound. Morris had been working on the audio for a card ad at the time. His curiosity piqued by a supplied video clip of a racecar going over a hill, Morris recorded the sound, sped it up, and mixed it with a clip of a snare drum.[16][17]

The song also features Callie Blood, Morris's later collaborator on advertising jingles, on backing vocals.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
1."The Game of Love"C. Ballard Jr 
Side B
2."Boot Heel Drag" (12" release only)  
3."W.11 to Whangaroa Bay"Morris 

Charting and awards[edit]

The song went to number 1 on the New Zealand music charts.[18] According to Morris's brother Rikki Morris, the song was a surprise hit and so the 500 pressed copies sold out, meaning that the single hit number one but could not remain there.[17]

The reworking of the song gave Morris a 1987 RIANZ award for best engineer and a nomination for best producer. The song was accompanied by a video by then-teenager Paul Middleditch that was also nominated for best video and is now considered one of the highlights of New Zealand 80s music-video making.[19]


  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (July 30, 2018). "The Number Ones: Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders' "The Game Of Love"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 12, 2023. ...when they came out firing with "The Game Of Love," a blue-rock ripper...
  2. ^ Breihan, Tom (November 15, 2022). "The Beatles - "I Want To Hold Your Hand". The Number Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal the History of Pop Music. New York: Hachette Book Group. p. 45.
  3. ^ Molanphy, Chris (April 14, 2023). "The British Are Charting Edition". Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia (Podcast). Slate. Retrieved April 29, 2023.
  4. ^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 3, No. 11 May 10, 1965". bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Game of Love". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  6. ^ "Mindbenders single". offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  7. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Rock.co.za. 4 June 1965. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  8. ^ "game of love | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com.
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  10. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 4/17/65". Cashboxmagazine.com.
  11. ^ "Sixties City - Pop Music Charts - Every Week Of The Sixties". Sixtiescity.net.
  12. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1965/Top 100 Songs of 1965". Musicoutfitters.com.
  13. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 25, 1965". Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  14. ^ "IgMusic: Ian Morris". Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  15. ^ "Ian Morris on Musical Chairs: Part 2". Radio New Zealand. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  16. ^ Morris, Ian. "A Tale of Two Snare Drums". IG Music. Archived from the original on May 2, 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Rikki Morris on Musical Chairs". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  18. ^ "Game of Love: Charting". Charts.nz. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  19. ^ "The Game of Love". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 24 October 2012.