Following straight on from The Four Seasons and their night of romance, we are hitting a disco groove once more. Tina Charles brings us another tale of passion; a tale of two passions, even. She loves a boy, but he only wants to boogie…
I Love to Love, by Tina Charles (her 1st and only #1)
3 weeks, from 29th February – 21st March 1976
I love to love, But my baby just loves to dance… Not only that: he wants to, he has to, he needs to dance! It’s not a subtle song – when was disco ever subtle? – but even for its genre this record is upfront and in your face. The chorus is feel-good, the strings swirl, there are key changes a plenty and a hook hidden around every corner.
The minute, The band begins to swing it, He’s on his feet to dig it! As with ‘December 1963’ (and its tale of premature ejaculation, lest we forget), I can’t help reading a bit of a subtext into this one too. Oh I love to love, But there’s no time for our romance… Tina, honey, if your man rushes to the dance floor the minute you suggest a kiss and a cuddle, then maybe, you know… You’re not his type?
Charles’ vocals are quite full on – she clearly had a great time recording this single – and the lyrics are jam-packed in. I’m not sure I could listen to this very often, as catchy as it is. I’m particularly unconvinced by the echoing effect in the bridge as the lines come thick and fast. By the end she’s whooping, because why not, and the pitch continues to rise up and up… It needs a bit of time to breathe, this one; by the end of its three minutes you feel a little like you’ve been bashed around the head by a disco ball, and inhaled a lungful of glitter.
Still, this was a huge smash hit around Europe (not once but twice, thanks to a remix a decade later) and it has an undeniable chorus I feel I’ve always known. Tina Charles had a couple of further Top 10 hits, after ‘I Love to Love’ had launched her to the top of the charts. She had been active since the late sixties, though, recording with Elton John and featuring uncredited on other disco singles. She even featured on an earlier #1 – Steve Harley’s ‘Come Up and See Me’ – as a backing singer. But this one was by far her biggest hit, and she certainly sang the life out of it. Take it away, Tina…