386. ‘I Love to Love’, by Tina Charles

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…


21 thoughts on “386. ‘I Love to Love’, by Tina Charles

  1. I loved this one at the time, but it’s charmed have dimmed a bit with the years and the follow-ups took the shine off it a bit. Plus side, it’s another Biddu chart-topper (Kung Fu Fighting was the last one) but I kinda prefer the Biddu Orchestra’s disco hit version of Summer Of ’42, and Tina Charles’ vocal on the 5,000 Volts I’m On Fire hit which set her up for a solo career (Tina’s vocal was mimed to by a pretty blonde on Top Of The Pops). That single was a worldwide hit, including in the USA, and could be said to be “frantic” and “histrionic” fairly (but in a fab way) 🙂

    Plus, yeah, lyrics of I Love To Love – disco Band Of Gold anyone? 🙂

  2. She has a great voice…I’ll give her that. The song is not as DISCO as it could have been…it has a little skip beat. I never heard of her or the song.

    off topic: I know the show was before your time but have you ever seen the Sweeney? I already hit up popchartfreak today lol.

  3. I wonder if the Bee Gees heard this song. This is damn close to If I Can’t Have You, sung by Yvonne Elliman (Saturday Night Fever soundtrack). It’s got the same down drum beats. It has some disco elements, though I wouldn’t classify it as such. It does have the standard guitar “scratch” sounds prevalent in soul and disco. She does have a pretty voice.

  4. Pingback: Recap: #361 – #390 – The UK Number Ones Blog

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