466. ‘Feels Like I’m in Love’, by Kelly Marie

Grab something tight, get the hairspray out, down your Lambrini… We’re off to the dancin’.

Feels Like I’m in Love, by Kelly Marie (her 1st and only #1)

2 weeks, 7th – 21st September 1980

This is a pure sugar-rush of a song, a blast of amyl in your nostrils. The beats-per-minute are up, the synths are heavy, the bass is funky… There are times when a track like this sounds cheap and tacky; but there are others when this might just sound like the best thing ever recorded.

It’s also a song that doesn’t waste any time in getting going. Quick crescendo, a glissando, then boom. My head is in a spin, My feet don’t touch the ground… Kelly Marie is in love: spinning head, shaking knees, heart beating like a drum. Well, she’s either in love, or off her tits on disco biscuits. Whatever. She’s having a great time, and that’s the main thing.

This is pure disco, in one sense, and it had been recorded at the genre’s peak, well over a year before becoming a hit. We have Kelly Marie’s homeland to thank for the song’s eventual success. She’s fae Paisley, and the record had been popular in Scottish clubs long before it took off nationally. (Dance music is, for whatever reason, always more popular on the Scottish charts, to this day.) Plus, somehow this sounds exactly like a disco record from Paisley should. And I mean that as a compliment. Probably. It feels like the dance music of the future, too, though: it’s got the pace of Hi-NRG, and the trashy aesthetic of the Stock Aitken Waterman to come.

I have to admit I love the kitschy little details here: the ‘aaahs’, the ‘ch-chs’ and, most of the all, the ‘pew-pew’ heartbeats, which are the tackiest sound effects to feature in a #1 single since Anita Ward’s bell. There are also horns, though only in one version, which I don’t think was the original. (I’ll link to it here, because as with The Jam’s ‘Start!’, the horns only improve things further.)

‘Feels Like I’m in Love’ has an interesting history to it. It was written by Ray Dorset, the lead singer-songwriter of Mungo Jerry. They recorded it in 1977, but it was only ever released as the ‘B’-side to a Belgian single. Theirs is a much more sedate version, lacking in sound effects, and if you struggle to imagine Mungo Jerry performing this song, then get your head around that fact that Dorset wanted to pitch it to Elvis! I’d pay good money to hear that. Sadly, the King died before he could get round to it. Happily, some genius on YouTube has recorded his take on what it may have sounded like, and it is… something.

Kelly Marie also had a long route to the top, where her stay was brief. She’d had a few hits in Europe, including a #1 in France, and would have a few smaller hits after this. Her biggest hit was remixed and re-released in 1990, but that version has had something sapped out of it. The original ‘Feels Like I’m in Love’ is her legacy to the world and, to be fair, there are far worse legacies to leave than this fun slice of Paisley-disco.

13 thoughts on “466. ‘Feels Like I’m in Love’, by Kelly Marie

  1. In effect, this was the first hi-NRG smash hit. Over-the-top maybe, but in the best possible way and it presses all the right buttons. Not only that, but Ray Dorset used a 12-bar blues chord sequence for the tune – as he did on ‘In The Summertime’. If you want a listen to his original demo – which is pretty well the same version as the one released in Europe, and later on an album in the UK – go here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EFW02xf7-4&t=35s. I thought that Elvis ‘version’ was brilliant, too – comparable to the spoof ‘Mouldy Old Quo’ also on Youtube.

    • Bit of cheesy fun this one, and the image of the 2 backing dancers in white leotards on top of the pops is ingrained in my mind, as by this time i was recording highlights from the show on expensive videotape and playing them a lot. I wouldnt call it my fave dance track of 1980 though…:)

      • Ooh theres a question…! Abba lay all your love in me came out on super trouper in 1980 and is flawless. You gave me love crown heights affair. Upside down diana ross. Messages omd is synth dance perfection. Blondie? Funkytown? Abba is the best tho, even if it was a 1981 12 inch only single…. 🙂

  2. Maybe it was her accent but I could have sworn she said “heart beating like a drone”….I’m like what?
    Ah disco biscuits…Rorer 714…I’ll take one please. I missed the boat on them…I was too young dammit.

      • I’m not a drug guy…BUT…that is one I wish I could have just tried! Half the house wives in America were on them lol.
        Yes it does…I had to listen to it a few times. I have to admit…it is a catchy song regardless of the disco.

  3. I’ve never heard this, before or heard of her. “…off her tits on disco biscuits…” Do WHAT? Translate, please.

    When I saw her name, I immediately thought of our Teena Marie. They are about the same age, with Teena (or Mary Christine Brockert) being about 18 months older. She died young…only 54.

    Not fond of this. Makes my teeth hurt.

  4. Pingback: Recap: #451 – #480 – The UK Number Ones Blog

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