Number 1s Blog 5th Anniversary Special – Readers’ Favourite #1s – ‘Everlasting Love’

In the five years that I’ve been writing these blog posts, I’ve covered thirty-five years of the singles chart, and 615 #1 singles. Which means that we are pretty much exactly halfway between 1952 and 2023! We’re not quite halfway through all the chart-toppers, however, as turnover between #1s really sped up in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Around 800 songs stand between us and February 2023.

Anyway, on to today’s guest writer: Max from PowerPop blog. His blog is a treasure trove of pop culture – music, films, TV shows and more, from the ’60s, 70’s and beyond. I’ve discovered so many cool songs from following his blog, and would recommend that you do so too… If you aren’t already! He’s has chosen Love Affair’s 1968 smash, ‘Everlasting Love’. Take it away, Max…

‘Everlasting Love’, by Love Affair – #1 for 2 weeks in 1968

First, it’s an honor to guest host on this wonderful blog! I have discovered many #1 songs that I never knew existed. It’s been a lot of fun going through history with UK #1s blog. I like learning about songs I like and dislike… The more trivial knowledge I can stuff in my brain the better. I like to give its creator a lot of good-natured fun over my dislike of (I even hate typing the name!) Madonna. I always look forward to commenting here.

I was looking through this blog in 2020 and I noticed this song and it hit me hard. It starts in with a cannon shot from the drums and that bass. I’ve been a bass player for a long time and I would love to get that sound now. I was struck on how modern the sound was, along with how Steve Ellis looked like he came from now not 1968. He didn’t look like he was old enough to drive… much less 18 years old. 

This version was much better than the Carl Carlton version I knew. I’m American and knew nothing about Steve Ellis and Love Affair. This version is not as slick, and it punches you in the face in the intro. The video intrigued me as well. The video is very 1960s with what is going on. The lingering flower power along with some 1920s thrown in. It has a nice vibe to it… the Charlie Chaplin girl and the other girl who are dancing around posters of Jimi Hendrix and LBJ… pure sixties. It makes you feel like you are there.

When you look back to 1968 and the music at that time… it was everywhere on the map. You had rootsy music, as in The Band. The Beatles and Stones also shed their psychedelic stuff for more pure music without the studio tricks. Other bands still explored psychedelic, folk, country rock, hard rock, and pop. The sixties had some of the best pop songs of any decade. This is one of those great pop songs.

Only Steve Ellis played on this recording. Studio musicians did the rest. Love Affair went onto achieve five more UK Top 20 hits on which the entire band did get to perform. ‘Everlasting Love’ peaked at #1 in the UK in 1968. It was written by Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden. It was originally recorded by Ray Knight and peaked at #40 in the UK, and at #13 in the Billboard 100 in 1967. Steve Ellis: “The general opinion seemed to be that I should do it with an orchestra and then give it a Phil Spector-type production. Obviously, I felt odd without the band being in the studio but it was for the good of all involved. Two takes and it was done. The band were not too concerned about this approach to things.”


243. ‘Everlasting Love’, by The Love Affair

As the new year chimes ring, the musicologists of Britain gather to ponder what the ‘sound of’ the coming year will be. The BBC even runs a ‘Sound Of’ poll every January – recent winners including Adele, Sam Smith and, um, 50 Cent. Anyway… the point being that if you were to wonder what the ‘sound of’ 1968 might be, you could do worse than checking out this next #1.


Everlasting Love, by The Love Affair (their 1st and only #1)

2 weeks, from 31st January – 14th February 1968

Because ‘Everlasting Love’ sounds very sixties – you could place it straight away – but it also sounds fresh and new, an update on what’s gone before. It’s soulful, with heavy hints of Motown, and a loveable garage feel to it. And it’s a record that blasts in at full speed…

We soar on drums, and horns, and then a very funky bass riff. Hearts go astray, Leaving hurt when they go… The singer has ended things too early with his love, and now he’s begging to be taken back. Open up your eyes, Then you’ll realise, Here I stand with my, Everlasting love… It’s the hit single equivalent of someone standing drunk under your window at 2am… Need you by my side, Girl to be my bride…

But whereas someone singing drunkenly under your window at 2am is rarely a pleasant experience, ‘Everlasting Love’ is a lot of fun. It’s a relentless disc, one that grabs you and brings you along with it, never once letting up. You could accuse it of being cheesy, and a little saccharine, but you can’t get a word in. So you give up and just enjoy the ride. It’s that kind of song. It’s basically one big chorus from start to finish.

The most interesting bits of the song are musical – the little fills in-between lines. The blasts of horn, the bass and the drum rolls, and the snatch of what sounds like a flute and a triangle (I’m probably very wrong about that) before the glorious fade-out. ‘Everlasting Love’ was originally recorded in a Motown style by Robert Knight, in the US. Listen to his version here – it’s good, but doesn’t have anywhere near as much Ooomph as the Love Affair version.


The Love Affair were yet another British soul group, following in the steps of Georgie Fame, The Foundations and The Small Faces. I listed the Small Faces last there as Love Affair’s lead singer, Steve Ellis, sounds a lot like Steve Marriot. The band later admitted that Ellis was the only member to actually feature on this recording – all the instruments were played by session musicians. Controversy! But, we are not here to judge how ‘real’ a record is. We are here to enjoy, and this is a very enjoyable record regardless of who played on it.

Love Affair had a few more Top 10s – this was their first big hit – before fading from view as the decade ended. Ellis left in 1969 and the rest split up in the early seventies. ‘Everlasting Love’ has made more of a lasting impression – it’s been a Top 40 hit, in a variety of versions, in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s. Sadly, it seems that it couldn’t be revived in the 2010s…

So, after a bit of a false start from Georgie Fame and two infamous serial killers, 1968 is a go-go. I can’t quite explain it, but there’s something very forward-facing and modern sounding about this disc, something that says ‘Welcome to the late-sixties!’ And I’m here for it!