Tuesday, 8 September 2009

1988 Phil Collins: A Groovy Kind Of Love

Another number one, and wouldn't you know it, another cover version. 'A Groovy Kind Of Love' was written by Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager. Although much covered, it had only appeared in the UK charts twice before with versions by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (1965), and Les Gray, formerly of Mud (1977).

The Fontana version is probably the closest to definitive, with a reading that suggests the carefree manner of someone wistfully counting their blessings in love. It's over in less than two minutes, and fair play too; being less of a song and more of a throwaway rhyming exercise, there isn't enough of a backbone support anything longer.

Collins's version slows the whole thing down to an echo drenched dirge, doubling the running time in the process and delivering the lyrics with the mock solemnity of someone reading an Agnus Dei. In trying to wring some heartbreak from a source that never had it in the first place, Collins and his whiny vocal do not give the impression that this particular love has any groove in it whatsoever. In fact, it sounds dead and buried. Then again, I think it's fair to say that Collins is not, never has been and never will be my idea of 'groovy'

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