340. ‘I Love You Love Me Love’, by Gary Glitter

Anyone fancy a slow dance under the mistletoe, with Gary Glitter…?

I Love You Love Me Love, by Gary Glitter (his 2nd of three #1s)

4 weeks, from 11th November – 9th December 1973

While that mental image takes its time to fade… We settle into a woozy, oozy, slightly boozy, electronic sax riff. (Do electronic saxes exist? If they do, then that’s what leading us on this romantic mystery.) The trademark Glitter drums are there, but slowed right down. They lumber, they plod, they drag you down into the treacle.

Gary’s girl’s parents don’t like him much… We’re still together after all that we’ve been through, They tried to tell you I was not the boy for you, They didn’t like my hair, The clothes I love to wear… Or maybe they were just good judges of character, Gary? Once again, it’s proving difficult for me to judge the man’s music without remembering what he was deep down…

It’s glam rock, but stuck in quicksand, or on strong, strong Quaaludes. I’m not sure I like it all that much, but it’s kind of mesmerising. By the end, it’s basically smothered you into submission. The distorted saxophones and the over-dubbed guitars give me hints of Wizzard but, if they were going for what Wizzard achieved with ‘Angel Fingers’, they’ve fallen well short. In fact, I think we can pinpoint here the exact moment that glam rock started edging from Bowie and Bolan to Mud and Showaddywaddy’s fifties pastiches.

I love you love, You me love me too love, I love you love me love… Adding to the hypnotic effects is that chorus, that title. ‘I Love You Love Me Love’… I mean… It’s like a magic eye picture. You stare at it, trying to work out what it means, where the comma should be, but you go around in circles… ‘I Love You, You Love Me… Love?’

Whatever. You can bet that boys and girls around the country were sidling up to one another in school gyms around the nation at the Christmas dances of 1973, for a shuffle and a snog to this disc. This record entered the charts at number one and, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know how rare an occurrence that was back then. It means Glitter joins Elvis, Cliff, The Beatles and Slade. We might want to forget he ever existed; but we have to note how big he was in this moment.

He has one more chart-topper to come in the new year, before we can move past this slightly awkward elephant in the room. ‘I Love You Love Me Love’ was the 6th best-selling single for the entirety of 1973, despite only being released in early November… But you won’t be hearing it on a radio anytime soon. (Though, if you did enjoy this song, as I think I did – I still can’t quite make my mind up about it – and want a guilt-free means of enjoying it, Joan Jett does a pretty faithful cover, with a video that is peak-1985.)

9 thoughts on “340. ‘I Love You Love Me Love’, by Gary Glitter

  1. I’d never really thought about it until you mentioned it here, but you have a good point about the 50s pastiches beginning to take over from now on. 1973 really was the peak year of glam rock, and I suppose the Slade and Wizzard Yuletide evergreens, plus Sweet’s mighty ‘Teenage Rampage’ were the last triumphant gasp before it all became a little tame. However, Mud’s ‘Tiger Feet’ remains one of the real ‘let’s go wild and who cares’ 24-carat party favourites of all time.

    1. I think listening to them in real time you really notice it. A year back it was Block Buster! and Can the Can, soon it’ll be Tiger Feet (a classic, but still), Alvin Stardust and the Rubettes…

  2. Sold a million, which was very rare in those days. You’re right about the 50’s pastiches overwhelming glam in ’74, and Glitter’s ego went into even-more overdrive with a film and godawful ballad single Remember Me This Way as everyone tried to be Elvis while The Man was churning out rubbish. Nobody did it better than Mud’s Les Gray, retro-glam with a sparkle and sense of humour (see Rocket for Elvis doing Glamrock, it’s an actual Impression of Elvis doing Glamrock which people at the time commented on with a sigh “if only Elvis was doing stuff like this!”)

    1. Elvis doing glam… That would have been something. Though his Vegas-years get-up went a long way to inspiring the glam look, I suppose. (As an aside, some of Glitter’s song titles sound very suspect with the benefit of hindsight… ‘Remember Me This Way’ indeed. And that’s before we mention ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me’ and ‘Doing Alright With the Boys’…)

  3. Pingback: 343. ‘Tiger Feet’, by Mud – The UK Number Ones Blog

  4. I can’t get past Rock -n- Roll Parts I & II.

    Reading above, Elvis “looked” glam but, he was a 50s rocker and a gospel singer. He, like many others after him, go to Vegas just to be able to continue a career that is dying and eat.

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