Nov 29, 2020

We are the music breakers: You Got The Love

You Got The Love record covers

In 1991, Candi Staton's You Got The Love got to number four in the UK charts. You know the track because as soon as it opens with her "sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in air", everyone looks at everyone else and shouts "tuuuune!"

I never realised at the time, but this was probably my first introduction to Frankie Knuckles, the 1991 hit being a bootleg of a Staton acapella set over Knuckles' track Your Love, itself a beefed up mix of the Jamie Principle original.

That's not the reason why I'm writing this blog post. Fast forward to 1997, and a giddy remix of You Got The Love got to number 3 in the charts, surpassing the original. This Now Voyager version, all chunky breaks and happy piano, was a cracker. I was so excited about this new mix that I rushed into town to get a copy on vinyl.

There's something you need to know about me. I am an idiot. I have a spectacular knack at fouling things up. That's not to say that my purchase of this thrilling new remix didn't mostly succeed: the bus into town did not fall off a cliff, the shop assistant in HMV was fully clothed, and the record didn't turn into a pumpkin before I got home.

I turn on my record player. I take the record out of the sleeve. I fumble. The disc catches the corner of the record player. A side of the record shatters, a big triangular shard falling onto the floor. My purchase is ruined before I've played a note.

In those days, of course, it's not as if I could jump onto Spotify or look up the track on YouTube. We didn't have home internet back then. We only had books and newspapers and gruel. We didn't even have Channel 5, if you can imagine such a state of affairs.

I can still picture myself holding the record for a short while in disbelief at the stupid thing I had just done. It was barely a tap. Maybe it would still play? Can I go back into town and get another one? What do I do now? Is the next six minutes of silence somehow a judgement on my ability to mess things up?

And so now, whenever those lyrics begin – "sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, I know I can count on you" – I turn to people and say "tune" but I also think of that simple mistake. I also think of my ability not to take these small things too seriously: I'm at peace with my idiocy.

As Candi herself says:

Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough
And things go wrong no matter what I do
Now and then something something something, the sound of a needle scraping
But you've got the love I need to see me through

Buyer beware: this man's an idiot (2010)

Further Fats: A creative meltdown means horrible bowls and don't you forget it (2012)

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