|Single by Robert Knight|
|from the album Everlasting Love|
|Studio||Fred Foster Sound Studio|
|Songwriter(s)||Buzz Cason, Mac Gayden|
|Producer(s)||Buzz Cason, Mac Gayden|
|Robert Knight singles chronology|
"Everlasting Love" is a song written by Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, originally a 1967 hit for Robert Knight and since remade numerous times, most successfully by the Love Affair, as well as Town Criers, Carl Carlton, Sandra, and Gloria Estefan. The original version of "Everlasting Love" was recorded by Knight in Nashville, with Cason and Gayden aiming to produce it in a Motown style reminiscent of the Four Tops and the Temptations. When released as a single, the song reached No. 13 on the US chart in 1967. Subsequently, the song has reached the US Top 40 three times, most successfully as performed by Carl Carlton, peaking at No. 6 in 1974, with more moderate success by the duo Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet (No. 32 in 1981) and Gloria Estefan (No. 27 in 1995).
In the UK, "Everlasting Love" was covered by the Love Affair: with a standout vocal performance by Steve Ellis it achieved No. 1 status in January 1968. That version eclipsed the Robert Knight original, which stalled at No. 40, although the latter was reissued in 1974 and reached No. 19 in the UK. Also in 1968, a cover by the Australian group Town Criers reached No. 2 in the Australian charts. Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet's 1981 version reached No. 35 in the UK, and in the 1990s "Everlasting Love" reached the UK Top 20 three times via remakes by Worlds Apart (No. 20 in 1993), Gloria Estefan (No. 19 in 1995) and, most successfully, a charity single by the cast from Casualty that reached No. 5 in 1998. In 2004, Jamie Cullum's version peaked at No. 20.
Thus, "Everlasting Love" is one of two songs to become a Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s (the other being "The Way You Do the Things You Do") and the only song to become a UK Top 40 hit in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, always – with the exception of the 1980s – reaching the UK Top 20. In 1987, the rendition of "Everlasting Love" by German singer Sandra reached the Top 20 in at least eight territories, going Top 10 in five. Her version also reached UK No. 45 in early 1989, affording "Everlasting Love" its second UK Top 50 incarnation of the decade. The versions of the song by Love Affair, Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet, Worlds Apart, and Gloria Estefan also saw multinational chart action which was especially strong for the Love Affair version.
"Everlasting Love" was remade for the country music market by Narvel Felts would make the song a major C&W hit in 1979, reaching No. 14 on the Billboard C&W chart; a concurrent remake by Louise Mandrell peaked at No. 69 on C&W. Just prior to the release of Jamie Cullum's 2004 version, Buzz Cason theorized on his composition's appeal: "It's an uplifting song, with a real positive feeling, and it's danceable. I think people get a lift from it. When it comes to that chorus it just really lets go."
The original version of "Everlasting Love" was recorded at Fred Foster Sound Studio in Nashville. According to Cason, the track "had some different sounds on it that, for the time period, were kind of innovative. The string sound is actually a Farfisa organ that Mac came up with, and we used a lot of echo." Robert Knight recalls: "Buzz was into country [music] but Mac was R&B... so we made it more of an R&B song like the rhythm and melody Mac had. I practiced and practiced on with Mac, as he had written the song for my voice and made it mine. Mac used his bandmates: [drummer] Kenny Buttrey, [bassist] Norbert Putnam, Charlie McCoy and himself on guitar." The background vocals on the song were performed by Buzz Cason and Carol Montgomery. Robert Knight recalls that he heard "Everlasting Love" for the first time at the actual recording session: "I didn't sing it the [as] written[:] I made some changes to fit my voice, and I didn't do it note for note. They had the melody going too fast, and it was jamming, it wasn't doing right, it wasn't sounding right. So I started what you call a steady step. I start singing a beat and a half: 'hearts-go-a-stray' – like that. It wasn't like that in the beginning, and I think that's what got 'Everlasting Love' off the ground."
|Mac Gayden (composer) on "Everlasting Love"|
|The story of "Everlasting Love" began when I was playing with a band at the Phi Delta fraternity house at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. During a break in our set, we came outside and heard this fantastic voice singing down the street. So we ran down to the Kappa Sigma house to see who it was, and the singer, who was Robert Knight of course, was just going on his break. I told him 'I need to take you into the studio' and of course he just looked at me like 'What the hell? Get out of my face!' But it turned out there was a connection between my family and his, so eventually I did take him into a studio. And I introduced him to Buzz Cason, and Buzz and I wrote "Everlasting Love" especially for Robert's voice. It's something very special when you custom-write a song for an artist, it's a phenomenal thing. I think that's one reason the song's proved so popular over the years.
But the story actually starts a long time before that, when I was just five years old. I used to play on my grandmother's piano and I came up with this simple little melody, almost like a lullaby, and that's the melody that the horns and the Farfisa organ play on "Everlasting Love". I'd always known I'd use that melody somewhere along the line! To this day I make a point of recording all my musical ideas. I have hundreds and hundreds of tapes all over the house, I keep everything – it's like having a giant catalogue of melodies to draw on.
I think the other reason the song has been so successful, is that it was definitely written to be catchy and singable – when we came to write the chorus, I had in mind for it be almost like a chant. It was one of the first songs to have one of those repetitious R&B-style chants.
Although Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden had written "Everlasting Love" to serve as the B-side for their composition "The Weeper" which Robert Knight would record the next day, the hit potential of "Everlasting Love" was evident at the end of that recording session, and it was the last-named song which was issued as Knight's single in July 1967. "The Weeper" would in fact never be released, the track "Somebody's Baby" serving as the B-side for "Everlasting Love".
Debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 dated September 30, 1967, "Everlasting Love" had already reached No. 1 in Philadelphia and Detroit by the time of its Top 40 debut on October 21, 1967. Cason admitted that the single "drove ... the promotion guys nuts since it hit in one market then several weeks later pop up somewhere else." The track spent its second week at its Hot 100 peak of No. 13 on the chart dated November 25, 1967 then dropped off the Hot 100 over the next three weeks. The R&B chart peak of "Everlasting Love" was No. 14. In its original release, Knight's "Everlasting Love" lost out in the UK to a cover by Love Affair, although Knight's version did spend two weeks at No. 40 UK in January 1968. In the spring of 1974, Knight's "Everlasting Love" had a second UK release to follow up the Top Ten success of the reissue of Knight's "Love on a Mountain Top"; this time the first-named track reached No. 19.
An airplay staple on American oldies radio stations (though less so than the 1974 Carl Carlton version), Knight's "Everlasting Love" has become a "cult favorite" of the beach music scene. In a 2011 interview, Buzz Cason stated that the Robert Knight original of "Everlasting Love" remained Cason's favorite version of the song: "I just think Robert's was the one [version] that had the magic in it."
|Single by the Love Affair|
|from the album The Everlasting Love Affair|
|B-side||"Gone Are the Songs of Yesterday"|
|Released||December 8, 1967|
|Songwriter(s)||Buzz Cason, Mac Gayden|
|Producer(s)||Mike Smith, Keith Mansfield|
|The Love Affair singles chronology|
"Everlasting Love" was recorded by Love Affair in 1967. According to the band's lead vocalist Steve Ellis: "We had two managers, David Wedgebury and John Cokell, who both worked at Decca [and] had access to all the imports on the Monument label. We rehearsed in a factory in Walthamstow and one night they turned up with 'Everlasting Love' by Robert Knight. I loved it and so we set about putting it down on tape." Muff Winwood produced the original Love Affair version of "Everlasting Love" which was recorded at Island Studios and featured the group's actual members: Island Records passed on releasing the track but CBS in-house producer Mike Smith - after failing to interest his regular clients Marmalade in recording the song (which Marmalade deemed "too poppy") - cut a new Love Affair version of "Everlasting Love".
The second Love Affair recording of "Everlasting Love" in fact featured only one member of the group: lead vocalist Steve Ellis who fronted a session ensemble comprising arranger/conductor Keith Mansfield's 40-piece orchestra plus a rhythm section, the session musicians including Peter Ahern (triangle percussion), Clem Cattini (drums), Alan Parker (guitar), Russ Stableford (bass), and a chorale comprising Madeline Bell, Kiki Dee, Lesley Duncan, and Kay Garner: the track was recorded in two takes. Mike Smith would eventually attribute the non-utilization of the actual musicians in Love Affair to the need for expediency, arguing that "there just wasn't time for the group to learn the arrangement in time, so we used session musicians", a UK release for the Robert Knight original version being imminent.
Debuting on the UK Top 50 dated January 2, 1968, "Everlasting Love" by the Love Affair rose to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for a two-week stay that February. The track was also a Top 20 hit in a number of other European countries in 1968.
When the Love Affair appeared on the ITV programme Good Evening I'm Jonathan King host Jonathan King asked group bassist Mick Jackson if the band had actually played on their hit recording of "Everlasting Love" and Jackson admitted the track had featured Ellis backed by session musicians. Steve Ellis has stated that Jonathan King was aware of the background of the Love Affair hit and ambushed Mick Jackson to invoke controversy, although Jackson would state: "We announced it ourselves because there were rumours about it in the business and we heard a Sunday newspaper was going to blow the story". Jackson also stated: "At first we didn’t worry that much when the story about us not playing came out... Then the thing escalated and people all over the place started slagging us. We got to regard it as a terrible nuisance, every time we opened a paper there was someone having a go at the Love Affair." The bad press had little if any negative impact on the band's popularity: their follow-up to "Everlasting Love": "Rainbow Valley" - another Cason/Gayden composition introduced by Robert Knight - reached No. 5 UK and the additional success of "A Day Without Love" (No. 6) made Love Affair the UK's top group in singles sales for 1968, apart from the Beatles. (The Love Affair singles continued to feature Ellis fronting a session ensemble with no other group members participating.)
All of these singles were released by CBS in the label's native United States on its Date Records subsidiary. However, despite their popularity in Europe, none of the Love Affair's singles charted in the US.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||12|
|Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)||15|
|Belgium (Ultratop Wallonia)||31|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||13|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||12|
|New Zealand (Listener)||4|
|Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade)||6|
|UK Singles (OCC)||1|
|West Germany (Media Control)||12|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
|Single by Carl Carlton|
|from the album Everlasting Love|
|B-side||"I Wanna Be Your Main Squeeze"|
|Studio||Creative Workshop, Berry Hill, Tennessee|
|Label||Back Beat (BB 27001)|
|Songwriter(s)||Buzz Cason, Mac Gayden|
|Producer(s)||Papa Don Schroeder, Tommy Cogbill|
|Carl Carlton singles chronology|
Carl Carlton recorded "Everlasting Love" in October 1973 at the Berry Hill (Tenn) studio Creative Workshop, which was owned by Buzz Cason; however, Cason was not involved in the recording of Carlton's version - the singer had himself chosen to record "Everlasting Love", which he knew via the version on David Ruffin's 1969 album My Whole World Ended. Produced by Papa Don Schroeder and Tommy Cogbill, Carlton's cover features Hayward Bishop on drums and percussion, Cogbill on bass, and Reggie Young on guitar. The recording was engineered by Travis Turk. The track features a distinctive countermelody running through most of the song consisting of background vocal harmonies. Brenda Russell is among the background vocalists.
Carlton's original recording of "Everlasting Love" was issued as the B-side of the 1973 single "I Wanna Be Your Main Squeeze"; the track (i.e. "Everlasting Love") was then issued in July 1974 as an A-side after having been given a disco style remix, and became a discothèque favorite before breaking on the Hot 100 in September 1974 to proceed to a No. 6 peak that November, almost reaching the R&B Top 10 at No. 11.
Carlton's version of "Everlasting Love" is the most successful US release of the song. It remains an airplay favorite on American oldies radio stations. According to Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), the 1974 Carl Carlton version has been played more than 4 million times. One of the earliest pop hits to crossover from disco airplay, Carlton's "Everlasting Love" is a staple of disco compilations, including the second installment of the Pure Disco CD compilation series.
|Single by Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet|
|from the album |
|B-side||"Still Thinking of You", "Billy and the Gun"|
|Studio||Record Plant (NYC)|
|Length||3:44 (single edit 3:29)|
|Songwriter(s)||Mac Gayden, Buzz Cason|
|Rex Smith singles chronology|
|Rachel Sweet singles chronology|
"Everlasting Love" was recorded as a duet by Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet. This version features revised lyrics including an additional verse of uncredited authorship which was approved by the song's composers and which would be retained by Sandra for her 1987 remake. Recorded at the Record Plant (NYC) and featured on both Smith's Everlasting Love album and Sweet's ...And Then He Kissed Me, "Everlasting Love" as a single featured a two-track B-side featuring Smith's "Still Thinking of You" and Sweet's "Billy and the Gun", respectively taken from each singer's album cited above.
Both Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet were on the roster of Columbia Records with the album ...And Then He Kissed Me marking Sweet's label debut subsequent to two album releases on the new wave oriented Stiff label: according to Sweet, upon submitting the tracks intended to comprise her first album for Columbia - all original songs produced by Pete Solley - she'd been told: "we'd like you to cut some more songs. And we'd like it if they weren't yours." (Sweet would typify the "outside material" which would eventually appear on ...And Then He Kissed Me as "lighter and more overtly commercial than her own songs".) Smith meanwhile had recorded a solo remake of "Everlasting Love" intended for his album produced by Rick Chertoff - then best known for his work with Air Supply - and after Rachel Sweet's manager (and father) Dick Sweet learned of Smith's recording of the song, arrangements were made for "Everlasting Love" to be recorded as a duet: Chertoff remained as producer of this version which was the first "outside" track recorded for ...And Then He Kissed Me, and on the basis of his work on the Smith/Sweet version of "Everlasting Love", Chertoff was invited by Dick Sweet to record four additional tracks with Sweet which, with "Everlasting Love" and four of the tracks from the Peter Solley sessions, would eventually comprise the ...And Then He Kissed Me album.
The single was released in June 1981 in the US, July in the UK, and August in Australia. With neither Smith nor Sweet being a strong Top 40 force - Smith's solitary Billboard Hot 100 single had been "You Take My Breath Away" (No. 10 in 1979) while Sweet had yet to rank on the Hot 100 - their collaboration on "Everlasting Love" would only generate qualified chart impact: the single peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1981, affording Sweet her only Top 40 showing and Smith his second and last. It also appeared on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary chart peaking at No. 31. The single was also a mid-chart item in the UK at No. 35; in Australia it reached No. 41 mainly due to its being a local Top 10 hit in Adelaide at No. 9. In 1982, the Smith/Sweet version of "Everlasting Love" became a Top 10 hit in Switzerland and Denmark. The song received a positive review from the Austin American-Statesman which described it as "one of the best [recent hits]... superbly produced with a crystalline intensity [evoking] Phil Spector [classics]. A fine arrangement & the vocal [input] of the incomparable Rachel Sweet make [this] a pure delight."
A promotional video was shot for "Everlasting Love" with Smith and Sweet playing a couple getting married. The singers performed "Everlasting Love" live on the Solid Gold episode aired February 19, 1983: Smith was currently co-hosting the show on which Sweet guested to promote her current single "Voodoo".
|Australia (KMR): 279||41|
|South Africa (Springbok Radio)||11|
|Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade)||9|
|UK Singles (OCC)||35|
|US Billboard Hot 100||32|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||31|
|US Top 100 (Cash Box)||34|
|Single by Sandra|
|from the album Ten on One (The Singles)|
|B-side||"Change Your Mind", "Stop for a Minute"|
|Songwriter(s)||Mac Gayden, Buzz Cason|
|Sandra singles chronology|
German singer Sandra released a cover of "Everlasting Love" in 1987 as the lead single from her first greatest hits compilation Ten on One (The Singles). She was introduced to the song through the Love Affair version; she'd say of the song: "I have always loved it... Even as a little child I heard that song and I said that I would like to sing it sometime." However, for her remake of the song Sandra would use the lyrics of the 1981 Rex Smith/Rachel Sweet duet version. Sandra's version was produced by her partner, Michael Cretu.
The single was a hit in continental Europe in late 1987 and early 1988, reaching the Top 10 in her native Germany, as well as Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Denmark and South Africa . In Germany and Austria, it was also a top 5 airplay hit, and a No. 13 airplay hit in Switzerland. In the pan-European rankings, it reached No. 6 on the sales chart and No. 34 on the airplay chart. In the UK, the song originally only reached No. 88. The track was subsequently acquired by Pete Waterman, who had "Everlasting Love (the PWL mix)" - remixed by Pete Hammond - released in the UK in the summer of 1988 to barely improve on the original's UK chart performance with a No. 79 peak. However, "Everlasting Love (the PWL mix)" re-entered the UK chart in December 1988 to rise as high as No. 45 in January 1989, while in its Australian release, it reached the Adelaide hit parade at No. 21 and had a national chart showing of No. 72. In the US, "Everlasting Love (the PWL mix)" rose as high as No. 22 on the Billboard maxi single sales chart. The PWL mix of "Everlasting Love" was showcased on an Everlasting Love album, which was released in December 1988 only in the UK and the US. Besides "Everlasting Love (the PWL mix)", the album comprised the original versions of several of Sandra's European hits. The song remains one of Sandra's most successful singles and has reportedly sold in around three million units.
The track was re-recorded as a ballad for Sandra's 2006 album Reflections.
The music video for the song was directed by DoRo (Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher). It pictures Sandra and Austrian model Rupert Weber as lovers in different periods of world history, beginning with Adam and Eve being tempted by a snake in the Garden of Eden. They then impersonate Cleopatra and her lover, continuing with, among others, a medieval couple, a woman saying good-bye to her husband embarking on a war as a Grande Armée soldier in the early 19th century, interwar gangster couple, 1940s lovers celebrating the end of war, 1960s hippies and flower children, 1970s punks, and 1980s contemporaries. Apart from the regular video set to the 7" edit of the song, an extended version exists which uses the 12" mix and additional making-of video footage. The extended version of the clip was only available on Sandra's VHS video compilation Ten on One (The Singles), released in 1987. The regular version was released on the 1992 video collection 18 Greatest Hits as well as the 2003 DVD The Complete History. In 2016, the extended version was uploaded to Sandra's official YouTube channel.
|West Germany (BVMI)||Gold||250,000|
|Single by Gloria Estefan|
|from the album Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me|
|B-side||"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"|
|Released||January 3, 1995|
|Gloria Estefan singles chronology|
"Everlasting Love" was recorded by American singer and songwriter Gloria Estefan for her 1994 album, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me which comprised remakes of well-known hits. "Everlasting Love" was the second US single following "Turn the Beat Around" (in some territories, including the UK, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" was the album's second single precedent to "Everlasting Love"). The single was first released in the US on January 3, then in Japan on February 1, and worldwide on February 6, 1995. While "Everlasting Love" was not one of Estefan's highest ranking Billboard Hot 100 entrants, it still managed to peak at number 27 in March 1995. However, the single topped the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. In Europe, the single was more successful. In the UK, "Everlasting Love" peaked at number 19 in February 1995 buoyed by a performance by Estefan on February 19, 1995 broadcast of Top of the Pops. The single also peaked at number 12 in Iceland and number 16 in Scotland.
Larry Flick from Billboard described the song as "another dance-charged bauble", noting that it "is given a festive hi-NRG treatment that has clearly inspired Estefan to deliver one of her most relaxed and playful performances to date." Josef Woodard from Entertainment Weekly stated that the singer's "easygoing charms still do the trick" on "Everlasting Love". Australian music channel Max included the version in their list of "1000 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2011. Alan Jones from Music Week said, "It is undoubtedly a great song and Gloria gives it her all, though the regular mix's uninspiring arrangement lets it down a little." John Kilgo from The Network Forty wrote that "it's hard to believe that it's been two decades since Carl Carlton bounced onto the Top 40 scene with this Top-10 tune. Now Estefan sprinkles her "Miami" spice on the classic, updating the dance number with a '90s sound." A reviewer from People Magazine described it as a "technofied take". Phil Shanklin of ReviewsRevues stated that in fact she "reactivates the track into a Disco classic and it is so uplifting that I think her version is the best of all of them."
The music video for "Everlasting Love" was shot at the Sunset Studios in Hollywood, California. Estefan, pregnant with her second child at the time, could not appear in the video. The production team, which included co-directors Tony Minnelli and Paul Lynde (not related to the late actor), along with Estefan, decided to give the video a twist. They selected some of the best drag talent from West Hollywood, California to star in the video. Five appeared as Gloria Estefan, each representing a different stage in Estefan's career. Some notable video cast members include female impersonator Julian Viva, Hollywood Super Club Kids, The Fabulous Wonder Twins, and drag performers Venus D-Lite and Sutan Amrull aka Raja. The latter two later appeared in season 3 of Logo's series RuPaul's Drag Race, in which Sutan Amrull was crowned the winner. Cyndi Lauper has insinuated that the idea of featuring drag performers in the clip was inspired by her own video "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" released a few months earlier.
Gloria Estefan went on to receive an award for the Dance Clip of the Year at the Billboard Music Video Awards in November 1995. The video was so well received worldwide that Estefan decided to add cast members Julian Viva and Willie E. to her Evolution World Tour.