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"Love Is Strong"
Single by the Rolling Stones
from the album Voodoo Lounge
B-side
  • "The Storm"
  • "So Young"
Released4 July 1994 (1994-07-04)[1]
GenreRock
Length3:49
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)Jagger–Richards
Producer(s)
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Jumpin' Jack Flash (Live)"
(1991)
"Love Is Strong"
(1994)
"You Got Me Rocking"
(1994)
Music video
"Love Is Strong" on YouTube

"Love Is Strong" is the opening track, and first single, from English rock band the Rolling Stones' 1994 studio album, Voodoo Lounge. It was moderately successful worldwide, peaking at No. 14 in the band's native United Kingdom and No. 2 in Canada and Finland but stalling at No. 91 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Despite this, it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.

Inspiration and recording

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Love Is Strong" is a brooding number about an encounter between the singer and an unnamed person which leads the singer to a "love/lust at first sight" immediate attraction and longing for the couple to unite despite the obstacles.

Your love is strong and you're so sweet;
You make me hard, you make me weak;
Love is strong and you're so sweet,
And some day, baby, we've got to meet...

What are you scared of, baby?; It's more than just a dream;
I need some time; We make a beautiful team...

The song was written in Ireland by Richards and originally had the name "Love is Strange". Popular bootlegs of the sessions abound, as Ron Wood, Richards, Ivan Neville and producer Don Was worked the song while Jagger was supporting his record Wandering Spirit. Later takes have Richards changing the title to "Love is Strong"; although the final release was significantly altered by Jagger's added lyrics and use of a harmonica, a trademark instrument for him rarely utilized in the Stones' middle period work. Jagger said at the time of its release, "We ran through it a bunch of times and I was playing harmonica, and I started singing through the harmonica mike, so you get this strange sort of sound. And then I started singing down an octave, so you get this kind of breathy, sexy tone... It was good to put harmonica on a track like this. You always think of playing it on a 12-bar blues, and it's kind of fun to put it on one which isn't. It's good to work with another sequence."[2]

Recording began in September 1993 at Wood's home studio in Ireland and continued at A&M Recording Studios in Los Angeles in 1994.

Release

Released as the first single from the album, "Love Is Strong" performed below expectations, barely making it into the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the US. It became the lowest charting first single ever by the band and marked a change in the composition of the singles chart as well as the Stones role on it. Despite this, the song remains one of the band's well-known songs from the 1990s. Five years earlier "Mixed Emotions" was a Top 5 pop chart single. Considerable promotional expense was spent on the Voodoo Lounge CD release, as it was the first on Virgin Records, including a popular music video directed by David Fincher and edited by Robert Duffy at Spot Welders; the black and white video shows giant versions of the Stones, as well as a few residents locked in romantic embraces, rambling about New York City.

The single's weaker-than-expected lead dampened CD sales, despite positive critical reviews and a Grammy Award win for Best Short Form Music Video. In time, the track proved popular in Europe going to No. 14 in the UK and received significant airplay in the US, but only peaked at No. 91 on the Billboard Hot 100. The commercial response in Canada was considerably stronger, where the song reached No. 2 on the RPM Singles Chart on 19 September 1994, behind "You Better Wait" by Journey frontman Steve Perry.

The Rolling Stones performed the song at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. Although it had disappeared from several recent concert tours setlists in favour of the more live friendly "You Got Me Rocking" (the follow-up single from Voodoo Lounge), the Stones reintroduced "Love Is Strong" to their A Bigger Bang Tour setlist on 22 July 2007 at their Brno, Czech Republic show and at their Hamburg show in August.

It was included on their 2002 career compilation album Forty Licks.

Personnel

Track listing

7" single (VS1503)

  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"

Cassette single (VSC1503)

  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"

US cassette single (4 km 38446)

  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"
  3. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Extended Remix)

CD single (VSCDE1503)

  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"

CD – "Special Collectors" edition (VSCDT1503)

  1. "Love Is Strong" (Album Version)
  2. "The Storm"
  3. "So Young"
  4. "Love is Strong" (Bob Clearmountain Remix)

CD – remix edition (VSCDX1503)

  1. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Radio Remix)
  2. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Extended Remix)
  3. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Extended Rock Remix)
  4. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Dub Remix)
  5. "Love Is Strong" (Joe The Butcher Club Remix)
  6. "Love Is Strong" (Teddy Riley Instrumental)

Charts

References

  1. ^ "Single Releases" (PDF). Music Week. 2 July 1994. p. 25. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Love Is Strong". Time Is On Our Side. Retrieved 25 September 2006.
  3. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2599." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11 no. 30. 23 July 1994. p. 11. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  7. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  8. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (4.8.–10.8. '94)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 4 August 1994. p. 16. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 31, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong". VG-lista. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  18. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  19. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  20. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1994". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1994" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 1 December 2018.