Who knew there were so many songs called Love On The Rocks? I thought that after Neil Diamond released his famous song of that title on the soundtrack for The Jazz Singer they would retire it like an athlete’s number, but I was wrong. Several artists used that title after Neil, and even he didn’t come up with it (unless you assume that he didn’t know about Julie London’s Love On The Rocks, released in 1963).
When I started digging into the topic, I had Neil, Poison, and The Darkness to work with. I went on Spotify to see what other rocky loves might exist and they just kept popping up. I figured most of them would be Neil Diamond covers, but they weren’t. They were originals, covering all kinds of styles from nightclub jazz to hard rock to electronica. It seems both heartache and drowning sorrows are universal. They are the ties that bind us by era, by genre, by experience.
You’ll want to know which of the ten songs I highlighted is my favourite. That’s very hard to say. They are all so different in style and tone. I have sentimental connections to Poison’s Love On The Rocks. I kind of like Harlequin’s Love On The Rocks. I’m obsessed with The Darkness these days, so that clouds my judgment. Push comes to shove, I probably like Julie London’s sultry jazz song the best. It’s so evocative. It’s so romantic. It takes you to a place, and even if it’s a delusion to think I’d be hanging around old Hollywood were I alive back in the day, it still puts me there and I like it. I’m all class, kids. Don’t let the hairstyle fool you.
Of course, if this episode flies, it opens up Pandora’s proverbial box in terms of other shared titles we might explore. Let’s see what people think.
Speaking of The Darkness, one of the reasons I did this episode was so I could have an excuse to talk about their debut album, Permission To Land. I won’t reiterate here what I said on the show, but it’s an absolutely fabulous rock and roll record that came out in a time (2003) when people just weren’t doing fun, swaggery guitar rock anymore. Listen to the first five tracks and marvel. Then listen to the song Holding My Own, which is the greatest rock and roll love ballad from the ‘80s that wasn’t released in the ‘80s. Once in a while I just get obsessed with a song and right now that song is my obsession. Such a great melody, such a great chorus, such great guitar work and sounds, such great vocals. What a great song on a great album. If you haven’t listened to Permission To Land and you were a rock fan in the ‘70s and ‘80s, do so. The spirit lives on.
Again with the In Memoriams this week. Last time around it was Michael Bloodgood. This week it’s fair Olivia herself. Olivia Newton-John is a icon. You don’t need me to tell you about her. She lived a pretty incredible life, and her great gift to me was the song Magic, which you know by now is one of my all-time favourites. Accordingly, I shall include it in this week’s goodies, along with Holding My Own.
If you want to hear all of the various Loves On The Rocks, visit the John Huff Podcast Referenced On The Podcast 2022 playlist here. Then let me know which ones you like best! You can also contact me here to tell me what you’re listening to, offer show ideas, or just say hello.
Thanks as ever for listening!
Olivia Newton-John – Magic
The Darkness – Holding My Own