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Barry White Conducts An Instrumental Smash

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In 1974, the colour of the charts was definitely white. Barry White, to be precise, who had burst into the bestsellers as an artist in his own right (after years of paying dues during the 1960s) with ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby.’ By early ’74, he was everywhere, not just with his own new hit ‘Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up’ but as the leader of the Love Unlimited Orchestra, whose instrumental ‘Love’s Theme’ hit No. 1 on the US pop chart on 9 February that year.

White’s introduction to many record-buyers had come as the mentor and instigator for the female group Love Unlimited, who had a top 20 US and UK hit in 1972 with ‘Walkin’ In The Rain With The One I Love.’ Their Supremes-style delivery accompanied by lush orchestration proved a winner, and now as White continued his chart onslaught with his own patented, deeply sensual soul style, ‘Love’s Theme’ was the perfect complement. It featured a 40-piece orchestra conducted by…of course, big bad Barry himself.

Barry White Love Unlimited Orchestra Love's Theme LP

The track was part of Love Unlimited’s Under The Influence Of… album, which itself went to No. 3 in the US and was certified gold. On that LP, the instrumental was really a “warm-up” to the female trio’s ‘I’m Under The Influence Of Love,’ but radio DJs, sensing a hit, went for ‘Love’s Theme’ in its own right, prompting its release as a single. How right they were: it topped the pop chart on this date in ’74, replacing Barbra Streisand’s ‘The Way We Were.’ A week later, the orchestra’s own album Rhapsody In White, also featuring the hit, entered the charts, making No. 2 R&B.

Soon, White would resume his own chart campaign, with another major hit in ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe’ and then, before the end of the year, a UK No. 1 with ‘You’re The First, The Last, My Everything.’ And “unlimited” was the word in every sense: 1974 was also the year that Barry married Love Unlimited member Glodean James.

Purchase ‘Love’s Theme’ on The Best Of Love Unlimited Orchestra here.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ana Maria da Silva

    February 10, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Thanks I like to hear more!

  2. Julia Gillard

    February 11, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I remember one I particular track and the lyrics were lets get it on its time to get down with amazing as usual instrumental sounds and Love Unlimited girls backing Darling Barry White xxxx

  3. Julia Gillard

    February 11, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I remember one I particular track and the lyrics were lets get it on its time to get down with amazing as usual instrumental sounds and Love Unlimited girls backing Darling Barry White xxxx

  4. Bobby hope

    February 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    i do love his music

  5. f.a.k. lateef-adeleye esq.

    February 14, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    barry white is the real deal. listen to IT’S ECSTASY WHEN I LIE DOWN NEXT TO YOU and you will know what i mean. it’s simply sweet and superb.

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