Yvonne Elliman ~ Love Pains 1979 Disco Purrfection Version
I've been dying to do some Yvonne Elliman and "Love Pains", an electronically charged disco tune that utilizes the oscillating synthesizer a la Donna Summer fits the bill. The anthemic song is a far cry from her first hit single "I Don't Know How To Love Him" (#28, 1971) that was from the very popular "Jesus Christ Superstar" rock opera. Elliman, born December 29, 1951 in Honolulu, Hawaii displayed a musical talent from a young age, learning piano from her father while in grade school. She joined a high school vocal group that expanded her horizons and after graduation she moved to work on the London stages. It was at the Pheasantry Club where Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice saw her perform and asked her to sing the part Mary Magdalene for a new rock opera they were working on called "Jesus Christ Superstar". The stage production soon followed and Yvonne took on the part of the fallen woman who was redeemed. Her version of "I Don't Know" was held back and in the interim, the citified tones of Helen Reddy had the hit simply by beating Elliman to the charts, Reddy's version was released 2/20/1971 and Elliman's followed on 4/24/1971. Helen had a #13 pop hit with it and Elliman ended up with a #28 hit. Yvonne moved with the production of Jesus Christ Superstar to New York where she met and married Bill Oakes, an employee of impresario Robert Stigwood. She happened to be at Criteria Studios one day when Eric Clapton was recording his classic "461 Ocean Boulevard" LP, and he asked her to sing backing vocals on "I Shot The Sheriff" his own soon to be #1 pop hit. She was then signed as an artist to RSO Records with the legendary Steve Cropper producing her debut LP "Rising Sun" that produced no hit singles. Her "Love Me" LP was a monster, produced by Freddie Perren, whose careful production framed Yvonne's voice so perfectly with "Love Me", written by the Bee Gees, and the follow up single "Hello Stranger". Yvonne says she loves to sing love ballads as she is a "complete romanticist" and her voice "does not lend itself to screaming" so she jumped at the chance to sing "How Deep Is Your Love", a song written by the Bee Gees specifically for her. Stigwood directed the Bee Gees to record the song, which left Yvonne in the lurch except for an uptempo disco tune the Bee Gees were going to record, "If I Can't Have You". Perren took the song, gave it a bright hustle beat and a full orchestral treatment that had Elliman shouting her way to #1 on the pop charts. In 1979 Elliman switched producers and went with Steve Barri, who had previous successes with the Rhythm Heritage #1 hit "Theme From SWAT" and with 60's songsters The Grass Roots. "Love Pains" was released October 13, 1979 and entered the pop chart at #87, the following week it was #76, then #65, #58, #50, #46, #42, #38, #34 for two weeks and then began its chart descent and became her last Top 40 hit. The song became a minor club hit peaking at #75. Elliman took two decades off of her recording career, issuing her comeback LP "Simple Needs" in 2004, a collection of self penned songs. She continues to tour and has worked again with Ted Neely (who played Jesus in Superstar) and recorded a cover of "Up Where We Belong" with him.
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