My tune of the week is one of my tunes of all time!  I came across this beauty on one of my record shopping treks. It did not have an artist or title credit, but it was on the Gemini label. I thought it was the label associated with the legendary dancehall sound of the eighties, even though it looked earlier than a dancehall tune, but I took a chance on buying it. And it turned out it was not a dancehall tune at all, but a glorious 70s sweet roots tune.

I played it to some of my record collecting aficionados, who identified it as the Soulites ‘Love Is The Song’ (labelled copies with artist and title do exist).  The song features the voice of Glen Augustus Holness, who formed the Soulites in the 70s, and went on to achieve fame as a solo artist in the eighties, under the name ‘Nitty Gritty’.

It is a superbly written ode about the beauty of life and the joy of song. It melodically states that listening to the sound of children playing on a bright and sunny morning is like praying! Hence the title ‘Love Is The Song’.

The tune came out in 1971, and was then covered in 1974 by Laxton Ford, coming out on the ‘Wildflower’ label. It was also covered in 1979 by legendary musicians Robbie Shakespere (of Sly and Robbie fame), and Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung (of Now Generation and the In Crowd). Oddly enough, they are singing as a duet, as opposed to providing the musicianship.

The Soulites track has gained popularity in the record collecting world over the years and has been increasing in price, so it was a fiver well spent back in the day! The word is out, this magical song featuring a young ‘Nitty Gritty’ has captivated a lot of people of late, who have been hooked by its melody and powerful words to know…‘love is the song!’

Mark Professor, (Wreck It Up Crew/ Stereocity Sound/ Soca Saga Boys/ The Reference Library, London)