'I WAS ACTUALLY BIGGER THAN THE BEATLES IN SWEDEN'
- Tina Charles hits big with 'I Love To Love'
It was more soul-oriented, as I recall, the early stuff that I arranged for Biddu. As a bystander, who just used to do arrangements for Biddu, the thing that changed it all was 'Rock The Boat' by The Hues Corporation, with that particular rhythm - the off-beat tom tom - which, as I saw it, profoundly affected Biddu. He loved that record. I remember when I went round to do the routining session for 'I Love To Love', he played me The Hues Corporation version of 'Rock The Boat' and said, 'If you can imagine it a little bit slower.' Cos that was the rhythm, with the off-beat tom tom and the sixteens on the hi-hat. I know he said he wanted me to take the drum rhythm from 'Rock The Boat'.
I used a rhythm box on Tina Charles' 'I Love to Love' - it's very much like George McCrae's 'Rock Your Baby' in the groove. Like a samba rhythm. All my songs have a slight samba rhythm - all of them, even the ones I do in India. They just have a slight, very light Latinish feel, just nice to dance to.
On 'I Love To Love' the gliss sound is the resonant strings on the electric sitar. In fact we used it on a few things. Biddu loved the sound of that.
When I did 'I Love To Love' I was actually suffering from really bad flu and I just thought: oh, it's a nice song, blah blah blah. But I was really feeling ill and I went home and I didn't think anything of it. I was very shocked and surprised when within five weeks of release it was #1. I took me by surprise totally, living in a little flat in Streatham with Trevor Horn. One minute I was in this little flat, and the next minute I was jetting off everywhere.
I played 'I Love to Love' to the record company and the guy said, 'It's okay.' Then he played the flip-side, 'Disco Fever', and he said, 'The disco scene is starting to happen, and we have a song called "Disco Fever"; what more do you need?' I said, 'No way, the other song sounds like a number one.' He said, 'I'll bring out "I Love to Love"; we'll give it four weeks.' We brought it out and within four weeks it was #1. I asked myself, 'How can anyone be so wrong about a record?'
'I Love To Love' was massive in South America - I've got a platinum album from there. Sweden, that was another place, it was an incredible market - I was actually bigger than The Beatles in Sweden. Which was strange.
I was pregnant with 'I Love To Love' - I remember doing Jim'll Fix It and I was pregnant and about to drop, I was very pregnant.
I actually once collapsed on Top of the Pops because CBS'd just overworked me so much. I was in Israel one day, then I went to Germany, then I was in Holland, and I just got back to London and they picked me, took me to Top of the Pops and I started singing 'I Love To Love' and I just went. Because they wouldn't use tapes. I just went 'bang'. And David Essex came in and said: 'Oh you need a B12, love.' And they gave me a B12 in the bum and I did it. It just shows you can be worked far too hard, because you become a commodity, you're not a person - everybody wants you all of a sudden because your record's #1 everywhere.
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