The other week I picked up a two CD, 50 track compilation of Sonny & Cher for a couple of quid. With 50 tracks there is obviously a lot of padding but there is enough good stuff on there to make it worth the price I paid.
One track I was particularly taken with was a version of "Love Is Strange" released under their early pseudoynms of Caesar & Cleo in 1964. It has a real bluebeat feel to it and sounds like it is trying to copy the style of "My Boy Lollipop", which had been a big hit in the US - and everywhere else - earlier that year. They didn't enjoy the same success, peaking at number 131 in Billboard charts.
This is now the fourth version of "Love Is Strange" I have on my iPod and I am sharing all of them with you today. If I could only choose one version it would definitely be the one by the Everly Brothers - those harmonies! - but they are all pretty good. It is such a good song it is hard to go far wrong, unless you are Everything But The Girl who managed to drain all the life out of it. Even the reggae version by Wings is much better than that.
"Love Is Strange" - Mickey & Sylvia (the original, 1957)
"Love Is Strange" - Lonnie Donegan (1957)
"Love Is Strange" - Caesar & Cleo (1964)
"Love Is Strange" - The Everly Brothers (1965)
And here is a country version from 1970 by Buck Owens and Susan Raye:
Interesting fact (1): "Love Is Strange" was co-written by Bo Diddley.
Interesting fact (2): In the 1970s Sylvia (of Mickey and Sylvia) set up Sugar Hill Records. Which makes her responsible for this (although I am not sure whether she can be held personally responsible for the appearance of the female body-builder):