Breathing in My Ear

The song ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ was written by New York songwriters Carole Bayer Sager, Muzio Clementi and Toni Wine.  Muzio Clementi was an Italian-born English pianist, composer, and conductor.  Sager was 22 when this song was written, and Wine was only 17.  They wrote the song for Screen Gems publishing, and Jack McGraw, who worked at Screen Gems’ London office, thought the song would be perfect for the British group The Mindbenders.  The song became a huge hit in England, and was released in America a year later, where it was also very successful.  ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ was first released by the vocal duo of Diane Hall and Annita Ray who recorded under the name Dianne and Annita.  In 1960-1961, they were both members of the Bookends, Ray Anthony’s backing band.

In April 1965, a group from Manchester named Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders had a #1 hit their single ‘Game of Love’ which elevated them out of obscurity in America.  Before the year was out, Fontana left the Mindbenders for a solo career, in the middle of playing a concert, no less.  While the loss of a frontman at the height of a band’s success would be devastating to most groups, the Mindbenders carried on as a trio.  Their guitarist Eric Stewart said, “All we lost was our tambourine player.”  ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and all the way to the top of Cash Box singles chart for a week in 1966. Not only did the Mindbenders prove they could succeed without their “tambourine player,” but “A Groovy Kind of Love” outperformed all of Fontana’s solo singles, none of which ever even charted in the US.  Fontana died from cancer on August 6, 2020.

Toni Wine said that her and Carole were talking about the word Groovy because it was a relatively new word.  The only song that they knew of that contained this word was ‘The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)’, by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.  They wanted to write a song with that word in it, because they knew it was the happening word, and they wanted to jump on that.  Carole came up with “Groovy kinda… groovy kinda… groovy…” and they started saying, “Kinda groovy, kinda groovy, kinda…”  When they paired this with Love, they got a Groovy kind of love, and they were able to write this song in 20 minutes.

Bayer Sager wrote the Carley Simon hit ‘Nobody Does It Better’ with Marvin Hamlisch and the Dionne Warwick song ‘That’s What Friends are For’ along with Burt Bacharach.  Wine went on to write the Checkmates song ‘Black Pearl’ and the Tony Orlando and Dawn hit ‘Candida’, and she also worked as a backing vocalist for artists ranging from Willie Nelson to the Archies.  ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ was a #1 UK and US hit for Phil Collins who produced it along with Lamont Dozier for the 1988 British romantic crime comedy Buster.  Collins was a child actor, and his first role was as The Artful Dodger in a London production of Oliver!  He was wary about taking a movie role after becoming famous as a musician, and he made sure the song didn’t appear until the end of the film, so musical perceptions wouldn’t taint his performance.  The film was a box office flop, but Collins stood by it, saying it was an excellent film.

When I’m feelin’ blue, all I have to do is take a look at you
Then I’m not so blue
When you’re close to me I can feel you heart beat
I can hear you breathing in my ear
Wouldn’t you agree, baby, you and me got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love
Any time you want to you can turn me on to anything you want to
Any time at all
When I taste your lips
Oh, I start to shiver can’t control the quivering inside
Wouldn’t you agree, baby, you and me got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love
When I’m in your arms nothing seems to matter
If the world would shatter I don’t care
Wouldn’t you agree, baby, you and me got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Against All Odds Week 86.

15 thoughts on “Breathing in My Ear

      1. I thought the crack about tambourine player was pretty good…especially for the guy quitting like that.
        Didn’t this band have a connection to 10cc in some way?

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      2. It should be pretty easy to replace a tambourine player as I think that I could even play that instrument. The guitarist Eric Stewart formed a band called Hotlegs, which changed their name to 10cc.

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