Bowie originally wrote the song for actress and singer Dana Gillespie whom he first met at London's Marquee Club in 1963 or 1964. Gillespie performed backing vocals on the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
track "It Ain't Easy." In 1973 she recorded an album, Weren't Born a Man
, produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson , which included a version of this song.
Gillespie recalled to Mojo
her early days with Bowie in the mid 1960s: "I was already in a band - I was the drummer - and he was very encouraging of my songwriting. He'd show me guitar licks and he took me down to Ready Steady Go!, where I met the producer. A bit later, I had a spot after Donovan, and it was David who suggested I do 'Love Is Strange
,' the old Mickey & Sylvia hit from the '50s. He showed me the bassline, and everything. We had a bit of a fling but we were all really young -me especially."