Don't Call It Love

Album: Real Love (1985)
Play Video


  • This song was written by Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow when they were staff writers at Warner Brothers Publishing. It was first recorded by Kim Carnes in 1981 and included on her album Mistaken Identity, which contained the huge hit "Bette Davis Eyes." The Carnes version was not released as a single, and in 1985, Dolly Parton recorded the song, turning into a #3 Country hit and the most-played Country song of 1986. Explaining how he came up with the music, Tom Snow wrote: "'Don't Call It Love' was written melody first, lyric second. Using an old school Roland 808 Drum Box (actual drum machines with real samples hadn't quite yet hit the market) I programmed a simple beat at a leisurely tempo (leisure being one of my favorite things) and started playing along, getting a piano feel. After a couple of days hunting and pecking I had the music: melody, harmonic progression and structure." (from Tom's website)
  • Dean Pitchford tells us that he needs to come up with a title before he can fill in the lyrics to a song. For this one, he took a tape of the music Tom Snow wrote, but couldn't get his title. It finally came to him when he used his "shower technique." Said Dean: "I used to have a technique where I would put the song into a cassette and I would put it on a loop. I would reproduce it several times so it would play maybe five times on the cassette. Then I would put it on a cassette player outside the shower and I'd go into the shower. I would hit Play and I would listen to it through the shower. It was like you're trying to look at an object and trying to discern the object, and you cross your eyes, and you try to see it. This was my way of smudging it: what am I hearing here? I'm not hearing it exactly, but I'm hearing kind of a version of the melody, a version of the title line. Then I'd get out of the shower and I'd write down all these title ideas that I'd had while I was listening, like I was crossing my ears."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Graham Nash

Graham NashSongwriter Interviews

Graham Nash tells the stories behind some of his famous songs and photos, and is asked about "yacht rock" for the first time.

Dwight Twilley

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Reverend Horton Heat

Reverend Horton HeatSongwriter Interviews

The Reverend rants on psychobilly and the egghead academics he bashes in one of his more popular songs.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Dar Williams

Dar WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.

Charlie Benante of Anthrax

Charlie Benante of AnthraxSongwriter Interviews

The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.