Love in the Shadows

Album: Steppin' Out (1976)
Charted: 16

Songfacts®:

  • Part of Neil Sedaka's '70s comeback, he wrote this song with the lyricist Phil Cody, who worked on his first comeback hit "Laughter In The Rain." Cody was a California hippie who penned contemporary and sometimes risqué words for Sedaka's melodies. When we spoke with Cody in 2011, he explained, "I was trying to do sexual innuendo with him. I think if I had gone more for the love song, we would have been more successful with it. But it was a weird song. It was like Neil doing R&B. It was sort of like the New York club scene in my mind. I had a girlfriend for a while and we would go to a club and we'd make out in a dark corner of the club, almost to the point where we were having sex right there. That's the kind of feeling that I wanted to get over, and I don't think I succeeded very well. I don't feel like I did a very good job on that song.

    It's just a weird song. The line that keeps coming up, 'In the shadows, you've got to know you love her mostly by feel,' it's almost like, well, now that I say that, I know where that impetus comes from. I had a girlfriend who complained about being groped on the subway, and it's those moments in New York City - you're like a whisker away at all times from rape and pillage of each other. It's the things that keep those passions from exploding, but that you can get away with if you're consenting and you do them off to the side. You would grope your girlfriend on the subway and maybe she wouldn't complain, but as soon as it's not you, then there's something else going on.

    I was trying to put all that in a song, and in 3 minutes you really can't do a philosophical treatise about stuff like that. I should probably have tackled that differently and tried to take a more simple kernel to work with rather than be so inclusive in it. But it was a hit, marginally, so I guess it was okay."

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