Show Me Love

Album: Show Me Love (1990)
Charted: 6 5
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  • In this song, Robin S. is tired of all the empty promises offering devotion. She's looking for someone who will show her love, not just talk about it. The gender of her potential lover is never specified.
  • Robin S. is the gospel-bred New York singer-songwriter Robin Stone. She originally released "Show Me Love" in 1990 for the small independent label Champion Records. This version is heavy on piano, has some horn riffs, and runs 6:40. Targeted to dance clubs, it had little impact, but in 1992 the Swedish DJ and producer StoneBridge contacted Champion looking for songs to remix. They suggested "Show Me Love," and StoneBridge rejiggered the song with that now-famous synthesizer riff that dominates the mix. Champion released this version as a single and it became a massive international hit, going Top 10 in America and the UK in 1993 and also charting all over Europe.

    Robin S. was summoned back to the studio and made a full album, also called Show Me Love, that was released in 1993. The follow-up single, "Luv 4 Luv," used exactly the same formula and peaked at #11 in the UK and #52 in the US.
  • The song has returned to the UK singles chart on several occasions:

    In 1997 a remix by Lisa Marie reached #9

    In 2002 a Tonka re-edit peaked at #61

    In 2009 a remix by Steve Angello & Laidback Luke with new vocals by Robin S went to #11

    In 2015 a slowed-down, deep-house remake by producer Sam Feldt featuring vocals from Kimberly Anne climbed to #4
  • The song's buzzing synth riff has been sampled a number of times, including by:

    Jason DeRulo for "Don't Wanna Go Home"

    Kid Ink for "Show Me"

    Charli XCX for "Used To Know Me"

    Beyoncé for "Break My Soul"
  • "Show Me Love" was written and produced by the American team of Allen George and Fred McFarlane, who have a long list of credits for dance singers like Evelyn "Champagne" King, Jenny Burton, and Jocelyn Brown. They hit the jackpot with "Show Me Love" - on every remix and reworking of the song, they're the credited songwriters (McFarlane died in 2016) and reap the royalties. Stonebridge turned the song into a hit, but remixing a song doesn't earn a composer credit.

    Robin S. insists that she ad-libbed some lyrics in the studio that should have earned her a cut of the credits, but singers on dance tracks are rarely credited (one who was: Penny Ford of Snap! ("The Power," "Rhythm Is A Dancer")).

    Stonebridge was able to parlay his remix into more work; his extensive catalog includes remixes for the likes of Ne-Yo ("Closer") and Jonas Brothers ("Paranoid"). He also clocked two UK Top 10 hits under his own name: "Put Em High" and "Take Me Away."
  • It's falsely rumored that Robin S. didn't really sing on "Show Me Love" and the actual vocals are by a singer-songwriter named Andrea Martin. At an ASCAP panel in 2011, Martin explained that she sang on a demo of the song. She very impressively belted out some of the lyrics from the panel stage, which apparently led many to believe that her vocals were used. It wasn't uncommon in the early '90s for models to serve as avatars for the real singers, but that didn't happen here: Robin S. was a genuine singer and not just a face for the video and performances.

    Martin said her usual demo fee was $150, but the "Show Me Love" producers offered her $300 if she could come up with a melody from the beat and lyrics. She did, and claimed that the big vocal run at the beginning was her idea. "My biggest mistake was not knowing that all the time as a demo singer, that I was actually writing the records," she told the panel. "I was just getting a little check, then hearing it on the radio making a big check."

    Martin released an album called The Best Of Me in 1998 and co-wrote a number of hits, including Monica's "Before You Walk Out Of My Life" and Silk's "Hooked On You." She died in 2021 at 49.
  • If you try to summon this song on a voice assistant, you might end up with a different song with the same title by a singer called Robyn. This Robyn is the Swedish singer Robyn Carlsson. Her "Show Me Love" was produced by Max Martin and became a hit in 1997.
  • When the remix gained traction, Champion Records commissioned a video for the song showing Robin S. performing it in a club. It was directed by Millicent Shelton, whose other work includes "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-N-Effect and "Back & Forth" by Aaliyah.


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