I Love You

Album: Absolutely the Best (1965)
  • This plaintive song is about a guy who knows the right words, but can't say them to the object of his affection, as he is rendered mute every time he tries.
  • We counted 33 repetitions of "I Love You" in this song: 21 in the chorus sections, nine in the outro, and three in the verses; the song even begins and ends with the phrase. For a guy who can't utter the phrase to a girl, he sure can spout it when she's not listening!
  • "I Love You" was released in 1965 as the B-side to the single "Whenever You're Ready." It was written by Zombies bassist Chris White, and recorded on July 8, 1965, at Decca Studios.

    White, when interviewed about this song, said, "The thing that came first was the riff. That was the root of writing that one. In actual fact I think I nicked it off Tommy Roe."
  • While the Zombies version of this song was relegated to a B-side, it clearly deserved better, and got it when the song was recorded by a San Jose six-piece called People! (the exclamation point was part of their name), who recorded it as a demo in 1967. When Capitol Records heard their take on the song, they signed the group and had them make a proper recording of the song, which was issued in 1968 as their first single.

    People! took the song to #14 on the US Billboard charts, but it was also a #1 hit in Japan, Israel, Australia, Italy, South Africa, and the Philippines. It turned out to be the only hit for People!, which were dropped by Capitol after their second album.
  • The Zombies stand in history as one of the bands with the most widespread international appeal, and the release scheme for this song is all over the map. It was included on the original The Zombies album, but only the Swedish release. Then it was on the compilation album Time of the Zombies, but only in the Netherlands and US. Then it's on The Best of the Zombies, but only in Canada. And so on for dozens of albums. Just go to the record store and start pulling random disks out of the bin. It's there somewhere.
  • In addition to the People! version, other covers of this song spanned the globe. Bands (in countries) which covered the song included Los Chijuas (Mexico), The Summer Sounds (US), The Bent Scepters (US), The Carnabeats (Japan), Nana Kinomi and Leo Beats (Japan), Los Shippy's (Mexico), and Os Incriveis (Brazil).
  • The Zombies broke up before their second album, Odessey and Oracle, was released. Post-mortem, the group finally got their due, with "Time Of The Season" becoming a huge hit and the album hailed as a classic. As listeners discovered their back catalog, songs like this one found a new audience draw to the group's progressive sound featuring Rod Argent's organ work.

    The Zombies eventually got back together to tour and record in the '00s, and this song became a staple of their setlists. Since most listeners were familiar with the People! version, they incorporated elements of that rendition into their update. In our interview with lead singer Colin Blunstone, he said: "People! had used our version to do a cover but they changed it slightly, and we took on board a lot of what they'd done. So, in fact, we were doing a cover of a cover of a cover. So if you hear us do 'I Love You' it's quite complicated the way that came together because it's not the same as The Zombies did in the first place."

Comments: 2

  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaI came of age long before the internet became a thing and long after bands like The Zombies became defunct. If you were a music fan at that time, you had to work at finding new music or rediscovering old music. That meant flipping through the bins at record stores... and hopefully you knew of at least one that was an independent outfit that did a bit more than stock current mainstream hits. I was lucky on that count as the local mall of all places actually had a great independent record store. One of my happier finds there was, on the same day, stumbling across the “Time Of The Zombies” and the “Best of the Troggs” compilation albums, which were two full vinyl disks of each band crammed with great songs like this that i’d never heard before! Such great memories.
  • Reg from Kemptville, OnInteresting ...
    I always thought that the version by People! was the original, as their's is the one I've heard the most.
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