Love You Till Tuesday

lytt

Love You Till Tuesday.

“Love You Till Tuesday” is catchy and rancid enough to have been a top 10 hit in 1967. It could’ve even been a smash, the single that finally broke Bowie. Instead it utterly flopped and soon vanished, even after favorable reviews (except Syd Barrett, who vaguely panned it in Melody Maker (“Very chirpy, but I don’t think my toes were tapping at all.”)).

An album track promoted to a single (after getting a new strings arrangement by Ivor Raymonde), “Love You Till Tuesday” has a taste of desperation in its cheer. Bowie sings in an affected nasal tone, as if he’s pretending that this track is from the cast recording of Oliver!, and he oversells his mildly-clever lyric. There’s also a sense, as in “When I Live My Dream,” of old-fashionedness to it—it could be a 50-year-old Catskills entertainer’s spin on free love.

Still, all of that shouldn’t have hurt its prospects. The summer and fall of 1967, at least in terms of the pop charts, was a time of bleary fatigue, indulgence and slack. Look at the top songs in the UK—”All You Need Is Love” and “Hello Goodbye,” two of the Beatles’ less inspired songs, Lulu’s “To Sir With Love,” Englebert Humperdinck’s “The Last Waltz,” The Bee Gees’ “Massachusetts,” Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco.” “Love You Till Tuesday” could’ve contended.

Imagine an alternate timeline in which “Tuesday” hit, say, #2 for weeks in the summer of ’67, giving Bowie at last a taste of pop stardom. Then a rushed-out sequel single, maybe “Sell Me a Coat,” that also hit big. The Ed Sullivan Show, Las Vegas revues, duets with Petula Clark and Nancy Sinatra, Bowie Sings Bacharach. An ongoing cabaret show (“Man of Words, Man of Music, Man of Mime”) that extended well into the ’70s (towards the end, playing Sun City for weeks). A disco crossover hit. A mysterious death in the mid-’80s in a Honolulu hotel.

Instead, once again, Bowie was knocked back to the start of the board.

Recorded initially on 25 February 1967 and re-recorded on 3 June. Released (version 1) on David Bowie and (version 2) as Deram DM 135 in July 1967 (it of course was the title song of Bowie’s 1969 promo film). “Love You Till Tuesday” would be the last thing Deram released by Bowie until he became famous on another label.

5 Responses to Love You Till Tuesday

  1. raweix says:

    That’s one hell of an alternate timeline!

    Great blog. I was directed here by SOMB.

  2. Joe the Lion says:

    We should all be very grateful that tracks like this failed in the charts!

  3. I am not sure that alternate history would be bad but it would certainly be different. At least in that timeline “Stateside” would never have happened. Question: How can one be a Man of Words AND a Man of Mime? ;)

  4. Anonymous says:

    What really spooks me about this cut is that it could’ve been sung by Davy Jones…and it wouldn’t have been that much different.

  5. s.t. says:

    I know this is coming ultra late, but I’ve been listening to this track a lot lately, and feel that a case must be made for its importance in the Bowie canon.

    The album version of this is just superb. Unlike the single version, which sounds like an inferior copy of the Laughing Gnome, the LP arrangement is inviting and catchy. As with Rubber Band, Bowie’s vocals are way over the top, but he’s clearly having a blast singing these trite lyrics, sometimes even veering into his trademark manic glee that fans came to love in MWStW and Hunky Dory. So it’s an intentionally rancid song that’s damn catchy, with a gloriously cracked delivery. What’s not to like?

    I dare say that Hunky Dory songs like Fill Your Heart and Kooks recycle the vibe he birthed on Love You Til Tuesday. The creepy sung spoken vocals on “You Belong in Rock n Roll” also sound indebted to Tuesday’s “Ohhh beautiful baby” refrain. And “Everyone Says Hi” is basically a re-write of this one, though it’s a bit too sickly sweet even for me, without the hyper mania to give it any bite.

    I can’t believe I ignored the 67 LP for so long. So many gems to be found, and this one is the most dazzling and gaudy of them all!

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