Lovers rock might be what the world needs right now - romantic, nostalgic, and apolitical - a sweet, sweet hit to counterpoint life's bitter sucker-punches. This compilation on Athens of the North strikes a delicate balance between some dyed in the wool classics, holy grail rarities, and lesser-known gems. Compiled by young London disc jockey and record sleuth, Sam Donnison (AKA Sam Don) and AOTN's Euan Fryer, 'For the Love of You' is a record that, frankly, you'd have to be a bit dead on the inside not to enjoy.
It can't have escaped most people that lovers rock is having a bit of a moment. When listening to this compilation, the big question is, 'what took so long?' In a world where 1000s get down to electronic abstractions, the joy of a great song, a catchy hook, an age-old message of love and loss, and those slack rhythms can come like a panacea for the soul. There's a fond recognition - even if you don't know the original song's titles - you'll probably know a fair few of the choruses. And, for us Brits, some kind of bone-deep familiarity with the roots of the genre, which was quietly very influential indeed.
So, we get Peter Hunningale's silky smooth re-imagining of Leon Ware's classic 'Rocking you Eternally.' The liner notes also tell us that Peter was integral to the creation of this compilation by providing vital introductions. Michael Gordon proving that Bobby Caldwell's 'What you Won't do for Love' still retains its charms after having been covered so very many times. Family Love go to work Prince cut 'Do me Baby' and come up smelling of roses. Al Charles takes the Gap Band's 'Outstanding' on a slow and low ride, which was previously a super-rare 12 inch. Misses Misty somehow improving on Lowrell's hip-hop sample staple 'Mellow Mellow Ride On.' And so so much more.
So go on, treat yourself to this blissful collection of music - a truly joyful, immensely likable celebration of the British diaspora which gave us so much. Love(rs) is the message.
'For the Love of You' is out on the 27th of March on Athens of the North