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|"The Look of Love"|
|Single by ABC|
|from the album The Lexicon of Love|
|A-side||"The Look of Love (Part One)"|
|ABC singles chronology|
"The Look of Love" is a song by British band ABC, released as a single in 1982. It was the band's highest charting hit in the UK, peaking at No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart. It was the third single from their debut studio album, The Lexicon of Love.
Released as a single and as a 12" remix, it went to No. 1 on the Billboard Dance/Disco chart as well as the Canadian Singles Chart. It was their biggest hit in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 4. On the American Cash Box Top 100, it got as high as No. 9, and on the Billboard Hot 100 it peaked at No. 18.
The single consists of four parts, referred to as "Parts One, Two, Three and Four". Part One is the standard album version, Part Two is an instrumental version, Part Three is a vocal version without the orchestral overdubs and Part Four is a short acoustic instrumental part of the song, containing strings and horns, as well as occasional harp plucks and xylophone. A different US remix dub version by producer Trevor Horn appeared as A-side on the 1982 US 12".
The '82 US remix dub version was not widely available after its initial release, but the track remained much in demand by club DJs and fans alike and copies of the original 12" version fetched high prices. When Neutron (the band's UK label) discovered this, they issued a limited ion DJ-pressing of the Horn remix in November 1982 as a DJ promo 12" vinyl under the title "ABC Look of Love Special Remix 12" Neutron NTXDJ103.
Through the 1980s, BBC Radio 1 DJ Gary Davies used the last crescendo on Part 4 of the song as a closing theme to his daily lunchtime programme called The Bit in the Middle, only changing it in 1991 when his show was rebranded as Let's Do Lunch and given fresh music beds and themes.
The US B-side, entitled "Theme from Mantrap", was an alternate version of "Poison Arrow".
In February 2014, all four parts appeared together as one single track (running 12:29) on the ZTT compilation "The Art of the 12" Volume Three".
The lyrics of the song, as well as others on The Lexicon of Love, were inspired by a break-up lead singer Martin Fry had experienced. In the second verse, during the phrase "When your girl has left you out on the pavement", the "Goodbye" background vocal is spoken by the actual woman in the relationship who had jilted him.
|1982||NME||United Kingdom||"Singles of the Year" (50)||5|
|1982||Sounds||United Kingdom||"Singles of the Year" (20)||18|
|1982||The Village Voice||United States||"Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll: Top 10 Singles"||9|
|2003||Paul Morley||United Kingdom||"Greatest Pop Single of All Time"||*|
|2005||Q||United Kingdom||"Ultimate Music Collection" (Pop Tracks)||*|
|2006||VH1||United States||"100 Greatest Songs of the 80's"||43|
|2009||The Guardian||United Kingdom||"1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" (Love)||*|
|2010||Pause & Play||United States||"Vault of Fame" (Songs)||*|
|2011||NME||United Kingdom||"75 Tunes That Defined Rock 'N' Roll" (Deep Cuts)||*|
|2011||Robert Dimery||United Kingdom||"1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die"||*|
|???||The Village Voice||United States||"Top Singles of the 80's" (100)||59|
(*) indicates the list is unordered.
|UK Singles (OCC)||71|
|"The Look of Love (1990 Mix)"|
|Single by ABC|
|from the album Absolutely|
|ABC singles chronology|
In 1990, to promote the compilation album Absolutely, a new remix of the song by Paul Staveley O'Duffy was officially released, though without participation or approval from the band's members. The remix incorporates part of the melody from Kraftwerk's "Computer Love", which had been in the UK Top 40 at the same time as the original release of "The Look of Love" in 1982.
|Germany (Media Control Charts)||31|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||44|
|UK Singles (OCC)||68|
In 1996, Euro band Eclipse released a dance cover version, which reached No. 30 on the Australian charts.