Darlene Love on New Solo LP and Working with Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt
The album includes one cover song: a new arrangement of Ike and Tina Turner‘s “River Deep — Mountain High.” “That was supposed to be Phil Spector’s masterpiece,” says Love. “But he buried everything, and you can’t really hear Tina. Steve wanted to make a new version of it.” Van Zandt is a huge fan of Spector, though Love says the two producers couldn’t be more different. “When you went into the studio with Phil, he was like, ‘This is what you’re gonna do, and I don’t want to hear nothing else about it,'” Love says. “Steve wants me to be part of the process. Also, he ain’t crazy.”
“Steve Van Zandt wants me to be part of the process. Also, he ain’t crazy.” —Darlene Love
Introducing Darlene Love is part of Van Zandt’s long-standing mission to honor the performers that came before him, and often didn’t get their due. “The legendary artists of the 1950s and especially the early 1960s really got shafted by the British Invasion,” he says. “The Beatles and Stones put all their heroes out of work. Unintentional consequence. I played on the oldies circuit in 1973 where I backed the Dovells. I met my heroes, and they were pissed off, all of them. When I produced Southside Johnny’s first album, I got Lee Dorsey to play on it, literally pulling him from under a car where he was working as a mechanic in New Orleans. On the record, I reunited the Drifters, the Coasters and the Five Satins just to remind people how still great they were. Later, Bruce and I got into the studio with Gary U.S. Bonds and actually had a hit, which was a miracle.”
He’s hoping the same thing happens for Darlene Love, and on September 12th, he’s going to join her when she plays the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park to celebrate the release of the album. Might a certain songwriter from the record that lives nearby make a guest appearance? “We’d never announce anything like that because that means I still need help to sell tickets,” she says. “This is my show. If anyone shows up, it’ll be a surprise.”
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