Oct 102023

Desire, the duo of singer Megan Louise and multi-instrumentalist and producer Johnny Jewel (Chromatics), work together artistically and run the record label Italians Do It Better. Their latest release, part of the soundtrack of the 2023 movie Holly, is a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love.

Nearly 40 years ago Frankie Goes to Hollywood had one of the most successful debut years in British pop. In 1984, their first three singles went to number one. “The Power of Love was the third single and went to number one in the first week of December in the UK. It would have been the Christmas number one, and likely biggest seller of the year, had “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” not been doing more important work.

Desire’s version is a more grown-up and considered version of the song. It does not open with a reference to Dick Dastardly and the Wacky Races. Retaining the minor key of the original, Jewel’s rich analogue sound combines well with Megan Louise’s warm voice. There is less urgency. Holly Johnson’s writing is deliberately overblown, a song of love for the young, in the throes of passion, perhaps even a crush. It is all-consuming, hence the notes about saving your lover from cartoon baddies and vampires. Desire bring a different perspective. Love is a thing but it is not necessarily the thing.  It is a mature love, just as deep but with a different perspective.

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