Song of the Day Mar 5

March 5, 2024

This month I’m focusing on One Hit Wonders of the 80s.

Today our song is:  I Melt with You

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

Modern English formed in 1979 in Colchester, Essex, England. The group signed with 4AD, a British independent record label, in 1980.

The band's vocalist, Robbie Grey, described England at the time of the song's writing to be a bleak place, due to an ongoing economic downturn: "There was no money. There'd be no power—you'd be at home with candles." These conditions and his fears of a nuclear war inspired "I Melt with You". The song depicts a couple making love while an atomic bomb is dropped. In an interview, he described the song as a "love song", but more about the "good and bad in people [...] The last thing we wanted was to write a song where boy meets girl, they go to the cinema and make love, and that's the end of it."

Musically, the song came together in the band's rehearsal space in London while recording their second album, After the Snow. Producer Hugh Jones encouraged Grey to softly sing the vocal track, as opposed to his natural inclination to shout. He subsequently employed a softer vocal technique on the rest of the album.

The original 4:11 album version features no call-and-response vocals in the second verse, and features a synthesizer break that begins at the second chorus. The more commonly known version of the song is the 3:50 single mix, in which the synthesizer riff is audible during the first chorus, an octave lower than on subsequent choruses, along with contrasting background vocals in the second verse - "You should know better" sung before "Dream of better lives...," etc. Eight bars from the instrumental break after the second chorus are cut in the single version, such that only the second rendering of the line "the future' wide" (lyrics sung twice on the album version) is present and the guitar riff leading up to this line thus fades in a bit more abruptly, accounting for the time difference between the album and single versions. The latter version was mixed down to mono from its original stereo recording. While both the album and single versions have circulated on radio, the true stereo mix of the single version has rarely been available since.



  1. Love this song! I think the 80s had a ton of one hit wonders...more than any other decade. I wonder if that's true??


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