Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Love Potion Nos. Nine and Ten

Up until maybe a year ago, I'd had always heard the last verse of the Clovers' 1959 hit "Love Potion Number Nine" thusly:

I didn't know if it was day or night
I started kissin' everything in sight
But when I kissed a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
He broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine

But recently on the oldies station, I've been hearing a version that goes:

I didn't know if it was day or night
I started kissin' everything in sight
I had so much fun that I'm goin' back again
I wonder what happens with Love Potion Number Ten

Other than that changed verse, it sounds exactly like the other version. The song has been recorded by many groups, so I thought it was possible that the "love potion number ten" version was by someone else, but apparently it's also the Clovers. According to someone calling himself Doctor Music, Number Nine was the 45 version, and Number Ten was the LP version.

That answers one question, but it also invites many others. Why would Leiber and Stoller put different versions of a song on the LP and the 45? Was anyone really buying LPs in 1959? Apparently, the Clovers first cut the Nine version, which was released as a single. When this was a hit, they went to make an album, also called Love Potion Number Nine, but with new lyrics on the title track.

Why? I have no idea. I guess Leiber and Stoller liked the new verse better.

1 comment:

Volly said...

I thought it was The Searchers who had the more widely played version (1965)-- the one I always heard. This up until I caught an out of town oldies station in the '80s and heard the Clovers' older and slightly funkier version.