Happy 2017 everyone! Hope your holiday season treated you well!
For the January 8, 2017 edition of STUCK IN THE 80s, my little retro radio show on WMPG community radio in Portland, Maine, I’ll be hosting my final (?) All-Request Fest. It’s something I thought of years ago as a way to give back to everyone who tuned in to the show and pledged money on STUCK IN THE 80s during the bi-annual pledge drives. From Pop to Punk, Rap to Rock, New Wave to New Romantics, it’s about the listeners and their requests, and it’s always spontaneous and fun.
For this final (?) edition of the All-Request Fest, I’ll also be channeling my inner chart nerd and will bring folks 17 for ’17, where I’ll be playing just some of the many songs that peaked at No. 17 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 between 1979 and 1989. So, from now until the All-Request Fest, I’ll be posting all No. 17 hits…just because, well, I AM a chart nerd. And I’m okay with that.
Another one of my favorite No. 17 hits on the Hot 100 is the third solo hit away from The Police by former teacher Gordon Sumner – better known to us as Sting – the lovely “Love Is The Seventh Wave.”
Released in some parts of the globe as the second single from Sting’s debut solo album, THE DREAM OF THE BLUE TURTLES, “Love Is The Seventh Wave” was the third single from the album released in America.
I’ve been on a Carrie Fisher movie marathon all week, watched the original three STAR WARS movies, and I just saw the new movie, ROGUE ONE, last night (1.6.2017). So, you could say I’m on kind of a STAR WARS kick right now, and you’ll have to forgive me if I use references from STAR WARS and The Force in this post.
The Force IS strong with “Love Is The Seventh Wave,” or rather, how that Force of love is that seventh wave – the strongest one in a series of waves – and, in the process, eliminating any issues you may have going on. Conversely, Sting pokes fun at himself near the end of the song, reciting lines from The Police’s biggest hit, 1983’s “Every Breath You Take,” a song about the Dark Side of The Force, or rather, the dark side of love that inspires dark forces like jealousy and obsession.
“Love Is The Seventh Wave” debuted on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in early November 1985, while the second single from the album, “Fortress Around Your Heart,” was still in the Top 20. It would go on to spend three weeks at its peak position of No. 17 around the 1985 / 1986 New Year’s holiday.
Save for a No. 10 peak in Holland, around the globe, “Love Is The Seventh Wave” was not a big hit, reaching the Top 30 in France and Ireland, No. 41 in the U.K. and No. 57 in Australia.
Released in early July 1986, a kick-ass 11-minute live version of “Love Is The Seventh Wave” appears on the brilliant live album, BRING ON THE NIGHT (recorded live in Europe in 1985), in a medley with “One World (Not Three),” a song originally from the 1981 Police album, GHOST IN THE MACHINE.
I’ve always loved the simplicity of the melody against the smart lyrics of “Love Is The Seventh Wave.” I think its message of love over all is something the wonderful Bob Marley – who died three weeks and four years before BLUE TURTLES was released – would have loved. I’m betting Sting would have dug that too…
“All the bloodshed all the anger / All the weapons all the greed / All the armies all the missiles / All the symbols that you fear / There is a deeper wave than this / Rising in the world…”