Sunday, 10 December 2017
Oliver!: Chuck Brooks - Love’s Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (4 April 1992)
Time once again for another round of lyric word association. I’m going to say a word and I want you to tell me another word you associate with the first word in any song setting. OK, are you ready? Here we go:
No not tear as a noun, but tear as a verb, like rip. Try again:
When I was a child, I found the song title, I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, as covered by Paul Young to be both fascinating and confusing. What could cause someone who seemed so mild-mannered and normal to demolish a Wendy House? I didn’t have access to Urban Dictionary in 1984 so was blissfully unaware of concepts like fur lined porn dungeons. But the moment I heard John Peel play Love’s Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, I had to do further research. Was I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, originally recorded by Ann Peebles in 1973, in any way a reply record to Chuck Brooks’s 1970 recording of Love’s Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down?
Alas, no. While Peebles (and Young) threatened retribution on someone who had been playing them for a fool, Brooks is the player shaken to his very core by feelings of love. If Melvin Van Peebles or Fred Williamson had chosen to make a blaxploitation version of Les Liasons dangereuses in the early 70s, this may very well have featured on the soundtrack when Valmont starts to fall in love with Madame Tourvel.
Peel actually restarted this record, when he played it, because he was convinced that the wound up opening note was because of an error on his part, but, “It really does start like that. Incredible!” He only played up to 3:14 which covers side A of the original single. The video covers both sides, but the last three minutes is pretty repetitive grooving with Brooks trying new metaphors for the tearing down of the playhouse.
“Leave it, Paul. It’s only a Wendyhouse”.
Videos courtesy of losmoutinhos (Brooks) and PaulYoungVEVO.