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"Love Hangover" was the fourth number one single for Motown singer Diana Ross. Ross recorded "Love Hangover" in 1975. It was released in March 1976, and rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Soul Singles and Hot Dance Club Play charts simultaneously.

The song was written by Pamela Sawyer and Marilyn McLeod as a disco number. Producer Hal Davis recorded the instrumental track in 1975 thinking it ideal for Marvin Gaye or Diana Ross, who were his two favorite vocalists to work with. He thought Diana would be sexier on it, so he recorded the song with her. Background vocals on the track were provided by Motown's in-house trio, The Andantes. Studio musicians included James Gadson on drums, Henry E. Davis (of the band L.T.D.) on bass, and Joe Sample on keyboards.

Hal Davis instructed the song's engineer Russ Terrana to install a strobe light so that Ross could be in the "disco" mindset.[1] As the song changed from ballad to uptempo, Ross became more comfortable with the material; she hummed, sang bit parts, laughed, danced around and even imitated Billie Holiday.[2] The carefree and sensual nature of Ross' vocals and the music's direction helped to sell the song.

The song was released on the Diana Ross LP in February, 1976. The lead single from the album was "I Thought It Took A Little Time." Singing group the 5th Dimension also released "Love Hangover" as a single. Motown then issued Ross' version on 45. Both versions entered the chart the same day. By the time Ross' version of "Love Hangover" went to number one, Ross had reinvented herself as a disco diva and the 5th Dimension's version had peaked at number 80. It won Ross a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.

"Love Hangover" reached number one on May 29, 1976. That week, Casey Kasem reported on American Top 40 that with that song Diana had broken the record for the most number-one hits by a female vocalist. With her fourth number-one, she surpassed Connie Francis, Helen Reddy, Roberta Flack, and Cher, all of whom were tied with three each. During the 1980s, Ross went on to score two more number-one hits, making six, establishing her record for 12 years. Whitney Houston would break it in 1988 and Madonna in 1990. But counting 12 number-one hits as lead singer of The Supremes, Ross's grand total is 18, a feat equalled only by Mariah Carey as of 2016.

Chart performanceEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1976) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1
US Cash Box 1
France (IFOP)[3] 30

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1976) Rank
Canada Top Singles [4] 101
UK Singles [5] 92
US Billboard Hot 100 [6] 15
US Cash Box [7] 13


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In Popular CultureEdit

  • The song was featured in the 1977 Diane Keaton film Looking for Mr. Goodbar during a bar scene.
  • Diana Ross sang the song on the episode of The Muppet Show in which she appeared as the guest star.
  • The song was featured in BBC2's 1995 punk documentary Arena: Punk and the Pistols. Back in 1976, the song had been a favourite of early UK punks such as the Bromley Contingent and Jordan who would dance to the song at Soho-based lesbian nightclub Louise's, where it was the house anthem.[8]
  • The song was featured in CBC's annual year-end playoff montage on Hockey Night in Canada in 2009.
  • The song is featured in promos for the final season of Mad Men.


Motown released versions of Ross's version in 1988 (remixed by the British team PWL) and 1993 (remixed by Frankie Knuckles for the album Diana Extended: The Remixes and by Joey Negro for a single).

Almighty Records released a remixed version in 2007 (remixed by the UK team Almighty).

Track listingEdit

1993 UK 12" Promo

Side A

  1. "Love Hangover" (Tribal Hangover) - 9:26
  2. "Love Hangover" (Classic Club - EP version) - 8:20
  3. "Love Hangover" (Tribal Reprise) - 5:25
  4. "Your Love" - 3:58

Side B

  1. "Upside Down" ('93 Remix - EP version) - 8:00
  2. "Upside Down" (Dub 2 - Morales) - 7:37
  3. "Someday We'll Be Together" ('93 Remix - EP version) - 8:40
  4. "Someday We'll Be Together" (Final Sound Factory) - 6:54

Cover versionsEdit

In addition to the 5th Dimension cover (which would be that group's last Hot 100 hit), the song was released as a single by the Associates, a British new wave band, reaching #21 on the UK chart in 1982. Players Association also covered the track in 1977, as did Stanley Turrentine on The Man with the Sad Face in 1976.[9]

British soul singer Pauline Henry (former lead vocalist of the Chimes) recorded a contemporary version of the track in 1995 (released as a single), singer Jody Watley recorded a downtempo version for her 2006 album, The Makeover, and Australian singer-songwriter Tina Arena recorded a version in 2007 for her album Songs of Love & Loss.

The song was sampled in Monica's 1998 hit "The First Night", which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background vocals from the original alternate take were sampled by Hardrive in the 1993 House song "No Cure".

Mariah Carey performed the song in a concert tribute to Diana Ross (2000), and Stephanie Edwards sang it on the sixth season of American Idol. Carey performed a mix of "Love Hangover" and her #1 single "Heartbreaker" on her Angels Advocate Tour between 2009 and 2010.

The song would become part of the hip-hop lexicon via sampling by Will Smith, Heavy D, Master P, Monica, Janet Jackson, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, French artist MC Solaar, and Emily King, who made use of it for her 2007 debut album East Side Story in the song "Walk in My Shoes".

Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose sang the chorus of "Love Hangover" during an instrumental interlude in the song "If the World" on the Asian leg of the Chinese Democracy World Tour 2009/2010. The Associates In 1982 Released A A Double A Side 45 Single Title ....18 Carrot Love Affair - Love Hangover

The electronic duo I.Y.F.F.E. (Conrad Funk & Alex Mind) produced an original, instrumental Glitch Hop track by the same name for the edmSpotlight Compilation Volume 1, which was released by the record label Monstercat in 2013.

The composition of "Love Hangover" is a two-part medley, with the first section a slow, sultry ballad, then the second section an uptempo disco/rythmn & blues style. The lyrics of the entire song revolve around the theme of "sweet, sweet love".

See also Edit


External linksEdit

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