Single Review: Barbara – ‘Enduring Love’.

Enduring Love Artwork by Oliver Brooks.

Most famously Kate Bush did it with Wuthering Heights. The Cure did it with Charlotte Sometimes. Parts of A Clockwork Orange inspired the name of a pop group – Heaven 17, and a record label – Korova. Even The Ramones did it with Pet Sematary! Now those maestros of Baroque-pop, Brighton duo Henry and John Tydeman, better known as the band Barbara are getting in on the act by writing a tune inspired by a novel.

The title of Barbara‘s latest single is Enduring Love, and it takes it’s name from the 1997 Ian McEwan novel. The book was later adapted into a 2004 film staring Daniel Craig, Samantha Morton, and Rhys Ifans. The opening scenes of the book describe a dramatic event involving a hot air balloon, and the lyrics of the song revolve around the profound psychological effects that the incident had on the characters. ‘It’s a love song’ say the band ‘but a love song with a twist, a real twist’. They add ‘There should be more pop songs inspired by novels. If this song gets more people to pick-up a book then we have done our job’.


Of the music, Barbara say that Enduring Love is a tribute to the late Burt Bacharach. There are certain elements of the song that are obvious nods to some of Bacharach’s work, most evidently the excellent trumpet solo provided by Lizzie Gregory. As usual with Barbara there is a dramatic, musical theatre feel to the song mixed with a very seventies US, FM radio sound. It’s the sort of song that if you were driving across the States listening to your radio then you wouldn’t be surprised if you heard it sandwiched between Supertramp and Wings. The song has a luscious orchestration of piano, strings, flute and horns, and the chorus has an instantly catchy melody. At one point the song employs a rather quirky chord progression, which I like to think reflects the plot twist in the book.

Enduring Love is available to stream on April 7th, and if you want to see the band who The Divine Comedy‘s Neil Hannon has described as ‘very poptastic’ then they are playing The Albert In Brighton on 8th of April, and will be headlining Harpenden Festival in July.

Ian Dunphy.


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