CT 512 Astrud Gilberto – (Where Do I Begin) Love Story / CT 512 Where There Is A Heartache

Side A: (Where Do I begin) Love Story
Side B: Where There’s A Heartache
Astrud Gilberto
Issues: CTI CT 511 [45]
Master No.: CT 511 A/CT 511 B
Recorded: January 13th, 1971
Released: February 1971

This is the interesting case of two promo’s and a general release. The US Promo releases, Astrud Gilberto – “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story” (white promo label) and Astrud Gilberto – “Where There Is A Heartache” (green promo label) both doubled sided, but containing the same track on each 7″ side and using the same CT 512 catalog number. The general release Astrud Gilberto – “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story” in the USA used “Love Story” as the A-side and “Where Is The Heartache” as the B-Side.

With Taylor’s new CTI label firmly established, at the start of 1971 they were looking to make statement records. Taylor’s biggest single/45rpm success until this point had been the 1964 “Girl From Ipanema”.

First in Van Gelder’s studio would be Astrud Gilberto, teamed again with a sax man, this time Stanley Turrentine[1]https://www.dougpayne.com/ctid7072.htm#gilberto rather than Stan Getz. The album needed a popular vocal track that fitted Astrud’s style but was also accessible to the popular music audience. Taylor, arranger Eumir Deodato and Astrud agreed on the theme from the film “Love Story”.

This was a well worn path for Taylor/Gilberto, they’d recorded covers of movie themes and released 45’s before including “The Shadow Of Your Smile – The Sandpiper; “Who Needs Forever” – The Deadly Affair; “Wish Me A Rainbow” – This Property Is Condemmed & “Funny World” – (Italian film) Malamondo.

They would also release “Solo EL Fin” (For All We Know” from the film “Lovers And Other Strangers” and also recorded for the “Gilberto With Turrentine” album. That was scheduled for general US release as CT 516, the last single in Taylor’s Dozen.

“Love Story” – The Film

It’s hard to imagine now, but composer Francis Lai’s instrumental soundtrack album for “Love Story” had almost reached gold record sales before the film premiered on December 16, 1970[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Story_(1970_film). Erich Segal’s book had been a runaway best seller for almost a year[3]The Indianapolis Star – 19 Dec 1970, Sat · Page 45 and had at the time the largest ever initial paperback printing, some 4,350,000 copies, again before the film release[4]Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Tue, Dec 1, 1970 · Page 31.

The film went on general release on Christmas Day 1970 with only an instrumental version of the theme. During production, the Grammy award winning soundtrack winner Francis Lai had struggled to find lyrics that worked for the film’s distributors, Paramount Pictures. Lyricist Carl Sigman wrote a second lyric that was not ready in time for inclusion of the film. Instead an instrumental version was released by Henry Mancini, and singer Andy Williams went into the studio on 17th December, the day after the premier to record the lyrics that Astrud Gilberto would use here.

The Mancini instrumental single release entered the Billboard HOT 100 on January 16th. A full page advert in the same issue declared “Mancini has the only version on today’s Billboard singles chart. (It’s 81 with a star.) Mancini has the only album with “Theme from `Love Story ‘ and songs from today’s other box – office giants. Mancini has the “Love Story.” Order heavy.”

The Williams version of “(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story” was released on January 15th and entered the Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts on February 6th, 1971.

The race was on!

(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story

Ron Carter comparing Blue Note recordings to CTI famously said:

The Blue Note Recordings were always rehearsed from 2-6 on Tuesday or Wednesday, or Wednesday and Thursday and recorded all day Friday at Rudy Van Gelder’s until the recording was finished.

With CTI records, you’d walk in and play the music. My rehearsal was on the way to the recording session to turn the radio on and see what tune was hot for the day, because that would be on the CTI label recording session for that day.

Ron Carter – Artists House Music, Interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYmcDTzYsH4

Ironically, if Ron had switched on the radio on his drive to Van Gelder’s Englewood Cliffs studio on December 11th, 1970, not only would he have heard the theme from “Love Story”, he’d have walked into the studio and had to record it with Hubert Laws. More on that later.

By 1971, Creed had scooped the industry with early covers of a number of tracks, not least Wes Montgomery’s “A Day In The Life”, Benson’s “The Other Side of Abbey Road” and Hubert Laws version of the Beatles “Let It Be” which was recorded in 1969, before the Beatles had released their version[5]https://www.jazzwax.com/2009/04/interview-creed-taylor-part-17.html.

Less than 30-days after Andy Williams had recorded what would become the definitive and most successful version of “(Where Do I begin) “Love Story” theme. On January 13th, 1971 – Astrud Gilberto, Deodato and sidemen that included Bob Mann (electric guitar), Gene Orloff (violin); George Ricci (cello) were gathered in the Van Gelder studio.

They recorded two versions of “Love story” on that day. The first was a Spanish version, likely translated by multi-linguist Astrud Gilberto, followed by an English language overdub. It’s not clear what the plan was. If Astrud recorded in Spanish first to get a feel for the song, or if the plan had been to use the Spanish version and the English version was a bonus? The English version was on the single, the Spanish version went on the Gilberto/Turrentine album and a single/45 only issued in Spain. The Spanish version was scheduled as CT 516, the last 45/single in Taylor’s Dozen.

Either way, by the time the English overdub of the Spanish version was remixed, almost everyone had or was recording the English version. As far as I’m able to establish, CT 512 the white promo was available in it’s limited quantities in the first week of February. It was was already too late according to Billboard Magazine and probably gained little traction in air play and juke box distribution.

While Astrud’s work is subject to almost endless compilations and “best of” CD’s, the English language version of “Love Story” is almost never included. Here is one of the two copies I have on vinyl.

(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story – CT 512 white promo version

Record Industry Loves ‘Love Story’

The January 23rd issue of Billboard Magazine carried a front page article by Mike Gross, it lead with:

There are already 28 disk treatments in the groove, the soundtrack album on the Paramount label is No. 26 (with a star) on Billboard’s Top LP’s chart this week, Henry Mancini’s instrumental version, ‘Theme From Love Story,” on RCA Records, climbed to 53 (with a star) on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart this week, and the Jan. 15 release date of the vocal version, “(Where Do I Begin) LOVE STORY,” had Columbia Records in the market with two of its top balladeers, Tony Bennett and Andy Williams, battling for dominance in the singles field with the song.

January 23rd Billboard Magazine

Both Williams and Bennett had TV appearances to promote their versions. Williams premiered his version on his CBS-TV show on January 16th and again on the 23rd and 30th; Bennett sang the song on Ed Sullivan’s CBS -TV show on January 17th; Johnny Mathis had recorded the song for his next Columbia album, sang it NBC -TV’s “The Flip Wilson Show” on Feb. 4th.

The cover versions were relentless, weirdly, especially by men. Again from Gross Billboard cover article:

Peter Nero (Columbia), Mantovani (London), Al DeLory (Capitol), Francis Lai (Paramount), Franck Pourcel (Paramount) and Billy Vaughan (Paramount), already on release; and the Carpenters (A &M), Anthony Newley (MGM), Percy Faith (Columbia). Andre Kostelanetz (Columbia), Roger Williams (Kapp). Ferrante & Tricher (United Artists), Liberace (Ranwood), Exotic Strings ( Ranwood), Sammy Kaye (Decca), Hubert Laws (CTI), Astrud Gilberto (CTI), Irving Spice (Ampex), Hugo Winterhalter (Musicor), Ray Conniff (Columbia), Briarcliff Strings (Harmony), Roy Clark (Paramount), Chet Atkins (RCA), and Donald Hume (independently produced by Hy Grill.

January 23rd, 1971 issue of Billboard Magazine

In addition, the big labels also took out full page adverts for their versions.

The general release was out too late. The English version is only ever heard on CT 512, white promo or green general release singles. It was also included on an obscure Korean 2004 compilation of Astrud’s work, published using the “Gilberto and Turrentine” album name. It includes both the Spanish and English version of the song, as well as the b-side “Where There’s A Heartache”[6]https://www.discogs.com/release/11445367-Gilberto-With-Turrentine-Gilberto-With-Turrentine.

Internationally it wasn’t the same, it was released in a number of countries often with licensed/unlicensed picture covers. Most were released in February 1971. There were also releases in Japan, Canada, Australia, South Africa. Spain actually got single releases in English and Spanish.

“Where There’s A Heartache”

Also recorded during the the January 13th session at the Van Gelder Studio at Englewood Cliffs, this Burt Bacharach/Hal David track, full title “Where There’s A Heartache (There Must Be A Heart)” is also the same 3:10 cut that is on the “Giberto With Turrentine”. It is my opinion that at some point in late January, Taylor decided to switch horses and promote this cut rather than the “Love Story” track. The green promo pressing was likely pressed after the green general release of “Love Story” in effort to promote both the “Love Story” single and the “Giberto With Turrentine” album. Hence the two promo discs.

The track had been covered by the Sandpipers, Oliver, Carnival and even Van McCoy, who in 1971 also covered “Love Story” for a March single release.

Sadly, the neither single or album made the same inroads as Getz/Gilberto. On May 7th, 1971, Astrud Gilberto did the ceremonial kick-off for the first home season for the New York Cosmos(Soccer team), so there is that[7]New York Times May 8, 1971, Page 19.

Hubert Laws

Hubert Laws more traditional cover of the theme from “Love Story” is probably the best known of the CTI covers. As noted earlier, it was recorded on December 11th with Hubert Laws (f); Fred Alston, Jr. (bassoon); Bob James (el-p); Ron Carter (b); Gene Bertoncini (g); Fred Waits (d); Dave Friedman (vib); Richie “Pablo” Landrum, Airto Moreira (perc).

Although scheduled for release as CT 515 on green labels, the Laws single release was never issued as CT 515. Instead, Taylor switched from the green labels to what we now recognize as the orange and gold labels, it became the B-side of OJ-3. The A-side being “Fire And Rain”.

This announcement was carried in Billboard March 27th, 1971 issue, the “Fire And Rain” single was available in April[8]https://www.discogs.com/release/5161874-Hubert-Laws-Fire-And-Rain.

The single version is a 3:17 edit of the track on the “Afro-Classic”[9]https://www.discogs.com/master/67392-Hubert-Laws-Afro-Classic album, which runs 7:31.

For the “Fire And Rain b/w “Love Story” track featuring Hubert Laws, I can recommend the 14-minute track on the “CTI Summer Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl Live Two”[10]https://www.discogs.com/master/489470-CTI-All-Stars-CTI-Summer-Jazz-At-The-Hollywood-Bowl-Live-Two album. Recorded on 7th July 1972, but not released until 1977, it’s as good an epitaph for Creed Taylor’s CTI label as anything.

CT 511 Anton Carlos Jobim – Stone Flower  << | Taylor’s Dozen | >> CT 516 Astrud Gilberto – “Solo EL Fin”

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