Love Unlimited Orchestra’s Love’s Theme: A Brief Appraisal

Q? Has Barry White ever saved your life?

A. No, he never got me back with my ex-wife neither BUT with soul food this nourishing it does feel like he’s saved me countless times from musical starvation.

From that opening swirly ascending string line to its faultless fade-out you beg will never come, the richly textured yet silky lush instrumentation paints the canvas equivalent of cradling womb lining. Those syncopated rhythmic wah-wah guitar sweeps almost sound like bush crickets rubbing their legs together with sensuous glee. Maybe it’s because they have ears on their knees and therefore exquisite taste in sweet melodies. Or maybe I’m just hearing things…sexy things.

How can 4 minutes encapsulate so much sensory delight? Even the 7" cover font & colour looks suggestible

Essentially one of the only instrumental not to mention purely orchestral singles to ever top the US billboard, many versions or samples have since been covered & re-recorded adding vocals; most notably the orchestra themselves a year later, but with musical moments this pleasurably languorous nothing needs to be said. It is now considered an influence on the quintessential disco sound (but don’t hold that against it) which began stagnating commercial airplay the following year.

Just to recite the 40 piece Orchestra’s list of charting singles – Love’s Theme (reached no.1 stateside for a week in ’73 but only #10 on our shores), Rhapsody in White, Satin Soul, Forever in Love, Midnight Groove & not forgetting the ‘coughs dubiously’ Theme from King Kong (pt.1). Essentially in all those titles there’s only one thing on that composer’s mind, which just so happened to be one Mr. Barry White Esq. and THAT my friends is the same one thing that King Kong always wanted – the timeless privilege that is gittin it own’!

"Ahur-hur ok ya got me, this ain't really my orchestra but it IS a selection of my finest sexy ladies...arranged like a heart-shaped chocolate box of love...oooh baby"

Most worthy live version I could find:


2 thoughts on “Love Unlimited Orchestra’s Love’s Theme: A Brief Appraisal

  1. le0pard13 says:

    This great ol’ instrumental came up in random play on my iPod just yesterday! It’s a grand one, alright. The theme really hit a sweet spot in its combo of strings and modern rhythms and wah-wah guitar accompaniment. Great spotlight on this one. Well done.

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