…..UK-based Italian tenor and British female vocalist Renee And Renato were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Save Your Love’, the duo’s only UK Top 40 hit and this years Christmas No.1.
If you were alive in 1982 and remember this, I’m guessing you’ll be saying – Nooooo! Not Renee and Renato! If you were born after, and haven’t seen/heard/experienced the wonder that is ‘Save Your Love’, strap yourself in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride….
First off – Renee and Renato, who??
Lets have some context. Musically speaking 1982 was wonderfully diverse wasn’t it? With big hits for new romantics and synth poppers like the Human League, Kraftwerk and Culture Club, agit-pop from Madness and The Jam, movie tie-in mega-hits from Irene Cara, who had a number one with the theme from the Fame movie (ask yer Mum), and Survivor hit big with the all-macho ‘Eye of The Tiger’ (ask yer, err, Dad) from the Rocky movie – so far, so Top 40.
However, look a little closer at the number ones from the year and to say there are some definite curveballs might be a just a tad under-playing it – consider if you will Musical Youth. A four-piece reggae act from Birmingham whose oldest member was 17, replete with twelve year old ‘toaster’ and rhythm guitarist, not only that, the wonderfully catchy little ditty they’d hit the pop bulls-eye with, ‘Pass The Dutchie’, began life as ‘Pass The Kutchie’ by the Mighty Diamonds, a roots reggae number that celebrated the ritualistic passing round of the ganja pipe! You never got that with S Club 7!
More number one weirdness can be found when a former ‘nasty’ punk rocker (Captain Sensible/The Damned) decided (seemingly apropos of nothing) to offer up a fairly straight reading of the 1949 Rodgers & Hammerstein South Pacific fave ‘Happy talk’, here’s the evidence…. Bizarre! What was happening? Were we collectively under the influence of LSD? Had the nation been smoking banana skins? Were we victims of a secret government plot? What else can explain the mid-year anomaly that was Charlene’s existentialist feminist anthem ‘I’ve Never Been To Me’ before trying to cover your eyes (and ears) when the Goombay Dance Band (yes the bloody Goombay Dance Band!), hit the top spot with the forced happiness that was ‘Seven Tears’ – blimey o’riley! All of that and I didn’t even mention Tight Fit or Nicole….
So what about Renee and Renato?
Renato was a West Midlands born club singer who auditioned for ITV’s ‘New Faces’ in 1975 (but of course), was spotted by songwriter Johnny Edward, who duly penned the titular ‘Save Your Love’ and paired Renato up with British singer Hilary Lester (sorry to burst your bubble but she wasn’t Italian and she certainly wasn’t called Renee). Seven years later, the duo’s song started to get airplay and around Christmas (insert comment about the ‘silly season’ here) it started climbing the charts* and before you could say ‘dodgy Xmas Jumpers’ it had taken the coveted Christmas number one spot! So here, without further ado, is the wonderful, no expense spared, video….btw…Renee/Hilary didn’t actually appear in the video she was replaced by a model! I double dare you to watch it all!
* The charts were something that used to be very popular with the young and old alike, sadly they don’t exist anymore.