“Does She Love That Man” by Breathe (featuring David Glasper) (1990)

“Does She Love That Man” is not a happy song, and Breathe’s David Glasper is not a very happy man (although if you’re familiar with Breathe’s catalog, this might not be a surprise to you). In this particular instance,  his lady has left him, and it’s right before Christmas. He appears to be blind to the festivities generally associated with the holiday season. He’s also not watching where he’s going, and as he bumps into someone on the street, he sees his ex walking with another man. David spends the rest of the song wondering if his former lady’s love for her new beau is as strong as the torch he still holds for her.

I have a strange affinity for sad songs sung by soulful British people, so it should be no surprise that “Does She Love That Man” struck a chord with my yet-to-be-broken fourteen year old heart when I first heard it in late 1990. It operates in that weird spot that “River” by Joni Mitchell and “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders are in; it’s not explicitly a Christmas song, but it’s set during the holidays so ends up being sort of weird to play during any other time of the year. It wasn’t a huge radio hit, and Breathe cassingles weren’t exactly plentiful in the hood, so my only exposure to the song for a few years was via a cassette dub I must have made while listening to American Top 40. Although Breathe’s 1988 effort, All That Jazz, spawned three hit singles, the follow-up (which contained “Does She Love That Man”) was a pretty sizable flop. The audience for sophisto-pop had dimmed slightly, and an awkward name change (Peace of Mind was credited to Breathe featuring David Glasper) probably didn’t help. By the time I started working in a record store in fall ‘93, Peace Of Mind was out of print and even the used shops/outlet shops/cutout bins didn’t have it. Thank goodness for the internet! “Does She Love That Man” was probably one of the first ten (if not first five) songs I looked for once I discovered Audiogalaxy and Kazaa in the early 2000s.

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