At some point, I don’t remember if I was in junior high or high school, we became a “Lite FM” household. While I certainly had my own musical tastes, my grandmother ran the house I lived in for most of my childhood (and all of my teenage years), and if she wasn’t playing church radio (and I don’t mean gospel music, I mean very traditional Catholic sermons and reading of Scripture), then the top adult contemporary hits of yesteryear were on. So, even with as much top 40 and hip hop radio as I was consuming, I had (and have) a soft spot for a lot of early and mid ’70s AM gold, a lot of which was played on New York’s WLTW in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds’ appealingly gooey mid tempo ballad “Fallin’ In Love” was one of those songs.
Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds were a fairly anonymous band of guys who had one other big hit (the great but not classic “Don’t Pull Your Love”) a few years before “Fallin’ In Love” rocketed to the top of the pop charts. They had a hell of a confusing moniker; the trio was named after two members’ last names and one member’s two first names (or first and middle name? Who knows?). Interestingly, by the time “Fallin’ In Love” hit, the “Reynolds” guy was out of the group. A name change ensued, but it was all for naught, as “Fallin’ In Love” marked the trio’s last hit under any name.
So, I can distinctly remember hearing “Fallin’ In Love” a lot on the radio, but I don’t think I placed the song and artists together until I was well in my twenties. I started my second music retail job (shoutout Nobody Beats The Wiz) in the spring of 1996, right around the time La Bouche’s debut album came out. Don’t know La Bouche? Don’t worry about it. They were one of many anonymous Eurodance groups that came out in the mid ’90s. They had one huge hit (“Be My Lover”) and more or less disappeared. Anyway, my manager at the time loved the La Bouche album, at least he loved the first handful of tracks, which included a remake of “Fallin’ In Love”. Beyond that, “Fallin’ In Love” has (somewhat strangely) factored heavily in the creation of a couple of rap records that I enjoy- “Room To Breathe” from the long-forgotten interracial duo Downtown Science (I remember falling in love with this beat from the first time I saw the video and going crazy looking for a copy of the album), and “Best I Ever Had”, the song that put a guy named Drake on the map.
And if you watch this video, you get some bonus Helen Reddy. Don’t be weirded out, I guess the editors created this video with the audio from the song’s original recording.