LISTEN: Digging into ‘Sex and the City’s’ most iconic song & its complicated past

LISTEN: Digging into ‘Sex and the City’s’ most iconic song & its complicated past

You are currently viewing LISTEN: Digging into ‘Sex and the City’s’ most iconic song & its complicated past
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For a generation of gays, the long-standing club anthem “You Got the Love” is most synonymous with the glamorous women of Sex and the City.

In the original series’ finale, which aired way back in 2004, Carrie Bradshaw, fresh off an intoxicating rendezvous with “Mr. Big” on the Pont des Arts bridge, returns from her ill-fated Paris sojourn and embraces her girls.

At long last, she is home.

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air

Reunited with her true loves–the girls and “Big”–Carrie begins pontificating about relationships:

“There are ones that open you up to something new and exotic. Those that are old and familiar. Those that bring up lots of questions. Those that bring you somewhere unexpected. Those that bring you far from where you started.”

I know I can count on you

On a familiar Manhattan power stroll, Carrie, with Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha in tow, comes to her conclusion. We may focus on our relationships with others, but our most significant relationship is the one with ourselves.

We must know what we want.

“If you find someone who loves the ‘you’ you love, well, that’s just fabulous,” she says.

Sometimes I feel like saying “Lord I just don’t care”,
But you’ve got the love I need to see me through

With And Just Like That… returning this week, we thought it was the perfect time to delve into the show’s most iconic song.

Appropriately, the song’s history is just as convoluted as Carrie’s love life.

The story goes, back in 1986, disco queen Candi Staton, whose career was faltering, was vacationing in the Bahamas when she connected with comedian Dick Gregory. He was launching a new weight-loss supplement business and wanted to produce a video. Gregory’s subject was a 900-pound man trying to lose a quarter of his body weight, according to the Financial Times.

To make the video pop, Gregory thought he needed an uplifting anthem, and asked Staton to record one.

But he never used it.

The 900-pound man gained more weight and wound up passing away. RIP. Staton forgot about the song, only to be told five years later she had a hit single in the U.K.

So how did “You Got the Love” arrive at the top of the charts?

For years, it was floating around London’s burgeoning rave scene, with multiple DJs adding their own twist to the 1986 version, which was released over a bright, symphonic track.

“It was never supposed to be put on a record at all,” Staton told the Guardian in 2006.

The first DJ to take “You Got the Love” mainstream was fittingly a guy named John Truelove, whose 1989 mix arrived on the charts in 1991.

His beat was “ravier,” if not more hedonistic, and wouldn’t feel out of place at any New York City Pride party this weekend.

And just like that, “You Got the Love” took on a life of its own.

For all of “You Got the Love’s” remixes–it was one of the first songs widely sampled by house DJs–Truelove’s second version is the song’s most iconic. Released in 1997, the “Now Voyager” mix is filled with orchestral beats, giving it a melancholy vibe. This mix reached No. 3 on the U.K. charts, and became the theme for live soccer coverage on Sky Sports for nearly two decades.

In addition to Sex and the City, the song was featured in Layer Cake, the thriller starring Daniel Craig that likely led to his casting as James Bond. The song’s music video, which was also popular at the time, features a man dressed as a friar carrying a cross and being guided by an angel–and tempted by a devil–through London’s cold streets.

About 10 years later, “You Got the Love” received yet another life.

English indie rock band Florence and the Machine rose to international prominence with their 2008 single, “Dog Days Are Over.” Originally a bonus track to the hit album, “Lungs,” Florence and the Machine’s take on “You Got the Love” was re-released in 2009.

In an interview at the time, Florence Welch said the song made her feel euphoric as a young partier in London’s rave scene.

“As a kid, going to clubs and raves, this song made me feel love,” she said. “At Bestival last year we were top of the bill on that stage, so we were thinking of an amazing cover we could do, and I thought of Candi Staton. Even in rehearsals, playing it was just the most euphoric feeling. Then playing it live and seeing everyone’s arms in the air, and the faces – it was the best feeling ever.”

The music video reflects that bacchanalian energy.

These days, “You Got the Love” continues to float around the club circuit and is a staple on many people’s workout playlists. While Florence and the Machine’s rendition is the most prevalent, it’s still remixed all the time.

The song is timeless, just like our favorite girls.


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