A crucial stage in singer Darlene Love’s career will be celebrated with the April 7 release of Live 1982. Captured on stage at Hop Singh’s club in southern California, this eleven-song set includes her signature hits recorded for Phil Spector - “He’s a Rebel,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” - alongside an 11-minute gospel medley featuring "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Oh, Happy Day," and "When the Saints Come Marching In." Live 1982 is released on DVD, CD and digital on April 7 by Liberation Hall with distribution by MVD Entertainment Group.
... Read More A crucial stage in singer Darlene Love’s career will be celebrated with the April 7 release of Live 1982. Captured on stage at Hop Singh’s club in southern California, this eleven-song set includes her signature hits recorded for Phil Spector - “He’s a Rebel,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” - alongside an 11-minute gospel medley featuring "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Oh, Happy Day," and "When the Saints Come Marching In." Live 1982 is released on DVD, CD and digital on April 7 by Liberation Hall with distribution by MVD Entertainment Group.
Both Love, whose real name is Darlene Wright, and her younger sister, Edna, were raised by Reverend Joe Wright and Ellen Maddox in the Pentecostal church. The girls learned to sing in church in their native Los Angeles. During choir practice, Love caught the attention of choral director and gospel singer Cora Martin-Moore. After singing for Martin-Moore, she was asked to record a handful of radio broadcasts. This was Love’s first professional musical experience and laid the bedrock for her distinguished career.
In 2021, Love told Rita Charleston at The Philadelphia Tribune, “As a minister’s daughter, I grew up listening to gospel music and was a dedicated member of our church. I always loved to sing and hoped to make a career of it one day.”
She fulfilled her dream. Through her 1960s work with Phil Spector, often uncredited at the time, Love was featured on two of the most popular hits of the decade. She sang lead on “He’s a Rebel” (Billboard #1) and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” (#11), which were credited to the Crystals. As a member of the Blossoms, Love contributed backing vocals to the Ronettes' “Be My Baby” (#2), Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” (#2), Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash” (#1), and the Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron” (#3). By the 1970s, Love decided to take a break from recording to raise a family.
The break lasted longer than anticipated. At the start of the 1980s, Love was working as a maid in Beverly Hills. One day, while on the job, she heard her song “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on the radio. She took it as a sign that it was time to change direction and pursue singing again. With the help of her friend, Steven Van Zandt, a new phase in Love’s career began to gain traction. In 1982, Love was approached by producer Bob Lasiewicz to stage a show that would be filmed and recorded for potential release. That show, now presented as Live 1982, captures the singer at the beginning of her comeback. Two years later, Love was portraying herself in the Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical Leader of the Pack on Broadway in New York.
For the April 21 concert at Hop Singh’s, Love was joined by two very special backing vocalists - her younger sister, Edna Wright, and Gloria Jones. In 1971, Wright scored a Billboard #1 hit with “Want Ads” as the lead singer of Honey Cone. She also sang backup for a wide array of artists including the Righteous Brothers, Ray Charles, and Cher. Jones was a founding member of the vocal group, the Dreamers, who later changed their name to the Blossoms and added Love as a member. Musical backing for the Hop Singh’s concert was provided by the Monte Carlos, a talented group of session players assembled specifically for this show.
"I'm so pleased this concert is finally making it to DVD,” said Love. “It captures a time when I was putting myself out in the world again, knowing that I still had more to offer through my music. It was a thrill to perform alongside two women with whom I had been singing for decades - my sister, Edna Wright, and my fellow member in the Blossoms, Gloria Jones. The band that was put together for the event, the Monte Carlos, really understood rock 'n' roll. It was more rhythm on stage than I have ever had, and I think that made a big difference. I can't wait for people to see this show."
Live 1982 marks the first time this concert has been available on home video. All formats were produced by Bob Lasiewicz for Live Time Productions, now a division of Media InfoSystems, Inc. The audio elements have been remastered and the video re-edited from the original recordings.
Love's most recent studio album, Introducing Darlene Love, was released in 2015 by Steven Van Zandt’s label, Wicked Cool Records. That same year, Love earned a Grammy Award for “Best Music Film” for her involvement in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.