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Love Plus One – Haircut 100

“Love Plus One” by Haircut 100 may be the peppiest, jingliest and happiest one-hit wonder ever. This song oozes pure joy. Every instrument sounds happy to be part of the sound. The soaring saxophone. The jing-jing-jing-jing of the electric guitar. The big crash cymbals in the chorus. And the ultra-rare use of the marimba in a song. Of course, marimba always reminds us of Starbuck’s #3 Billboard hit, “Moonlight Feels Right.” Best marimba solo ever.

Favorite lyrics? I have to go with:
Ay ah ah ah ah ah
Ay ah ah ah ah ah
Then I call
Ring (ring) ring (ring) ring (ring) ring (ring)
La la love plus one
Ring (ring) ring (ring) ring (ring) ring (ring)

It takes moxie to write such a simple chorus. And even though it makes little sense, in the context of the song, it’s a perfect sing-along chorus.

Click to read “Love Plus One” lyrics

You’ve got to give Haircut 100 props for recording a song that sounded nothing like any of the standard new wave, pop or rock music of the early 1980s. Founded by guitarist and vocalist Nick Heyward in 1980, Haircut 100 quickly released Pelican West, a brilliant slice of joyous pop music. If you like “Love Plus One” you will like every song on Pelican West.

Admitting you liked Haircut 100 in the early ’80s around any rocker was enough to get you pounded into the ground. But it’s more than 20 years later and I’ll admit it: I loved the band, I owned the record, and I still think “Love Plus One” sounds great. So bring it, tough guy.

At the peak of their success and before the band could even record a follow-up to Pelican West, Heyward left the band. Although the band released Paint and Paint, it just didn’t sound the same without Heyward. Haircut 100 was history.

But that poppy sound from Britain was enough to land Haircut 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 when “Love Plus One” reached #37 in 1982. The song was also ranked #90 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. Pretty great for a cable-knit-sweater-and-khaki-pants-wearing early 80s preppy band from Britain.

Listen to Love Plus One by Haircut 100

Buy Love Plus One by Haircut 100

Written by

I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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5 Responses to "Love Plus One – Haircut 100"

  1. Katrina R. says:

    This is actually a great song and was included on the first album I ever owned, an 80’s “best-of” collection I received in the 7th grade from my father. Memories!

  2. Michael Waterman says:

    My good friend bought Pelican West and we listened to it for hours. Although we would never admit to our rocker friends that we were Haircut 100 fans. Our friends all assumed we were hardcore Zeppelin, Sabbath, Iron Maiden and AC/DC fans (we were). Duplicity at such a young age.

  3. Matt Thurston says:

    I had Pelican West on cassette in the 80s, and later replace it on CD in the 90s. Still pull the CD out once every few years when I need a shot of happiness. “Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)” is one of my all-time favorite “air band” (air guitar, air drums, air horns) songs, especially when I’m driving in my car.

    And you gotta love the video for “Fantastic Day”… just as fun and unaffected as the “Love Plus One” video.

    Like Stephen Duffy (Tin Tin, Lilac Time, solo), Terry Hall (The Specials, Fun Boy Three, The Colourfield, solo), Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera, solo), Nick Heyward had a Neil Finn-esque ability to write/sing _great_ pop songs, but always seemed to be degree or two separated from real success and fame.

  4. Michael Waterman says:

    So true about Heyward. A nervous breakdown did him in and really killed his chances at super-stardom among the preppy set. Roddy Frame and Neil Finn did some gigs together on acoustic guitar. Here is “Weather With You” and “Obvious” from Aztec Camera

    Great songwriters and criminally non-famous.

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