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“Love’s Theme” is an instrumental piece recorded by Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra and released in 1973. It is one of the few instrumental and purely orchestral singles to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, in early 1974. The piece was included on the albums Under the Influence of Love Unlimited (by the vocal group Love Unlimited) and Rhapsody in White.
The recording, with a large string orchestra and wah-wah guitar, is considered to be an influence to the disco sound, which would explode in popularity the following year. The song was also popular on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S., where the song spent two weeks at #1. It was also used by ABC Sports for many years as the opening theme music for its golf coverage. In Canada, the single saw similar success, reaching #1 on the RPM 100 National Singles Chart on March 2, 1974.
The Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airlines used the song for their TV advertisements.
In addition, “Love’s Theme” has been recorded with lyrics (penned by White’s publisher, Aaron Schroeder), with vocal versions by such artists as Love Unlimited (on their 1974 album In Heat), Julio Iglesias, and Andy Williams. Enoch Light recorded an electro-disco instrumental version of the song on his 1977 album, Disco Disque. The song is also part of Meco’s instrumental medley “Hooked On Instrumentals Part I” (from the 1985 album Hooked On Instrumentals). In May 1993, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released their single “Dream of Me (Based on Love’s Theme)” (from their album Liberator, released the same year) on which they sang their own lyrics over a sample of this Barry White composition. This single reached #24 on the UK Singles Chart, and writing credits were given to Barry White.