“The Look of Love” by ABC

Trying to ascertain what ABC’s “The Look of Love” means based solely on the lyrics may prove to be an act of futility. Or put differently, there are a number of different interpretations to this timeless classic. Indeed even within the lyrics of the song, when confronted with the question “who got the look”, its lead singer and co-writer Martin Fry admits that he “don’t even know the answer to that question”.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for ABC's The Look of Love at Lyrics.org.

But what we do know is that, again according to Fry, “The Look of Love” is a post-breakup song which is meant to capture – succinctly put – the emotion of being dumped and the aftereffect of “search(ing) for some sort of meaning in your life”. And we do see that in the second verse he makes a reference to being “left… out on the pavement” by “your girl” and trying to make sense of the world afterwards.

And subsequent parts of the song do read like he is in a search for such. In other words, “the look of love” would be something tantamount to identifying a potential romantic replacement just by looking at her or perhaps the way she looks at him.

Lyrics of "The Look of Love"

Facts about “The Look of Love”

  • “The Look of Love” was originally released on 7 May 1982. It was a single from ABC’s debut album, The Lexicon of Love.
  • This track proved to be ABC’s highest-charting song in their native country, where it peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart.
  • It also fared well on the US-based Billboard charts. For example, it reached number 18 on the Hot 100 and actually hit number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
  • “The Look of Love” has received quite a few accolades, such as being named by VH1 as one of the “100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s”. Furthermore, The Village Voice placed it amongst its “Top Singles of the 80’s”

Writing and Production of “The Look of Love”

“The Look of Love” was written by Martin Fry and the following ABC band members:

  • Mark White
  • Stephen Singleton
  • David Palmer
  • Mark Lickley

The production side of the song was handled by Trevor Horn. Horn was one of the premiere hitmakers of the 1980s.

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