Believe in Love
by Tom Stephan Featuring Gerideau

Writers - Stephan/Mizell/Tennant (the latter uncredited)
First released - 2000
Original album - (none)
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

This techno-house track by producer/DJ Tom Stephan began life in 1994 as a remix for a Tom Jones track titled "Love Is on Our Side." Neil Tennant, a friend of Stephan's, heard the instrumental backing track that he had created and suggested that he turn it into an entirely new song, for which Neil offered to provide the melody and lyrics. Tom agreed. But the track then underwent assorted permutations, its release delayed until 2000. Neil, however, asked not to be credited in the original release, and it's only because he mentions it in passing in the booklet accompanying the 2017 reissue of Elysium that his involvement with this track came to light.

The co-authoring credit for Larry Mizell is for a loop that Stephan had incorporated into the arrangement, sampled from the Mizell composition "Los Conquistadores Chocolates," recorded in 1975 by organist Johnny Hammond (previously known as Johnny "Hammond" Smith). The final release of "Believe in Love" features soaring guest vocals by American singer Theo Gerideau.

Neil's lyrics are sung from the perspective of a man involved in a somewhat troubled relationship that he nevertheless feels is well worth saving. Far from thinking that it's more trouble than it's worth, he instead believes it's worth more than its trouble. For instance, after a serious disagreement, he feels the "crisis resolved for a time" and asks his lover, "Don't you think love can be worth all the same?" Despite the pain it often causes, the narrator acknowledges that, at the very least, with love, "I know where I'm going—without you I'm lost." In the chorus he essentially restates the title over and over again: "I believe in love."

One especially telling stanza sounds particularly "Tennant-esque"; at least one journalist had apparently surmised as much upon hearing the following lines:

If love can be like a tropical night
Life can be cold and as frosty and bright
As a morning in Scandinavia
Excuse my yawning—it's just my behaviour

You've got to admit that while "Scandinavia" and "behaviour" may technically be a flawed rhyme—or, to use a less judgmental term, a "slant rhyme"—it's nevertheless absolutely delightful. And though he asked not to receive a songwriting credit, could Neil have been intentionally dropping a couple of sly hints in those allusions to yawning (as on the cover of Actually) and "behaviour" (the title, after all, of a PSB album)?

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