Thirty years ago this week, one of the greatest piano house tracks of all time broke into the pop charts – Alison Limerick’s Where Love Lives.
The track was written by Swedish composer Latti Kronlund – who reportedly picked Limerick to perform the track after seeing her perform Billie Holiday’s God Bless The Child at a fashion event at London’s ICA – but it was arguably the additional production nous provided by David Morales and Frankie Knuckles on the now-famous ‘Classic Mix’ that made it go stratospheric.
There’s just something about that piano riff… 🙂
“At first, I was so stunned by the way people reacted that it felt unreal,” Limerick told Billboard Magazine in March 1992 (an article accompanied by a natty image of Altern-8 in their pomp – see below). “Even after all of this time, I don’t think I’ve been struck with the full weight of how big this song was in the clubs.”
A former dancer, Limerick spent many years working in theatre and musicals, before getting a job as a session vocalist for groups including The Style Council and This Mortal Coil. In time, this would lead to the encounter with Kronlund that would change her life.
“I just went in and sang the song with absolutely no expectations of where it might lead,” Limerick told Billboard. “In fact, I had almost forgotten about the track when I got a call saying [Arista] wanted to sign me up.”
Where Love Lives would feature on Limerick’s first album, And I Still Rise, setting in motion a career that has persisted to this day – as recently as 2018, she released the single Bye Bye alongside Lenny Fontana.
“Sure, I have a long way to go before I can view myself among those I adore – but I am on the way,” Limerick said back in 1992. “Every day I work a little bit harder, and move closer towards reaching my full potential. The challenge is a thrill.”
Where Love Lives went on to be re-released in 1996 and 2003, and is etched in granite as one of the all time great house music masterpieces.
Or, as Mixmag put it, naming the track as its Greatest Dance Single Of All Time, back in 1996, “Where Love Lives (Come On in) is the greatest dance record of all time because it’s got everything. It swings, it makes girls pout, boys preen and hearts sing. There’s a touch of sadness about it but it’s incredibly uplifting, reaching a bittersweet joy that only the most spiritual of house achieves.
“Ms Limerick – whose subsequent career never lived up to this – sings with a throaty, controlled abandon, hitting the high notes while arms hit the ceiling. Even the lyrics are cool: strong woman sends out her love but gives her lover a bit of a slagging while she’s about it.”
It has lost none of its lustre in the years since… 🙂