Story of the song: Love Sensation by Loleatta Holloway

From The Independent archive: Robert Webb on ‘Love Sensation’ by Loleatta Holloway

Friday 29 April 2022 21:30
<p>Pretty in mink: Holloway got what she wanted from her song being sampled without her permission </p>

Pretty in mink: Holloway got what she wanted from her song being sampled without her permission

Ride on Time”, by the Italian house act Black Box, was the UK’s biggest-selling single of 1989. At the heart of its infectious, wailing hook are samples from Loleatta Holloway’s floor-filler of nine years earlier, “Love Sensation”, issued on SalSoul Records and written by the Pennsylvanian songwriter and producer, Dan “Instant Replay” Hartman. The trouble was, no one had actually granted Black Box permission to plunder Holloway’s classic song.

SalSoul’s Glenn Larusso had, at one stage, been approached for permission to remix, but nothing had been agreed. “We asked for an advance of $10,000, which they felt was very high and I never heard back from them,” he says. A friend was in London on business and told Larusso about the Black Box record. “Sampling was very new at this time and I didn’t quite understand it,” says Larusso. “I had someone send me over a copy of the 12-inch single and when I heard it, I realised what they did.”

It went straight to the top at SalSoul and lawyers were called in to settle. The deal couldn’t close without a signature from an irate Holloway. “They asked Loleatta what she wanted and her reply was ‘a mink coat and $50,000’,” says Larusso. Holloway’s demands were met. “She still has the mink coat!”

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