"Love Is the Drug" is a 1975 single from Roxy Music's fifth studio album Siren.

Contents Edit

  • 1 Roxy Music original
    • 1.1 Background
    • 1.2 Personnel
    • 1.3 Chart positions
  • 2 Grace Jones version
    • 2.1 Track listing
    • 2.2 Chart performance
  • 3 Other cover versions
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Roxy Music original Edit

Background Edit

The song was the lead single taken from the album Siren. A number two hit in the United Kingdom, it also gave the group its first substantial exposure in the United States, reaching number 30 in early 1976 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and doing even better on progressive rock radio. Its B-side in most countries was "Sultanesque", a non-LP instrumental track written by Ferry, which is now available on the The Thrill of It All boxset.

The song started as an Andy Mackay instrumental, but then gained lyrics from Bryan Ferry; Ferry said the song came to him while he was walking and kicking the leaves in London's Hyde Park. The audio sample[clarification needed - what audio sample?], previously thought to be from the opening of the 1971 Steven Spielberg film "Duel", is actually from New Orleans Bump by Jelly Roll Morton.

The bassline by John Gustafson became influential. In the DVD, More Than This: The Story of Roxy Music, Nile Rodgers of Chic states that the song was a big influence as the bass timing is almost identical to the one in Chic's song, "Good Times".

The song remains Roxy Music's highest-charting single in the US, while in the UK it was topped only by their 1981 version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy". It is one ofThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Personnel[edit] Edit

  • Bryan Ferry – vocals, piano
  • Andy Mackay – oboe, saxophone (and treatments)
  • John Gustafson – bass guitar
  • Paul Thompson – drums and timpani
  • Phil Manzanera – electric guitar (and treatments)
  • Eddie Jobson – violin, synthesizer and keyboards

Chart positions[edit] Edit

Chart (1975–1976) Peak


Australia (Kent Music Report)[1] 18
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[2] 15
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[3] 3
Germany (Media Control Charts)[4] 39
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[5] 8
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 9
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 24
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 30
Chart (1996)1 Peak


UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 33


Grace Jones version[edit] Edit

"Love Is the Drug"
Single by Grace Jones
from the album Warm Leatherette
B-side "Sinning", "Living My Life", "The Apple Stretching"
Released 1980
Format 7", 12"
Genre Pop rock, new wave
Label Island
Writer(s) Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay
Producer(s) Chris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin
Grace Jones singles chronology
"A Rolling Stone"


"Love Is the Drug"


"Private Life"


Grace Jones recorded "Love Is the Drug" on her Warm Leatherette album from 1980. The track was released as the second single, following "A Rolling Stone" in the UK while it was the first single to be released in Germany. After failing to chart in 1980, a remix of the Grace Jones version was released in 1986 following the 1985 compilation Island Life and then became a minor hit in the UK, peaking at no. 35. Music video was produced for the 1986 remix and directed by Matt Forrest and Bruno Tilley.[11]

Track listing[edit] Edit

  • 7" Single (1980)[12]
A. "Love Is the Drug" – 4:40
B. "Sinning" – 4:10
  • 12" Single (1980)[13]
A. "Love Is the Drug" – 8:40
B. "Sinning" – 4:10
  • 12" Single (1981)[14]
A. "Love Is the Drug" – 7:15
B. "Demolition Man" – 4:04
  • UK 7" Single (1986)[15]
A. "Love Is the Drug" – 3:21
B. "Living My Life" – 5:28
  • EU 7" Single (1986)[16]
A. "Love Is the Drug" – 3:42
B. "Living My Life" – 3:58
  • 12" Single (1986)[17]
A. "Love Is the Drug" – 6:57
B1. "Living My Life" – 5:28
B2. "The Apple Stretching" – 6:55

Chart performance[edit] Edit

Chart (1986) Peak


Germany (Media Control Charts)[18] 57
Ireland (IRMA)[19] 18
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 35

Other cover versions[edit] Edit

  • In 1993, Australian rock group, Divinyls, recorded a version for the Super Mario Bros. film soundtrack. The song also appeared on their compilation albums The Collection in 1994 and Make You Happy in 1997.
  • In 2001, Lisa Zane, dressed as an Egyptian, snake-haired gorgon, covered the song in Monkeybone.
  • Jamiroquai covered the song in 2002 for the BBC programme Re:covered.
  • Kylie Minogue recorded the track for the 2007 Radio 1 Established 1967 compilation album.
  • Tomoyasu Hotei covered it on his 2009 cover album Modern Times Rock'N'Roll.
  • In 2010, the song was performed by The Hotrats and released on their cover album, Turn Ons.
  • Ali Campbell covered the song on his 2010 album Great British Songs.
  • Carla Gugino and Oscar Isaac covered the song for the movie Sucker Punch in a sequence that is played throughout the closing credits and it is also included on the film's soundtrack.
  • Bryan Ferry and his orchestra covered the song for the 2013 film The Great Gatsby.