What About Love?
Recording Artist: Toronto
Writers: Jim Vallance
Brian Allen
Sheron Alton
Date Written: March 1982
Albums: The Greatest Hits (2002)
Audio:
 
Holly Woods: vocal
Sheron Alton: lead guitar, backing vocal
Brian Allen: guitar
Scott Kryer: keyboards
Gary Lalonde: bass
Jim Vallance: drums
 
Produced by Steve Smith.  Recorded by Jim Frank at Eastern Sound, Toronto.
Cover Versions:
Also recorded by Corsette, L'il Wayne, Heart, Rick Ross
Comments:
Holly Woods: vocals, Sheron Alton: guitar, Scott Kreyer: keyboards, Brian Allen: guitar
In March 1982 I spent several weeks working with the group "Toronto". I was initially hired by producer Steve Smith to help with musical arrangements, but I ended up co-writing some songs as well ... an unexpected bonus.

Steve Smith had been a staff producer with Island Records, working with artists like Jim Capaldi, Toots and The Maytalls, Robert Palmer and Bob Marley. I've always been a fan of producers who do their own arranging -- like George Martin and Mutt Lange -- but Steve wasn't that kind of producer, so I basically served as his arranger and production assistant on the project.

For the songwriting portion I paired up with band members Brian Allen and Scott Kreyer.  I also collaborated with Brian and the other guitarist in the band, Sheron Alton.
"Toronto" guitarist
Sheron Alton
Brian and Sheron had a small studio in their basement. One night after dinner the three of us wrote a ballad based on a title I had ... "What About Love". It took two or three hours to complete the song, each of us contributing equal portions of music and lyric.  I came away thinking we'd really "clicked" as a songwriting team.

A few weeks later "Toronto" went in the studio and recorded 14 or 15 songs for their "Get It On Credit" album, including "What About Love".

I thought Toronto's drummer (Barry Connors) was an excellent player, but the band asked me to play drums on "What About Love". Maybe I jinxed it, because when it came time for the record company to choose 12 songs for the finished album, "What About Love" didn't make the cut!

I actually forgot about the song until three years later when I got a call from my friend Don Grierson at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. He was thrilled to tell me that "Heart" had just recorded "What About Love"  --  and it was going to be the first single from their upcoming album.
 
Anne and Nancy Wilson of "Heart"
It took a while to discover how this all came about.  I knew that Solid Gold, Toronto's label, had gone bankrupt (in 1984?) - but I didn't know Solid Gold's catalogue had been acquired by ATV Music. ATV publisher Michael McCarty actually took the time to listen to every song in the Solid Gold catalogue, including unreleased demo recordings.

"What About Love" caught his ear, and he sent a copy to Don Grierson, who in turn played the song for Heart.

Heart's version of "What About Love" became a top-ten hit in the US and Canada, selling about 15-million copies world-wide. 

Beter late than never, Solid Gold Records included the original "Toronto" version of "What About Love" on the October 2002 release "Toronto: The Greatest Hits".
 
Postscript:
I was so impressed with Michael McCarty's efforts at getting my song to Heart, that when my 20-year contract with Rondor Music Publishing expired in 2000 I immediately made plans to sign with Michael (who is now President of EMI Music Canada).
Lyrics: I've been lonely
I've been waiting for you
I'm pretending and that's all I can do
The love I'm sending
Ain't making it through to your heart

You've been hiding - never letting it show
Always trying to keep it under control
You got it down and you're well
On the way to the top
But there's something that you forgot

What about love
Don't you want someone to care about you
What about love
Don't let it slip away
What about love
I only want to share it with you
You might need it some day

I can't tell you what you're feeling inside
I can't sell you what you don't want to buy
Something's missing and you got to
Look back on your life
You know something here just ain't right

What about love
Don't you want someone to care about you
What about love
Don't let it slip away
What about love
I only want to share it with you

Solo

What about love
Don't you want someone to care about you
What about love
Don't let it slip away
What about love
I only want to share it with you