Love Tastes Like Strawberries, as performed by Miriam Makeba, was released in 1960 on the album The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba (later re-titled Le Monde De Miriam Makeba). It has a kind of north African, bazaar sound, overlayed with a strong jazz tone courtesy of a trumpet accompaniment by her then husband, Hugh Masekela. The youthful innocence of Ms. Makeba's voice is a perfect fit for the youthful innocence of the song's lyrics.
Only three years later, in 1963, Jerry Butler released his own version of the song, simply titled "Strawberries" (on the album For Your Precious Love/Folk Songs; re-released in 2009 on the album Folk Songs in Soul Sound). Mr. Butler, also known as "The Iceman", sings with a very cool, smooth, soulful sound; and on his rendition, the early sound of the soul genre shines. There is also a mild 1960's country/western vibe to the tune... the song sounds a bit like a cowboy song. It has a "lazy, hot, summer day" groove.
In 1997, Miriam Makeba's first husband, Hugh Masekela, released his own version of the song, also titled "Strawberries", on the album Black to the Future (re-released in 2001 on the album The Best of Hugh Masekela). This remake of the classic has a reduced vocal component, performed by a group of children. Rather than featuring the vocals, Mr. Masekela's mastery of the trumpet is in the spotlight.
Even though this is the most instrumental release of the song, it nevertheless has the strongest pop feel. To be sure, it is clearly jazz, but aided by a short piano solo, and the childrens' bright voices, Masekela's performance is very light and breezy, like a sunny spring day. It is very uplifting.
All three versions are remarkable in their own ways. This is truly one of the classics of strawberry music!
(Note: the review for this song is included simply to introduce strawberry lovers to a great strawberry tune. If you like the song, please do the right thing, and buy a copy. Thank you!)
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