Tracy Spencer – Love is like a game
I'm goin' crazy, and I don't know the reason
Why my heart is thumping for you
Love's a game for you
Well there is something now I can do
Honey I'm gonna play with you
In the world of music, and especially pop music, artists have combined many times the passion of love with the concept of the challenge, the battle, the game in which you win or you lose. Perhaps the first were ABBA, always written in capital letters as INXS, who had already expressed the concept in July 1980 in The Winner Takes It All, but there have been many others in more recent times, I think for example of Santana’s The Game of Love in 2002. But we’re talking about the 80s, and in the mid-eighties, in the summer of 1985, there was a dance hit called Love Is Like a Game, which expressed about the same theme, albeit in a much more playful and rhythmic tone.
The song was a product of the Italo-Disco trend. The group that sang it wasn’t very famous, they were called Hot and Cold, but among the authors of this song there was a true queen of Italo Disco, Ivana Spagna, who in a year’s time will have a resounding success with Easy Lady. The song was not very successful in the interpretation of Hot and Cold, but in some way it did not go unnoticed, if it is true that about a year later Claudio Cecchetto picked up this song and recycled it for one of his emerging artists, Tracy Spencer.
Tracy Spencer was an English girl of Cape Verdean origin who was going for her twenty-five years, and she had been one of the queens of the summer of 1986 with an irresistible song, Run to me, which will remain her greatest success. With Run to Me she had not only won a Summer festival, but she had absolutely become the icon of the moment: definitely beautiful but not vulgar, always smiling and full of energy, Tracy had really impressed young people from all over Italy, also helped by the frequent appearances to DeeJay Television.
Of course, her real name was not Tracy Spencer, but Louise Tracy Freeman, but she did indeed call herself Tracy, so producer Cecchetto and his team created for her the stage name of Tracy Spencer, obviously starting from the name of the actor Spencer Tracy.
Tracy Spencer in previous years had started a career as an actress, or rather, as an extra, and had appeared in some minor films, but I don’t know where she would have landed as an actress; however, it is a fact that she was noticed by Cecchetto, and her life changed.
And so, in December 1986, Cecchetto produced the second single for Tracy Spencer, precisely reviving the song Love Is Like a Game by Hot and Cold, rearranging it a little bit, and broadcasting it on repeat. And the good Tracy still managed to get quite a bit of success, even if her limit in general was that she never really went beyond Italian borders: very famous and loved in Italy, quite unknown in the rest of Europe, while other Italo-Disco productions had also blasted over the continent (I’m thinking of Gazebo with I Like Chopin, and later to all the productions of Spagna).
Love Is Like a Game didn’t even have a real video: Cecchetto’s songs didn’t always have it, maybe the most visible ones like Run to Me or Diamond by Via Verdi, but many others didn’t have it, and after all even an international hit and iconic like Boys (Summertime Love) by Sabrina had to settle for a video shot in a hotel swimming pool, a kind of home made holiday film!
In any case, in the days between December 1986 and the beginning of 1987 this song was in the first places of the Italian charts, and contributed to making Tracy Spencer an eighties version of the concept of Italy’s sweetheart, if it is true that still in recent years she has appeared on TV or even on the radio, and she still performs in 80’s summer shows around Italy, and in my opinion she is even more a great woman and singer!!!
Tracy Spencer on Wikipedia