Donna Lewis’ I Love You Always Forever is a timeless piece of pure pop beauty. Back in 1996, the Welsh singer not only managed to storm the UK singles chart, she reached the Top 10 across Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and charged up the Billboard Hot 100 despite not having had a previous hit to her name. In the States, the track found itself stuck at #2 , right behind Los Del Rio’s Macarena, and that’s where it stayed for nine weeks. I Love You Always Forever ended up not only becoming one of the biggest selling Stateside singles of the year, but one of the top 100 selling Stateside singles of the bloody decade.
Fast forward twenty years and, Australian pop star Betty Who has stepped up to the plate to give us a slightly updated version of the pop classic. She’s not the first to take up the challenge – last year, Scavenger Hunt succeeded admirably – but Betty is equally qualified, her debut album Take Me When You Go having proven to be a polished exercise in shimmering blasts of radiating synthpop.
While your opinion of this cover is likely to depend upon your familiarity with, and your love for the delicate vocal flourishes of the original, it becomes immediately clear that the the appeal of I Love You Always Forever hasn’t faded with time. The Sydney-raised singer builds the song from its soft, hushed intro through to its insistent conclusion, but the biggest change lies in the addition of the heavy percussion beats, layered vocals and electronic elements.
The biggest win though is in knowing that I Love You Always Forever is going to be introduced to a whole new generation of pop fans and we have Betty to thank for that.