“Chains of Love” is a song by British synthpop duo Erasure, released in May 1988 as their ninth single overall.
The song was released by Mute Records as the second single from Erasure’s third studio album The Innocents. In the United States, Sire Records released it as the first single. The album version was produced by Stephen Hague and was slightly remixed for its single release (most notably the album version starts cold, while the radio version contains a short synthesizer pattern as an intro).
“Chains of Love” became Erasure’s sixth consecutive Top 20 hit on the UK singles chart, just missing the Top 10 by peaking at number eleven. In the United States, it became Erasure’s mainstream breakthrough by climbing to number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the group’s first entry on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also hit number four on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. “Chains of Love” remains as Erasure’s highest-charting U.S. pop hit.
The song, written by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, is an uptempo dance-oriented synthpop track with Clarke’s signature analogue sound and Bell’s lyrics about breaking through any restrictions or stereotypes of what love should be. The lyrics allude subtly to Bell’s desire for wider acceptance of homosexual couples, his pain evident from the opening lines “How can I explain when there are few words I can choose/How can I explain when words get broken”. The chorus is memorable for Bell’s use of falsetto. The music video featured Clarke and Bell performing the song while being hoisted through the air by thick, metal chains.
Shep Pettibone provided five mixes for the US Promo 12″, two of which were made available on a rare US Promo CD. The Unfettered Mix made an appearance on the 21st Anniversary edition of “The Innocents” 2CD in 2009.
Chains Of Love (The Unfettered Mix) 8:22
Chains Of Love (Fetter Dub Dub) 5:10
Chains Of Love (Remix Radio Edit Without Intro) 3:40
Chains Of Love (Truly In Love With The Marks Bros. Mix) 7:20
Chains Of Love (Instrumental Dub) 3:50
Chains Of Love (Remix Radio Edit With Intro) 3:56