Country Throwback: John Denver Serenades Red Rocks with ‘Perhaps Love’ in 1982

by Keeli Parkey
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John Denver brought his heart and soul to his performance of “Perhaps Love” at Red Rocks in 1982. He serenaded the crowd with the sweet love song that also became a hit with an opera star.

Denver reportedly wrote “Perhaps Love” about his wife, Annie Martell – the same Annie from “Annie’s Song.” He wrote the song while they were going through a divorce. After his death in 1997, she said she preferred “Perhaps Love” over “Annie’s Song.”

While it is a love song, it is easy to see the pain and longing Denver was trying to express in “Perhaps Love.” Here’s a sample: “Oh, love to some is like a cloud / To some as strong as steel / For some a way of living / For some a way to feel / And some say love is holding on / And some say letting go / And some say love is everything / And some say they don’t know.”

The song seems to conclude with the narrator accepting that he is losing – and may have already lost – the person he loves. “If I should live forever / And all my dreams come true / My memories of love will be of you,” Denver sings.

Watch John Denver perform “Perhaps Love” at Red Rocks in 1982 below. His calming voice expresses so much emotion and depth.

The song appeared on John Denver’s 1982 album, “Seasons of the Heart.”Other songs on the album include “Opposite Tables,” “Nothing But a Breeze,” and “Heart to Heart.”

John Denver Records ‘Perhaps Love’ with Placido Domingo

In an interesting crossover between artists of very different genres, John Denver recorded “Perhaps Love” with opera star Placido Domingo during the early 1980s.

According to The LA Times, this unique duo was the brainchild of producer and arranger Milt Okun. With the collaboration, Okun was able to combine his love of opera and his work in pop music. Domingo brought the opera influence, while Denver came with his laid back style.

“I’d tailed Domingo for five years,” Okun said of his attempts to bring Denver and Domingo together in The LA Times. “I’m sure he thought I was an overage groupie.”

Following John Denver’s death, Okun contacted Domingo and others to record one of Denver’s songs. The result, according to The LA Times, was the album, “Great Voices Sing John Denver.” Songs appearing on the album include: “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Fly Away,” and “Annie’s Song.”

Watch John Denver and Placido Domingo perform “Perhaps Love” below:

Want to see more performances from John Denver? Check out his performances of “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” with Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell or “Rocky Mountain High.” You can also watch his final public performance in 1997.

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