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Thread: "New Wave" and the 1980s - one-hit wonders and biggest hits

  1. #501
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    by » Fri March 15th, 2019, 17:02

    I thought this a rather sophisticated production in '88; not necessarily musically but in terms of production, and of course presentation. Oh and probably because Patsy sang a few bits of it in French (mind you I didn't think that the contemporarily-released 'Joe Le Taxi' was particularly stylish and that was all in French!). Obvious PSB influence and while of its time, nothing wrong in that if one has an appetite for airy, light synth-disco. As you say, it was all about her really - I think she thought she was the eighth wonder of the world back then - but still I think the song does stand up reasonably-well, as lots of older PSB hits do, if only because of their quaint 'could-only-happen-in-Britain' style. I preferred them when they took their music and lyrics a little more seriously (well, as much as they ever did), before descending into excess humour and slight self-parody after about 1993.

    I think your point Robbie that it would be easy to envisage Tennant's own vocals on 'I'm Not Scared' is indicative of his vocal style more generally, in that it is usually so high in the register - and let's face it, rather camp - that it can transpose to a female vocal very readily. That's not to say lots of ladies have scored hits with PSB songs, especially recently as they're so 'non-black' in style and so struggle to chime with more culturally-diverse modern audiences, but an obvious example was how well Dusty Springfield's work sat on top of their productions. Also, although penned by Stephen Sondheim not Tennant, Liza Minnelli's 'Losing My Mind' could just as easily have been performed by him. Actually, as much I liked them, it was really the synth-driven danceability and memorable melodies that I was appreciating; the lead vocal was always a little difficult to tolerate en-masse and I can see why Passing_Strang finds that 'small doses' is best on that measure. Yet there's no doubting it worked so uniquely-well against their music that many of us forgave any concerns on that front.

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    by » Fri March 15th, 2019, 17:43

    shame on you!

    https://www.discogs.com/Pet-Shop-Boy...e/master/28151

    1988 Introspective album

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEdcvy-X6JA

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie View Post
    I love 'I'm Not Scared'. Patsy Kensit looking lovely helped too. Her vocals weren't that good but they seemed to match the production and song to perfection. It's one of my favourite Pet Shop Boys productions and is one that I could well imagine Neil Tennant actually singing (did the PSB's ever record the song?).

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    by » Sat March 16th, 2019, 00:46

    Quote Originally Posted by anpt View Post
    I genuinely didn't know if Neil had sang it! It sounds so much like a Pet Shop Boys song that I had a feeling he must have done so. Good to know he had done so. I think I prefer the more twee version by Eighth Wonder though, it has a better sound to it. The PSB's version sounds more like a demo...

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    by » Mon March 18th, 2019, 17:09

    Have to admit, I never saw the appeal of "Joe le Taxi" on any level, moreover I could never understand how it became such a big hit. There were much better French hits at the time, but that and "Voyage" were the only ones that crossed the Channel (unless I'm forgetting something).

    As for Ms Kensit, I'm actually surprised she didn't become a bigger pop star, given how beautiful she looked. You'd think her records would fly off the shelves. But then again, Mandy Smith looked even better but didn't manage even one hit... In the UK, at least.

    Good call on "Losing My Mind", Gambo! That was one of the songs that I thought of including, but strangely it had quite narrow chart count, only about 10 countries - though by the sound of it you'd think it was a smash hit. Still, it's Liza's biggest radio hit in Russia, and that PSB sound certainly helped, it's still being played occasionally, while the video was one of the preferred choices of programmers in the 1990s, for some reason. But then again, Ms Minnelli is quite well-loved by the movie-watching audience here so that may not be as surprising.

    And Mr Tennant actually recorded not only "I'm Not Scared", but "Losing My Mind", too! Though these are the versions I avoid - Robbie's right, they sound like demos (which they actually were). That's what made me a bit uneasy - Tennant sounds much better in lower registers, but prefers to sing in higher ones. Much like Andy Bell from Erasure, by the way! And music, as good as it was (and sometimes is), cannot truly hide or fully offset this wrong artistic decision. More variation is always welcome - but maybe they felt they found a hit-making formula and eventually became trapped by it.

    Alright, now another one-off, of a truly unexpected variety - dance hit from Israel! Not a country famed for such stuff - but what a hit! Recently re-discovered it and, frankly, cannot get enough, the Middle-Eastern melody underpinned by dance beat sounds so good. Rather modest chart showing in the UK, though, Europe generally responded much more enthusiastically. Unfortunately, not much else on international front, apart from some collaborations, and the singer's life was cut short by AIDS, which now gives a tragic twist to the song.

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    by » Mon March 18th, 2019, 17:12

    98. IM NIN'ALU by Ofra Haza

    Written by: Trad.
    Produced by: Bezalel Aloni/Izhar Ashdot
    Country of origin: Israel
    Release date: April 1988

    Australia
    3 October 1988 - #90 - 4 weeks

    Austria
    Ö3-Hitparade: 10 July 1988 - #1 (1) - 12 weeks
    Der Musikmarkt: 15 July 1988 - #2 - 14 weeks

    Belgium
    28 May 1988 - #9 - 6 weeks

    Finland
    19 June 1988 - #1 (1) - 18 weeks

    France
    9 July 1988 - #6 - 19 weeks

    (West) Germany
    20 June 1988 - #1 (8) - 18 weeks

    Greece
    #1

    Ireland
    26 May 1988 - #16 - 2 weeks

    Italy
    TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 20 November 1988 - #14 - 16 weeks
    Musica e Dischi: 14 January 1989 - #24 - 2 weeks

    The Netherlands
    Nationale Hitparade: 7 May 1988 - #29 - 10 weeks
    De Nederlandse Top 40: 4 June 1988 - #27 - 4 weeks

    Norway
    1 June 1988 - #1 (4) - 13 weeks

    Poland
    25 June 1988 - #7 - 10 weeks

    Portugal
    #1

    Spain
    AFYVE: 30 July 1988 - #1 (2) - 19 weeks
    Superventas: 27 August 1988 - #1 - 16 weeks

    Sweden
    8 June 1988 - #2 - 12 weeks

    Switzerland
    19 June 1988 - #1 (6) - 15 weeks

    UK
    The Network Chart: 16 April 1988 - #11 - 8 weeks
    Music Week: 30 April 1988 - #15 - 8 weeks
    New Musical Express: 30 April 1988 - #13 - 7 weeks
    Melody Maker: 7 May 1988 - #13 - 5 weeks
    Last edited by Passing_Strang; Mon March 18th, 2019 at 17:16.

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    by » Mon March 18th, 2019, 20:45

    'Im Nin'Alu' by Ofra Haza is another great song and was certainly different from what was charting in the UK in 1988. I can't think of many records that have charted in the UK that were sung in Hebrew. Indeed, it may be the only one.

    Parts of the track were already known in the UK, having appeared on 'Pump Up The Volume' by M/A/R/R/S and the Coldcut remix of the Eric B & Rakim track 'Paid In Full', both hits in late 1987. The M/A/R/R/S single was a number 1 in the UK and the Ofra vocal on the track was actually a sample taken (and distorted in the studio) from the sample that appeared on the white label version of Coldcut's remix of 'Paid In Full'.

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    by » Tue March 19th, 2019, 15:44

    * 1983

    Hi - Ofra Haza - Eurovision Song Contest 1983

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqPGYSWnSFg


    * 1984

    Im nin' alu was recorded by OH in 1984 -

    * 70s

    Artist: Igal Bashan (1975) With Ofra Haza on backing vocals on lp I've Got A Little Bird In My Heart. Full title: Im Nin'alu Daltei Nedivim.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEmgCl0wGCg

    “Im Nin'Alu” is a Mizrahi Jewish prayer written by the Yemenite rabbi Shalom Shabazi, in the seventeenth century

    http://www.originals.be/en/originals/10572

    * Samples

    Paid In Full / Pump Up The Volume

    Can't Truss It - Public Enemy

    https://www.whosampled.com/sample/40...-Im-Nin%27Alu/

    2003: Touriya [as In The Name Of Love (Im Nin' alu)]

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie View Post
    'Im Nin'Alu' by Ofra Haza is another great song and was certainly different from what was charting in the UK in 1988.
    Last edited by anpt; Tue March 19th, 2019 at 16:17.

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    by » Fri March 22nd, 2019, 21:43

    So, another odd entry - avantgarde electro-dance project teams up with a veteran of the pop scene to create a cover of a recent hit that becomes a bigger hit (in the UK, at least) than the original! Not a common occurrence - yet that's what happened. Never cared for the song's originator's music and the main project's stuff quite often left me puzzled too - it was like "wow, we've got our hands on a computer and a sampler, let's fool around wildly!" Yet historically they're no doubt very influential and actually managed to create some stunning pieces along the way ("Moments in Love" is the obvious one). As for the pop veteran, he was actually quite popular in the USSR (unlike both already-mentioned artists) - his song "Delilah" was a monster hit in late 1960s and a very fondly-remembered one afterwards. This hit, though, is a very nice version, my preferred for this song.

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    by » Fri March 22nd, 2019, 21:44

    99. KISS by The Art of Noise feat. Tom Jones

    Written by: Prince
    Produced by: Anne Dudley/J. J. Jeczalik
    Country of origin: UK
    Release date: 28 October 1988

    Australia
    Australian Music Report: 9 January 1989 - #8 - 19 weeks
    ARIA: 22 January 1989 - #8 - 15 weeks

    Austria
    Ö3-Hitparade: 11 December 1988 - #7 - 8 weeks
    Der Musikmarkt: 15 December 1988 - #4 - 14 weeks

    Belgium
    12 November 1988 - #5 - 10 weeks

    Finland
    18 December 1988 - #14 - 3 weeks

    France
    TMP France: 11 December 1988 - #30 - 13 weeks
    InfoDisc: 18 December 1988 - #65 - 10 weeks

    (West) Germany
    5 December 1988 - #16 - 20 weeks

    Ireland
    10 November 1988 - #8 - 5 weeks

    Italy
    Musica e Dischi: 19 November 1988 - #16 - 7 weeks
    TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 11 December 1988 - #43 - 7 weeks

    The Netherlands
    Nationale Hitparade: 29 October 1988 - #6 - 13 weeks
    De Nederlandse Top 40: 5 November 1988 - #5 - 10 weeks

    New Zealand
    19 February 1989 - #1 (2) - 10 weeks

    Norway
    7 December 1988 - #8 - 2 weeks

    South Africa
    26 January 1989 - #16 - 4 weeks

    Spain
    17 December 1988 - #1 (1) - 23 weeks

    Sweden
    Topplistan: 16 November 1988 - #5 - 12 weeks

    Switzerland
    27 November 1988 - #11 - 10 weeks

    UK
    Music Week: 29 October 1988 - #5 - 7 weeks
    The Network Chart: 29 October 1988 - #5 - 6 weeks

    USA
    Billboard: 3 December 1988 - #31 - 11 weeks
    Cash Box: 26 November 1988 - #37 - 12 weeks
    Radio & Records: 16 December 1988 - #33 - 4 weeks

    Zimbabwe
    16 October 1989 - #2 - 11 weeks
    Last edited by Passing_Strang; Fri March 22nd, 2019 at 21:47.

  10. #510
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    by » Sun March 24th, 2019, 19:32

    Might be heresy to say it, but to my ears this version of 'Kiss' was infinitely preferable to the original. I never enjoyed Prince's high-pitched squealing style of singing. Not that I was the greatest Tom Jones fan, but his vocal, alongside the Art Of Noise's more robust backing track, suited me much better. It stripped away that cutesiness of the original.

  11. #511
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    by » Sun March 24th, 2019, 20:02

    I never cared much for Prince's original version of 'Kiss' nor the Art Of Noise / Tom Jones cover.

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    by » Mon March 25th, 2019, 21:30

    So, it seems like all things must some to an end - and here's final entry with an appropriate title Also a great big radio hit in Russia and I saw its video a fair amount of times. Perhaps if we had a chart at the time it would've performed as good as it did in Europe. Very nice song it is too, very capable (and very attractive) singer, I wonder why she didn't have a longer carrier on the charts. But that can be said about 90% of performers of its time (if not more), who seemed to appear out of nowhere for a big hit or two and then disappear. A sign of things to come for the next two decades (at least).

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    by » Mon March 25th, 2019, 21:31

    100. STOP! by Sam Brown

    Written by: Samantha Brown/Gregg Sutton/Bruce Bennett Brody
    Produced by: Sam Brown/Pete Brown
    Country of origin: UK
    Release date: April 1988

    Australia
    ARIA: 26 February 1989 - #4 - 21 weeks

    Austria
    Der Musikmarkt: 15 October 1988 - #3 - 22 weeks
    Ö3-Hitparade: 30 October 1988 - #1 (3) - 12 weeks

    Belgium
    13 August 1988 - #1 (4) - 15 weeks

    Canada
    19 December 1988 - #13 - ?

    Finland
    13 November 1988 - #2 - 20 weeks

    France
    4 March 1989 - #2 - 21 weeks

    (West) Germany
    21 November 1988 - #7 - 19 weeks

    Iceland
    10 February 1989 - #1 (1) - 10 weeks

    Ireland
    16 February 1989 - #4 - 9 weeks

    The Netherlands
    Nationale Hitparade: 23 July 1988 - #2 - 18 weeks
    De Nederlandse Top 40: 30 July 1988 - #1 (3) - 15 weeks

    New Zealand
    7 May 1989 - #16 - 18 weeks

    Norway
    12 October 1988 - #1 (1) - 19 weeks

    Sweden
    Topplistan: 24 August 1988 - #11 - 18 weeks
    Trackslistan: 17 September 1988 - #16 - 3 weeks

    Switzerland
    21 August 1988 - #5 - 24 weeks

    UK
    Music Week: 28 May 1988 - #52 - 5 weeks / 4 February 1989 - #4 - 12 weeks
    The Network Chart: 18 June 1988 - #44 - 3 weeks / 8 February 1989 - #3 - 11 weeks

    USA
    Billboard: 15 April 1989 - #65 - 10 weeks
    Cash Box: 22 April 1989 - #70 - 7 weeks

    100.2. Stop by Jamelia

    Australia
    26 December 2004 - #37 - 5 weeks

    Belgium
    Flemish Ultratop: 20 November 2004 - #46 - 3 weeks

    Germany
    13 December 2004 - #56 - 9 weeks

    Ireland
    4 November 2004 - #12 - 8 weeks

    Switzerland
    19 December 2004 - #36 - 13 weeks

    UK
    13 November 2004 - #9 - 12 weeks
    Last edited by Passing_Strang; Mon March 25th, 2019 at 21:36.

  14. #514
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    by » Mon March 25th, 2019, 22:18

    aahh... a great song by Sam Brown. Her mum (Vicki Brown) had topped the charts in 1976 with an uncredited vocal appearance on 'No Charge' by JJ Barrie while her dad (Joe Brown) had reached number 2 back in 1962 with 'A Picture Of You'. 'Stop' is a great song, Sam's vocals are excellent.

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    by » Tue March 26th, 2019, 12:28

    Just a pause!

    Life In A Northern Town - Dream Academy
    Only You - Flying Pickets
    Square Rooms - Al Corley
    La Bamba - Los Lobos
    Joe Le Taxi - Vanessa Paradis
    Heartache Avenue - The Maisonettes
    Here I Am - Dominoe
    Female Intuition - Mai Tai
    Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby Mc ferrin
    Reality - Richard Sanderson
    Your Hearts Keep Burning - Blind Date
    First Time - Robin Beck
    The Rain Oran Juice Jones
    Come Into My Life - Joyce Sims
    Such a Shame - Talk talk
    Live It Up - Mental As Anything
    To Be Or Not To Be - Mel Brooks
    Rumors - Timex Social Club
    Lean On Me - Club Nouveau
    Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Boys Town Gang
    i Touch Myself - Divinyls
    The Way To Your Heart - Soulsister
    Show Me Heaven - Maria Mckee
    Your Love - Outfield
    We Love To Love - PM Sampson + Double Key
    Under The Milky Way - The Church
    It's My Party - Dave Stewart / Barbara Gaskin
    25 Years - The Catch
    Geil - Bruce & Bongo
    Always Something There To remind Me - Naked Eyes
    Waiting For A Star To Fall - Boy Meets Girl
    Ye ke Ye ke - Mory Kanté
    It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
    Solid - Ashford & Simpson
    Word Up - Cameo
    (...)


    We may suggest - at any time - some good records that were only successful in one or two foreign countries and could be remembered but maybe don't have conditions to be in the main list.

    Classix Nouveaux (Never Again) P #1
    Nancy Nova (Made In Japan) - P #2
    Scarlet Party (Eyes Of Ice) P #6
    Industry (State Of The Nation) I #1 - P #4
    The Catch (25 Years) G #3 A #6 CH #8
    Cook Da Books (Your Eyes) I #1 A #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Passing_Strang View Post
    So, it seems like all things must some to an end - and here's final entry with an appropriate title
    Last edited by anpt; Tue March 26th, 2019 at 12:33.

  16. #516
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    by » Wed March 27th, 2019, 13:40

    Well, yes, I actually intended not to let this thread perish - but works gets in the way, and until I'm done with all the stuff that's thrown at me, no updates (may take at least a month to sort everything out). Meanwhile you all can discuss anything regarding the posted songs - I always enjoy reading what people have to say

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