Today, it gets better. After yesterday, how could it not?
Day 6, and we’re into the Top Five for this week in the past five decades. Here come the Number Fives…
1963: Bachelor Boy – Cliff Richard.
1973: Daniel – Elton John.
1983: Change – Tears For Fears.
1993: Deep – East 17.
2003: Don’t Worry – Appleton.Listen to a brief medley (about a minute each) of all five songs.
(If the link doesn’t work, then try this instead).
For the first time since this project began, I find that I can cheerfully live with all five of today’s selections. Elton John is the obvious classic here, complete with its staring-you-in-the-face, ooh-but-we-didn’t-realise-at-the-time depiction of unabashed homosexual longing. The line “Daniel my brother” threw us all off the scent, you see. Such innocent times.
Speaking of…well, you know…Cliff Richard has to come next. Eerily prophetic, as you hardly need me to point out. Although obviously, Cliff’s declared lifestyle choice is entirely due to classic “fear of commitment” issues. (Good grief – I’ve just remembered that I was dreaming about Cliff’s friend Mary Whitehouse last night. And Zsa Zsa Gabor. What’s going on in that subconscious of mine?) Great tune, and indelibly linked to Summer Holiday, which will always be one of the best films ever ever ever, so there.
This is where the decisions get tough. After careful consideration, I’m giving my three points to those Appleton sisters – formerly half of All Saints, one of whom is married to Liam Gallagher. This is despite their rather annoying “the world owes us a living” public personas, and their “haven’t we finished yet, the Met Bar’s open and we’ve got much better things to do than stand around here for much longer” performance style. Simply put, Don’t Worry is a perfectly well crafted and pleasant pop record – admittedly not up to the standard of All Saints, but respectable enough all the same.
I was never particularly fond of Tears For Fears – too wet, too limp, too thin, too drippy, like a piece of soggy green lettuce in the colourful salad bowl that was Eighties Pop. (Hey, it’s not yet noon on a Sunday, and I’m waxing metaphorical already. This is going to be a good day!) However, they could pen a decent tune at times, and this is one of their better efforts.
As for East 17 – they really were the Blazin’ Squad of their day, weren’t they? It’s those Home Counties Homeboy accents again. Compare and contrast with Reminisce, if you will. East 17 are heaps better, aren’t they? It’s the leeriness that puts them ahead, I think. Unlike their perpetual rivals Take That, who tempered their exposed nipples with sweet smiles and general all-round wholesomeness, East 17’s appeal was unmistakeably skanky, dirty, love-bites-in-the-bus-shelter, are-ya-shaggin-me-or-wot? And we need a bit of that in the charts, don’t we? Having said all that – I suppose that Deep is a bit of a low-rent botch job at the end of the day, even if it does make me smile fondly and indulgently. Oh, you boys!
My votes: 1 – Elton John. 2 – Cliff Richard. 3 – Appleton. 4 – Tears For Fears. 5 – East 17. K’s votes are in the comments.
Over to you. The 1980s have now taken over from the 1970s at the top. Will Elton John help to push the 1970s back up there, I wonder?