One of many drunken nights ago in a University bar I got into a vicious competition over Boyzone’s version of this song. My table would put the Boyzone song on the jukebox. Another bunch of drinkers at the next table would reply with Weezer’s “Buddy Holly”. This went through six or seven cycles before we were all threatened with eviction – remarkable patience by the bar staff, considering. Now I’ll admit our first play of the track was probably a tiny bit “ironic”. But as we played it again and again, evolving a complex series of arm-dances to accompany it, and as the drink fogged our brains, irony dissolved into territorial love.
I wouldn’t now spend money – even 20p a shot – to hear Boyzone’s “Love Me For A Reason”, and I wouldn’t go to bat for it critically either (except relative to that dreadful Weezer song of course), but it’s left me with a dogged fondness for the song, which even in this much finer original formulation was pretty clockwork stuff. The endlessly repeated chorus has a lulling quality – FUN girl, ONE girl, REASON, LOVE – and “Love me for a reason and let the reason be love” is one of those sublimely banal aphorisms only a boy band can really get away with. The Osmonds do a professional job on the tune, though, and when they wriggle out of the chorus straitjacket there are some quality pop moments: most of all, the lead-in to the final chorus – “my initial reaction is – honey gimme love, not a facsimile of!” – where the words cram into a gabble of excitement that breaks gloriously through the choreographed cooing.