Jan 10

NICK BERRY – “Every Loser Wins”

FT + Popular96 comments • 6,762 views

#578, 18th October 1986, video

Here’s a thing: I have never watched an episode of Eastenders. Not all through. Too much shouting for me. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of this but it does mean I missed out on the astonishing storyline in which “Every Loser Wins” made its debut before it became the first soap star single to reach number one. I’m missing some critical context on “Wicksy” here, people, and I expect you to fully enlighten me in the comments box.

I’m not expecting it to change my view of the record, mind you, since free of its story context “Every Loser Wins” is beyond terrible. The work of ‘stenders theme composer Simon May it’s one of the faffiest, most disheartening songs to drift our way: every loser wins, but only when they’re dreaming, but it’s still a win, and this is for the losers, who are really winners, we nearly made it. For pity’s sake it features the lyric: “every loser knows / the light the tunnel shows”, whose contortion is only marginally worse than “In time you’ll see / Fate holds the key”.

As a performer, Nick Berry is a blow-dried void, a soft-focus nullity and certainly the best thing about the record. Though listening to it he’s easily overwhelmed by that high piano trill, cutting repeatedly through “Every Loser Wins” with all the heartbreaking sensitivity of the Intel chimes. The record also boasts perhaps the clumsiest drum drop-in of the whole decade, wellington-booted snares whomping down painfully into the AOR murk. There are no winners here.



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  1. 76
    Steve Mannion on 18 Jan 2010 #

    re #64 Sod Ashes To Ashes, would watch THIS

  2. 77
    AndyPandy on 18 Jan 2010 #

    68 – saying Jackie Trent’s number one is unloved is rather contentious to say the least and how could David Whitfield be viewed as some kind of TV hype when he was accepted at the time as a superior singer of semi-operatic pop with a massive following both male and female. (incidentally I remember my dad recounting that during his National Service there was a fellow squaddie in his billet who was just such a fan).And to further diminish any accusation of localised hype he had a Top Ten hit in America when Vera Lynn notwithstanding that just didn’t happen.

  3. 78
    wichita lineman on 19 Jan 2010 #

    Re 77: I adore Where Are You Now, but a quick flick through the Popular comments would suggest it is now largely unloved and forgotten.

    Granted it wasn’t via tv, but David Whitfield rose to fame as the first winner of Opportunity Knocks (then radio only). Yes, I was ignoring Cara Mia’s US success (more down to Mantovani’s St Peter-at-the-gates arrangement?), but his long run of hits in the UK was down to a local talent show – the US had Mario Lanza, Al Martino etc who could steamroller David’s rubbery operatics.

  4. 79
    Caledonianne on 22 Jan 2010 #

    A cream cracker under the Tardis.

    London Lee is right. Early Brookside was superb.

  5. 80
    AndyPandy on 23 Jan 2010 #

    David Whitfield – best thing to come out of Hull since William Wilberforce – in fact they should rename the Humber Bridge The David Whitfield Bridge ;-)
    And if he did nothing else at least he stopped the fuckin’ Housemartins from being the most succesful act in chart terms connected to Hull

  6. 81
    Erithian on 24 Jun 2010 #

    Since he gets a brief mention at #54 upthread, Tam White RIP.

  7. 82
    punctum on 24 Jun 2010 #

    “You’re Holding Me Down” by the Buzz, the most extreme British pop single ever, Joe Meek’s premature suicide note, sung – or buzzsawed? – by the great Tam White. RIP big man.

  8. 83
    Mutley on 24 Jun 2010 #

    Since the above discussion about Eastenders-related music we’ve had the Boris Johnson Rap. Boris appeared in Eastenders in Nov 2009 although if you blink you will miss it. I’m not sure that the two are related other than for Boris to build up a portfolio for showbiz life after mayoralty (Britain’s Got Talent?)

  9. 84
    sarah ashby on 19 Oct 2010 #

    dear nick
    hi how are you

  10. 85
    Nick on 20 Oct 2010 #

    Dear Sarah,
    Winning some, losing some.

  11. 86
    Erithian on 26 Oct 2010 #

    To the list at #46 we can now add Preeya Kalidas (Amira) who’s in this week’s top 40. (Although Wiki says she also had a “featuring” credit on a minor hit from the Bombay Dreams soundtrack in 2002.)

  12. 87
    wichita lineman on 26 Oct 2010 #

    And there’s Lyanne Compton (she played Melody around 1988/89… c’mon, you remember) who sang the coda of Saint Etienne’s How We Used To Live. Not as big a hit as The Ugly Duckling by Mike Reid.

  13. 88
    Erithian on 9 Jun 2011 #

    As presaged by Anto at #30, David Essex has now joined Enders, as Eddie Moon, the uncle of Shane Richie’s character. They had him singing in his first episode, a suspiciously tuneful rendition of “I’m Orient till I die” sung to baby Tommy. The Swede and I have instigated a lyric watch to see how many lines the scriptwriters can slip in: in Tuesday’s episode he was already talking to Alfie about a “silver lining”.

  14. 89
    anto on 9 Jun 2011 #

    re:88.. and very good he is in it too. I thought he upstaged everyone in his first full episode. In particular he’s shown up Shane Ritchie and his non-stop bonhomie (is Ritchie given a script or do they just flick him on with a rocker switch?) which seems like such schtick compared to the more self-contained charisma of Mr. Essex.
    The turnover of cast members in EastEnders is such that it doesn’t do to become too attached to characters because they often leave after a few months (or are axed by myopic Producers) but I would like it if he sticks around.
    The name Eddie Moon actually sounds like a fictitious rock star. The young David Essex might well have appeared in The Rise and Fall of Eddie Moon

  15. 90
    Billy Smart on 22 Jun 2011 #

    Ooh! Reading David Buckingham’s 1987 BFI monograph ‘Public Secrets: Eastenders & its Audience’ for professional reasons, I discover that in addition to the three BBC Records hits documented by Punctum, a further four singles were released by members of the Eastenders cast in 1986; Tom Watt (Lofty), June Brown (Dot Cotton), Oscar James (Tony Carpenter – ‘Love Riding High’, promoted with a picture of the actor bearing the legend “TWENTY ONE MILLION OF YOU KNOW THIS MAN”) and Peter Dean (Pete Beale – ‘I Couldn’t Get A Ticket To The World Cup’).

    None of these records troubled the Top 100.

  16. 91
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2011 #

    Tom Watt did a mumbling version of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” if I remember correctly. He should have known/done better, having previous as a sometime member of the Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias, back in the “Norman Sleek” days…

  17. 92
    DanH on 26 Jan 2013 #

    We had our equivalent in the U.S…”All I Need” by soap star (forget which one, General Hospital?) Jack Wagner

  18. 93
    Mark G on 30 Nov 2013 #

    A failed attempt at “The Winner Takes It All”, except for the chart position…

  19. 94
    Erithian on 12 Mar 2015 #

    We haven’t added to the Enders cast/singles chart crossover list in a while, but a post on the Sonique thread reminds me that Richard Blackwood of a-few-hits-in-2000 fame has joined the cast. Any others we’ve missed in the intervening years?

  20. 95
    speedwell54 on 12 Mar 2015 #

    Matt Willis from Busted was in a few episodes about a year ago played a boyfriend of Lacey Turner.
    Don’t want to jump the gun but Andrew Sachs is in it next week and he did a cover of ‘Shuddap Your Face’ DNC.
    Even more gun jumping Denise Van Outen is lined up as a future cast member as is June Whitfield. Don’t know a song for the later, but I would be surprised if she didn’t record at some point in her career.

  21. 96
    CriticSez on 6 Mar 2016 #

    I think 1’s too harsh. This was 1986, when pop music was generally better than, say, 2013.

    This was simply a piano ballad that people grew tired of within a short time period; it stood out from the others. Today’s bad music is simply VERY POORLY written, produced, etc.

    Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” (bunnied for now) is the sort of song that deserves a 1. If it does get a 1 by the time it gets reviewed on Popular, I’d be amazed.

    I’m happy to give this a 6/10, since some songs (personally) can improve with age. (I wasn’t around then.)

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