Jul 10

ROBIN BECK – “First Time”

Popular71 comments • 5,325 views

#619, 19th November 1988, video

Minor Popular milestone alert! This is the very latest song that I had no recollection of whatsoever before starting this project. Never saw the advert, never heard the record. So I’d have been really happy if this had been an unexpected delight, or even a minor pleasure. As it is the only unexpected thing about “The First Time” is its attempted fake-out: you think it’s going to be one kind of bad song (vaguely motivational ballad) and instead it’s another (vaguely agonised power ballad).

The latter doesn’t have to be bad, mind you – but “First Time” doesn’t go beyond its one selling point, the breathless surge at the end of the chorus. It’s a schlocky moment but as the climax to a 30-second TV spot it’s effective – though you’d hope hearing “I Love You” for the very first time would merit more than a can of pop. Repeat it several times over a single and it just seems a bit profligate, each peak a little smaller than the one before until the record fizzles out completely.



  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Ha! I envy you not hearing this at the time. I don’t remember any of my peers liking this at the time – a soppy song masquerading as hard rock.

    The years haven’t done anything to improve the song to my ears. Caterwauling vocals + squalling guitars = disagreeable racket, then and now.

  2. 2
    Billy Smart on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Full-length version of the commercial;


    Wow! It really is generic, innit? Note especially the lighting, back-lit, but seemingly natural – the better to give the participants a glowing presence – and use of slight slow motion.

  3. 3
    Hofmeister Bear on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I have no recollection of this getting to #1. Textbook fodder on local radio stations nightowls playlist.

  4. 4
    thefatgit on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Another triumph for The Men In Suits. Another forgettable jingle. Let’s compare the awkwardness of blossoming love with the experience of tasting New Improved Flavour Coca Cola. You loved the old Coke, but now we’ve tweaked the recipe (oh God! I hope they like it!). We think it’s soooo good, you’ll fall in love all over again.

    Take the jingle out of context, and it’s another generic power ballad. Play that jingle over two youthful everyteens sharing a Coke and it’s like some weird alchemy…”I must stop what I’m doing this very instant and go out and buy this New Improved Coke and see for myself how good it is!” Well…no not really. I’m not going to teach the world to sing and I’m certainly not falling for an adman’s idea of what Young Love should taste like.

    ps. any photos of me wearing Coca Cola sweatpants that still exist were FAKED, I tell ya. FAKED!

  5. 5
    Billy Smart on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Number 2 watch: 3 weeks, 3 runners-up, at least two of which are much better than ‘First Time’; ‘Stand Up For Your Love Rights’, Yazz; ‘Need You Tonight’, INXS; and a value-for-money double A-side from Bros – ‘Cat Among The Pigeons’ AND their interpretation of ‘Silent Night’.

  6. 6
    Tom on 23 Jul 2010 #


    This is a bit after the New Coke fiasco so I wonder if that’s why the renewed emphasis on realness – it’ll be like the first time, AGAIN! Coca-cola as a revirginised brand, how romantic.

  7. 7
    Billy Smart on 23 Jul 2010 #

    TOTPWatch: Robin Beck performed ‘First Time’ on the edition of Top of the Pops broadcast on 10 November 1988. Also in the studio that week were; Brother Beyond, Chris De Burgh and Deacon Blue. Bruno Brookes & Sybil Ruscoe (who?) were the hosts.

    The major talking point of this appearance in the studio was the perceived discomfort of the metaller guitarist at having to mime to this less-than-credible recording.

  8. 8
    Hofmeister Bear on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I seem to remember (I could be wrong though) that the old ”I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” advert was brought back around the same time as well. Or at least an updated version.

  9. 9
    Tom on 23 Jul 2010 #

    #7 grim times for pop. Glad she got a TOTP appearance though since she’s not allowed on the sleeve of her own single.

  10. 10
    thefatgit on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Of course, this won’t be the last time we’ll be discussing fizzy pop at the top of the charts.

    Tom #6 yes, I was a bit off with my timing there. Still an odd way to try and reclaim your brand, when conventional wisdom would dictate that nostalgia is the preferred meme to reconnect with your customers.

  11. 11
    swanstep on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I first encountered this song via Sunblock’s reboot, and, ahem, its ultra-skeezy video.
    Do any of the dance mavens here find the song’s repetitiousness less objectionable once it’s recast in a genre that’s more repetition-friendly?

    Best ad turned into song? for my money, We’ve only just begun – so brilliant for the Carpneters, began as this bank ad.

  12. 12
    Ian on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I heard (and loved) the Sunblock version before I looked up the original – this number one being before my time of regular chart listening. One of my all time favourite pop-dance songs.

  13. 13
    lonepilgrim on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I too had no recollection of this when I saw it in the list of number ones. I assumed Robin was a man.
    It may be that its origins as an ad are what hamstring it as a song – whereas the better power ballads build and build this just repeats and repeats and repeats.

    Her hair in the video is something to behold

    I was in the US when New Coke was introduced and remember almost having a breakdown in a supermarket when confronted with the various permutations: Old or New: Diet or regular, Caffeinated or caffeine free – or Cherry, then Pepsi and numerous other sodas

  14. 14
    Erithian on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Hearing her valiantly trying to reach each new peak, especially in the middle eight, I was reminded of the David Coleman puppet in Spitting Image: “Oh no, I’ve gone too soon! I’m already hysterical and there’s an entire lap to go!! Disaster for Coleman!!! And my head’s going to explode!!!! BOOOM!!!!!”

    Anyone remember the genius that was the Irn Bru parody of songs like this – where the lad tries to impress his girlfriend by kicking the vending machine and the machine gives him a headbutt? Or something.

  15. 15
    23 Daves on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Until just now, I had no memory at all of what Robin Beck looked like. Even as one-hit wonders go, she seemed spectacularly under-publicised (although apparently she had further hits in Germany and Switzerland, according to Wikipedia. Who’d have thought?)

    The advert irritated the hell out of everyone at the time, to the extent that the Irn Bru advert which was created as a parody of it was greeted heroically, rather than just being regarded as another cyncial marketing ploy. Barr are hardly a cottage industry, after all, even if they’re not as mighty as the Coca Cola company.

    As a result of everyone’s irritance and an unimaginative Ben Elton routine slagging the ad off, I didn’t think anybody would be interested enough to buy the single. How wrong I was. It really does seem like a total chart anomaly to me. It would be no less berserk if the Sunkist tune were issued and became a massive hit – there was nothing about the track to suggest that it should be anything other than an advertising jingle. It’s an adland cliche, suffering from the same attention seeking, over-emotional female vocals many ads in this era used to suck the audience in (Bodyform perhaps used this device the most noisily and most memorably), the same greetings-card level lyrical pleas to the heartstrings, and the same bland melodic simplicity. Why would you want to own it, especially when you were already hearing it against your will at least three or four times a day? There are special “promotional only” corporate singles which are as good (or bad) as “First Time”. “The Day They Remembered”, a three minute plea from Royal Mail to encourage the public to buy more greetings cards, isn’t a million miles away from this. You could get that single for free, though.

    Interestingly enough, I can’t remember this being played on Radio One much. Did they avoid it due to the Coke connection, or was I just not listening to the radio much at this point for some reason?

  16. 16
    Mark G on 23 Jul 2010 #

    And let’s not forget “Howard” from the Halifax.

    On second thoughts….

  17. 17
    lonepilgrim on 23 Jul 2010 #

    According to wiki, in the ‘Cola wars’ that ran through the 1980s and 90s:
    advertising for Coca-Cola and Pepsi focused particularly on rock stars; notable soft drink promoters included
    for Pepsi
    Tina Turner, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Ray Charles
    for Coca Cola
    Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, Weird Al Yankovic, George Michael, and Elton John.

  18. 18
    thefatgit on 23 Jul 2010 #

    If I had to select a favourite from the soft drink jingle canon, Um Bongo would get my vote.

    Everybody sing along now!

    Way down deep in the middle of the Congo, a hippo took an apricot, a guava and a mango.

    He stuck it with the others, and he danced a dainty tango.

    The rhino said, “I know, we’ll call it Um Bongo”, Um Bongo, Um Bongo, They drink it in the Congo.

    The python picked the passion fruit, the marmoset the mandarin. The parrot painted packets, that the whole caboodle landed in.

    So when it comes to sun and fun and goodness in the jungle, They all prefer the sunny funny one they call Um Bongo!

  19. 19
    Rory on 23 Jul 2010 #

    This beat “Need You Tonight”? Crikey.

    I have now heard this precisely once in my whole life. Long may it stay that way. 3.

  20. 20
    Steve Mannion on 23 Jul 2010 #

    This is at least significant as the first song to get to #1 off the back of a TV advert without being a cover version or re-release tho right?

  21. 21
    Tom on 23 Jul 2010 #

    #20 the New Seekers?

  22. 22
    punctum on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Doubtless wanting to show those Levi’s who’s boss, seventeen years after they started the whole business with “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing,” Coca-Cola were anxious for record buyers not to forget the purpose of “The First Time.” Even on the tracklisting of my Telstar Greatest Hits Of The ’80s double compilation (“50 Number One Hits…The History Of A Decade…”), the Coke logo is prominently displayed next to the song title; advertisement first, art a very distant second.

    The song itself is a clumsy Lego assembly of a power ballad – and I note with some sorrow that among the composers was former Monkee sidekick Tommy Boyce – filled with the standard love-as-free-enterprise memes (“It’s an unchartered sea, it’s an unopened door/But ya gotta reach and ya gotta explore”). Beck, hitherto a jobbing session and jingle singer – as indeed she remained after the hit, at least until 1993 when she unexpectedly became one of the most influential musicians of the nineties with a string of acclaimed albums commencing with Stereopathic Soul Manure – sings it professionally enough, though without much in the way of dynamics or real feeling; at the song’s high-register climax she sounds shrill and throaty rather than liberated. Compare with Ann Wilson’s tremulous, breaking “You don’t know” and “waiting” in the first two lines of the second verse of Heart’s “Alone” and it is clear we are dealing here with door-to-door salesmanship rather than life-altering wonderment.

    Nevertheless it is worth noting that “The First Time” marked the second occurrence in 1988 of a chart phenomenon absent from previous years; the Belinda/Tiffany/Kylie sequence was the first instance of three consecutive number ones by female artists, and with Whitney/Enya/Robin the pattern was repeated. It also marks a small bend in the transatlantic power ballad river; when we reach 1989 the preponderance of homegrown and very uniquely British number ones will quickly become noticeable, though the phenomenon of the number one single as a heavily underlined Event – even if that event is a multinational advertising campaign – will, regrettably, not diminish.

  23. 23
    Steve Mannion on 23 Jul 2010 #

    #21 Always thought that was the other way round!

  24. 24
    weej on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I’ve never heard this before, and I can see why – it’s that magic combination of terrible and boring. I’m glad I wasn’t old enough to pay attention to the charts until 1989 – 1988 would have almost certainly put me off them for good.

  25. 25
    wichita lineman on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I just found myself of I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke, for my sins. Promotional only. Pretty sure the New Seekers hit was contemporaneous, Cook & Greenaway knowing for certain the BBC wouldn’t allow any mention of Coca Cola after the Kinks were forced to change the lyrics of Lola.

    Favourite soft drinks ad? Easy. I’ll be your dawg!


    Re-titled Fedora, the single by Caramba got to 56 in 1983

  26. 26
    weej on 23 Jul 2010 #

    By the way, I’m a bit confused about the first line of the Jim Diamond entry – did you forget this one was coming up, Tom? http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2009/08/jim-diamond-i-should-have-known-better/

  27. 27
    Tom on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Haha busted! Yes Robin Beck was so forgettable I not only never heard her but then obviously forget her existence while doing Jim’s entry :)

    (I think actually I remembered this song EXISTING – “a coke advert was a number one, i missed it though” – whereas Jim Diamond I couldn’t even say that about. So both are true. But you’ve caught me using the same wheel-spinning intro for a dull record, certainly!)

  28. 28
    Tom Lane on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Sounds like late 80’s Cher/Heart mixed in with an oddly effective Pop/Metal guitar solo. But Beck pounces on every word here that I also think this sounds like something Celine Dion would come up with when she needs a Power ballad for one of her albums. Zero chart action in the U.S.

  29. 29
    MikeMCSG on 23 Jul 2010 #

    #22 “she unexpectedly became one of the most influential musicians of the nineties with a string of acclaimed albums commencing with Stereopathic Soul Manure”

    Can you expand on that a little MC ? I can’t recall anybody at any time namechecking Robin as an influence on their music.

    Robin was a bit unfortunate that she just missed out on the Top 75 with the follow up “Save Up All Your Tears” which was then a hit in a near-identical version by Cher 18 months later. Mind you Desmond Child’s songs don’t exactly lend themselves to radical re-invention.

  30. 30
    Billy Smart on 23 Jul 2010 #

    I note with interest that, although she was a one-hit wonder in Guinness Book of Hit Singles terms, Beck’s follow-up single ‘Save Up All Your Tears’ peaked at number 84 in March 1989.

  31. 31
    Billy Smart on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Re 15. I am one of the very few people to have heard Scottish superstar songstress KT Tunstall perform the Bodyform theme in concert, as part of a totally unfunny feminist sketch troupe in 1996. Bloody drama students…

  32. 32
    anto on 23 Jul 2010 #

    Is this the least enduring number one of the eighties?
    It doesn’t surpise me if Tom or others can’t remember it because it’s one of the most tedious pop records I’ve ever come across.
    Oddly enough I remember Robin Beck on TOTP precisely because The First Time was so anti-climatic. Robin tended to dress a bit like Stevie Nicks and as Billy Smart noted her backing band were a group of session players who looked just as bored as the rest of us.

  33. 33
    Rory on 23 Jul 2010 #

    MikeMCSG, punctum japery alert. (Hey, I chuckled. “The New Pollution” for the next Coke anthem!)

  34. 34
    flahr on 24 Jul 2010 #

    “Repeat it several times over a single and it just seems a bit profligate, each peak a little smaller than the one before until the record fizzles out completely.”

    Might want to save this somewhere for use with another advert single a few years down the line…

    Two places in this record where my face falls: at the turning point a few seconds in where the drums come in and it becomes painfully obvious how the rest of the song is going to go; and at the very end, when we have a sequence of ascending piano notes that are pretty much taking the mickey. Grim. 3, 4,… 3.

  35. 35
    Mark G on 24 Jul 2010 #

    #29, it’s a funneh: Google it…

  36. 36
    swanstep on 24 Jul 2010 #

    How about this, One Moment in Time, Nothing’s gonna change my love for you, and, I dunno, maybe a few bars of Every Loser Wins for the ultimate masochists’ mash-up challenge?

  37. 37
    MikeMCSG on 24 Jul 2010 #

    #33/35 Cheers guys that one caught me unawares.

  38. 38
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Jul 2010 #

    I have absoultely no recollection of this whatsoever. And therein lies a tale. Whilst exchanging texts with Erithian recently, it was mentioned that this record was coming up on the thread. I told him that not only had I never heard of Robin Beck but had zero memory of “his record” either. Says everything really, doesn’t it?

    Mind you, it’s good to see that I’m not the only one of our cheesy little band to suffer “Baby Jump-itus” over this one!

  39. 39
    Andrew F on 24 Jul 2010 #

    As crimes in the name of scansion go, “It’s an uncharted sea, it’s a non-open door” must be pretty hard to beat.

    Mind you, she does point out that a few seconds later that it’s something “that words can’t define” – and what words indeed could define a non-open door?

  40. 40

    –> An unopened door?

    Liking punctum’s punning “uncharted”/”unchartered”. For explication re the oppressive distortions of wageslave capitalism (not yet thus named) see Wm Blake’s poem ‘London’, which begins “I wander thro’ each charter’d street,/Near where the charter’d Thames does flow/And mark in every face I meet/Marks of weakness, marks of woe”

    Also cf Pynchon’s “Mason and Dixon”, for heartbreaking voyage into the dialectic of exploration-as-escape-and-discovery vs exploration-as-chartered-mapping-with-a-view-to-purchase-(hence-disenchantment)…

    blake and pynchon also relevant to Enya and in a different sense — re time more than space — to U2…

  41. 41

    by which i mean “It’s an uncharted sea, it’s an unopen’d door” scans almost exactly the same and means the same (doors can by definition be open or shut, i think)

  42. 42
    flahr on 24 Jul 2010 #

    Slightly different in terms of implication, I’d say – an “unopen’d door” is a door that is waiting to be opened, full of the sort of potential as the uncharted sea (lying there impatient to be charted), whereas a “non-open door” is something of a dead end. It’s not open, and that’s the end of it. (Thus replacing “non-open” with “unopen’d” in the lyric would in fact make it better. Such inefficiency from the Coca-Cola company!)

    This song is somewhere around fifteenth in the list if you search Spotify for “first time”; first in the list is “Do You Remember The First Time?”. (Apparently not.)

  43. 43

    Yes, i actually meant “means the same as what the lyric actually means (not what it says)” (but didn’t in fact say this) :(

  44. 44
    LondonLee on 24 Jul 2010 #

    Christ, even with the songs I’ve “forgotten” there’s some buried trace of them in my brain that hearing a few bars will bring back, but this? Nothing. Even watching the video I’m still at a loss. Come on Tom, joke’s over, what was the real Number One that week?

    It’s terrible, of course.

  45. 45
    swanstep on 24 Jul 2010 #

    One thing that’s a little odd about this #1 is that the ultra-sentimental, US advertizing tradition it emerges out of doesn’t really have much of place in the UK. When I moved to the US at the end of 1988 I was *very* struck by all the ads on tv that were explicitly designed to make you very emotional or even tear up all in about 30 seconds flat – distilled essence of capra, spielberg and zemeckis perhaps. AT&T’s ads were consistently like this, often plaintively imploring you to ‘reach out and touch somebody’ or whatever, e.g., here’s a 1988 example, and here’s the 1993 ‘you will’ series that perfected the form (which is worth watching in any case – I predict at least one in the series will still get ya).

    First Time definitely suffers from being the musical end of one of these 30 second manipulative/inspirational fragments, and (as Tom emphasized) the structure they’ve devised to pad it out to 3+ minutes just doesn’t work.

    In answer to LondonLee’s question: ‘C’mon, what was the real #1?’ Sweet Child of Mine seems easily the best of the US #1’s from around this time (Axl in his short-lived snaky pomp), and so gets my vote.

  46. 46
    swanstep on 25 Jul 2010 #

    According to wiki, AT&T’s ‘You Will’ ads were directed by David Fincher. Figures. Good mash-up possibilities with the ends of Se7en and Fight Club perhaps?

  47. 47
    swanstep on 25 Jul 2010 #

    Sorry for hijacking this thread (last post I promise!): this blog post confirms that Fincher had nothing to do with the audio and music for the ads. The zing of the ads comes from having Fincher’s Blade Runner-ish images be lightened by the bubbling up music.

  48. 48
    Paytes on 2 Aug 2010 #

    As others have said Need You Tonight really should have made it to the top rather than this bilge …

  49. 49
    thefatgit on 2 Aug 2010 #

    Swanstep, I’m guessing Coca Cola and AT&T are similar in wanting to retain a loyal customer base in a competitive market. What better way to achieve this retention, than by encouraging an emotional response to reinforce that loyalty. Not so much winning over the undecided or new customers, but keeping those that you already have. AT&T vs Bell and Coke vs Pepsi are perhaps the best known examples. In the UK, the only set of ads that came close to this kind of rivalry were the Lawnmower Wars between Qualcast and Flymo. Neither of these brands relied on an emotive campaign, but a series of one-upmanship ads that almost forced you to take sides (that is if you were in the market for a new lawnmower in the first place).

    I’m wondering just how effective this song actually was in relation to how many more units of Coca Cola were shifted during the period of this campaign?

  50. 50
    wichita lineman on 2 Aug 2010 #

    Flymo versus Qualcast

  51. 51
    punctum on 22 Nov 2010 #

    Chart also featured on Saturday’s POTP; then, as now, bore little if any relation to November ’88 as I knew and experienced it musically but overall not a bad chart. Four of the top five were by female artists, which is something to be noted. “Can You Party” and “We Call It Acieed” not played, but we are talking Radio 2. I fell asleep to Chris de Burgh’s “Missing You,” though. From a number one album oh bugger.

  52. 52
    Mark G on 22 Nov 2010 #

    You’ve been very even-handed about every Number one album so far, but I have wondered what’s going to happen when you get to those “o buggr” albums, the likes of which I could list but won’t…

    (so far there haven’t been any, have there?)

  53. 53
    punctum on 22 Nov 2010 #

    My policy on TPL is to be as fair and open-minded as possible about every album I have to listen to, even unto three George Mitchell Minstrels discs. Some of the stuff coming up in the seventies is going to present a challenge – predominantly the TV-advertised chart-toppers – but if I can make it through three soundalike covers albums then I’m ready for anything. After all, the “Lady In Red”/”Patricia The Stripper” man did have that Nick Drake in his school band once. There’s always a way.

  54. 54
    punctum on 22 Nov 2010 #

    (two albums by the Script, though; Jesus H Corbett…)

  55. 55
    Billy Smart on 22 Nov 2010 #

    I must say that I’m particularly looking forward to the TV toppers, especially at the end of a few years of Deep Purple and The Moody Blues. I know all of these albums well, and each one has a few neglected fantastic songs, however flimsy the package they came in.

  56. 56
    wichita lineman on 22 Nov 2010 #

    It seems like those TV albums, far from being comparable to the TOTP cash-ins, were a gateway drug for quite a lot of people on Popular. Me aged 14: “who is this Laurie Styvers with her fantastic non-hit Beat The Reaper? I must dig deeper and find out. I must.” K-Tel, Ronco, Arcade. Very important to me.

  57. 57
    punctum on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Oh no, I didn’t mean the K-Tel etc. ORIGINAL RECORDINGS BY ORIGINAL ARTISTS sets – I’m very much looking forward to tackling these, especially 20 Dynamic Hits, which allows me to sneak in discussion on a Hugely Important Album Of The Era (whose lead single is featured) – I meant more the old school entertainers who get to dominate the lists round about ’75-’77 time at the expense of likelier contenders. I have plans, though; for instance, I can guarantee that my piece on Slim Whitman’s Red River Valley will be, um, unique.

  58. 58
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Nov 2010 #

    I had that James Last in the back of my cab the other day. James Last – the man with only one facial expression.

  59. 59
    punctum on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Happily, or unhappily, James Last will not be troubling Then Play Long.

  60. 60
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Oh? I was under the impression that Lasty had number one albums by the score. Perhaps he was uncharted on a technicality (ie outselling everyone else but his albums costing only half a crown). I’m probably wrong but you never had to look too far in the Woolies record section to find the c**t.

  61. 61
    wichita lineman on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Ahh… good, I was surprised that you were thinking of laying into 20 Dynamic Hits (Vol 1). Would the initials for the Hugely Important Album be MFTC or OY?

    I’ve got a lot of time for Slim’s slim list of hit 45s but must confess I’ve never sat down for a whole album session with him. As with popular I’m avoiding sneaking a peek at what’s next on thenplaylong. So I’m still somewhat in the (self imposed) dark over these TV advertised horrors.

  62. 62
    Billy Smart on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Re 61. Surely the hugely important album must be TARGO!

    Old joke – What’s the difference between The James Last Orchestra and a cow? A cow has the horns at the front and the arsehole at the back.

  63. 63
    wichita lineman on 23 Nov 2010 #

    Re 62: Oh yes. Blimey, now I feel like Morrissey championing Herman’s Hermits over S&TFS… I think I’d still rather listen to the Move’s Message From The Country or Colin Blunstone’s One Year, though. Maybe Marcello will draw a parallel between TARGO and Slim Whitman – biggest selling yodeling records since Frank Ifield’s heyday.

  64. 64
    punctum on 25 Nov 2010 #

    To be fair Herr Last has appeared on TPL as the co-author of “Happy Heart,” as essayed by Andy Williams and Wee Neil Reid, but as an artist his best chart performance was Last The Whole Night Long, #2 in June ’79.

    It’s mainly going to be TARGO with a substantial side-order of OY and certainly MFTC won’t be disregarded. I get to write about 1968’s O&O too (featuring the singer on OY) thanks to K-Tel but more about that when I get there.

  65. 65
    punctum on 25 Nov 2010 #

    #62: hahah, I’ve variously also heard that gag being told about Kevin Rowland and Julian Cope!

  66. 66
    punctum on 31 Dec 2010 #

    20 Dynamic Hits innit.

  67. 67
    the pinefox on 31 Dec 2010 #

    I see that Ewing and others don’t remember this song, whereas they remember most other hits. I can’t identify with this experience: this song was big, I heard it a lot, I have never forgotten it, and indeed I have always quite liked it, or assumed that I quite like it. As #1s go I would want to give it at least 6 or 7. (I probably don’t like most #1s.)

    Admittedly I now haven’t heard the track in years.

    I think I like it also cos the girl in the picture on the cover is pretty, and indeed the boy looks OK also.

    As far as I can tell, no one here has talked about the fact that the record and the track on the advert are different – the advert says ‘coke is it’ and the record doesn’t. Or is my memory now the one going wrong?

    I don’t agree that this + Deacon Blue on totp makes ‘grim times for pop’ as Ewing says, because I find this tolerable or probably a bit nostalgically likeable and I like Deacon Blue, not least ‘real gone kid’ which was presumably the relevant track and which I think is quite magnificent as chart 45s go. That sounds like good times for pop to me. But in truth, I’m not sure most of us can ever really approve of a whole pop moment or era, rather than individual records and trends.

  68. 68
    DanH on 27 Jan 2013 #

    Never heard this until now. It sounds very 1988, from what I remember as a 4-5 year old kid hearing a lot of this kind of stuff on the radio. I’m surprised it didn’t do anything in America, but we were probably too preoccupied with stuff like “Waiting For a Star To Fall” instead ;-)

  69. 69
    Marcia Wallace-Devers on 25 Apr 2021 #

    As mentioned earlier Need You Tonight or Stand Up for Your Love Rights would have been better number ones, in my opinion.

  70. 70
    23 Daves on 25 Apr 2021 #

    Only tangentially linked to this entry, but just remembered the other day that the Kia-Ora advert was a single as well, and created by Abba’s engineer. https://youtu.be/3p7hEZpHgbA

    Now what an interesting number one single that would have made… sadly, it didn’t even get close to the Top 40.

  71. 71
    Gareth Parker on 23 May 2021 #

    Seems reasonable enough to me this one. I’ll go with a generous 5/10 here.

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