May 11

JASON DONOVAN – “Any Dream Will Do”

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#666, 29th June 1991

Like – I suspect – an awful lot of kids born in the 70s or 80s, I have taken part in a production of Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. I did not play the lead – the Hamlet of pre-teen stage roles – instead I was Potiphar, the Egyptian merchant who catches Joe in the clutches of his lustful wife. He gets one line in the show, as follows:

“Joseph, I’ll see you ROT IN JAIL.
The things you have done are BEYOND THE PALE.”

I had to put on a tea-towel Arabian get-up and a deep voice, and then fidget around backstage for the entire rest of the performance. It was great!

The result of this is that Joseph done by grown-ups feels wrong and foolish to me; it would be like seeing Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations in the BBC Autumn drama line-up. “Any Dream Will Do” isn’t meant to be a thoughtful meditation on how with self-belief one can achieve any goal, it’s a final show-off number for the lead kid actor while the whole rest of the cast cram on stage and try and upstage him (or just pick their noses). And – importantly – it ends not with a mumbled “any dream, any any dream” routine but with a lung-busting “GIVE MEEEE MY COLOURED COAT!”. Cue bows, applause, sighs of relief from Dads.

So even if he was born to be Joseph, Jason Donovan is Doing It Wrong. And in any case, he’s wooden: never a singer to whom gusto comes naturally, he turns “Any Dream Will Do” into a wet fish of a thing. It’s not a brilliant song to begin with, though in Joseph’s pot-pourri of eager, smart-alec pastiche numbers it’s about the only thing you can extract and run with as a stand-alone. At least in one area the single has the authentic school hall tang to it: the cheapo production, all gross marimba overload and splashy synth chords, sounding like it’s coming out of a drama teacher’s tape deck. It adds up to a baffling, and unwelcome, number one.



  1. 1
    punctum on 3 May 2011 #

    In my first year at *dd*ngst*n Gr*mm*r Sch**l we put on a production ofJoseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I say “we” but as with all subsequent musical ventures (including the dreaded end-of-year House Shows) I did my best to keep out of it (I concentrated on the drama side of things). Had I been there a year earlier I could have been in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde. Heigh ho.

    At that time (1975-6) Joseph was still what it had originally been intended to be; a modest, half-hour entertainment, an easy Biblical lesson. But Lloyd Webber and Rice subsequently sought to expand it, and it was an uneasy transition; watching the 90 minutes or so of the “full” version is to experience one of the most overtly padded-out of musicals. Still, it has over the decades provided a lifeline for teen idols suddenly in need of a friend – both David Cassidy and Donny Osmond benefited from long runs in the lead role in America, while here at the London Palladium in the early nineties the beneficiary was Jason Donovan, then just gently easing out, or being eased out, of his shortlived teen idol status.

    “Any Dream Will Do” more or less tells the musical’s story, and in Donovan’s hands it is what it has always been; a harmlessly irritating but good-natured nursery rhyme with added kiddie disciples on backing vocals, though once again in the song’s more testing sections Donovan’s pipes are palpably aided electronically. I suppose we got off lightly; in Australia, Max Bygraves topped the chart with his version. Yet the central question remains; what the hell was this, and things like it (for example, the full album soundtrack), doing at the top of the charts in 1991?

  2. 2
    JPK123 on 3 May 2011 #

    The 666th number one! This really isn’t great, but I can think of one upcoming track in particular that’s a lot more suited to that number…

  3. 3
    Jim5et on 3 May 2011 #

    This is the first 1990’s number one which I have genuinely deleted from my memory. What were we THINKING?

  4. 4
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 3 May 2011 #

    “Naphtali and Isaachar with Asher and Dan/Zebulun and Gad took the total to nine!”

    Mum and dad bought the original Decca recording of this for me and my sister, and we knew ALL THE WORDS and ran around the garden singing them. There was a little circle cut in the sleeve so you could see if it was mono (red) or stereo (blue). The original Joseph, says Wikipedia, was “David Daltrey, front man of British psychedelic band Tales of Justine”, whose oeuvre otherwise escapes me.

  5. 5
    Mark G on 3 May 2011 #

    OK, all you people, Declare it! What part did you play in Joseph? Because you all did, oh yes….

    Ahem, I’m the only member in our household who has not performed in this particular musical. My youngest daughter played “Zebulem” last year, along with her sister who was purely choir. My wife appears on the LP for the North-east production, I think she’s listed on the sleeve.

  6. 6
    Kat but logged out innit on 3 May 2011 #

    By the time our school got round to doing Joseph, PHILIP SCHOFIELD was doing it in the West End. We were still excited though (last year’s lot had to do Oliver and it kind of sucked). For some reason our production had seven girls doing ‘Narrator’ including me, except I was also Joseph’s understudy (a role I neither auditioned for nor wanted to do EVER). The kid playing Joseph was a proper little starlet bless him (he had a non-speaking part in Grange Hill where he threw an apple at Mr Brisley the gay art teacher) and was perfect for the role, but the teachers insisted on giving me a turn as Joe (HELLO I AM A GIRL WITH LONG HAIR) for the SCHOOL performance (as opposed to the 3 shows for the parents) which was just hideous. I mixed up the butcher and the baker and forgot half the words to ‘Close Every Door’. Plus we hadn’t rehearsed the Potiphar’s wife ‘slapping’ me scene (where I was meant to clap my hands out of shot as Liana ‘pretended’ to cuff me one) very well and I bvggered that up too and got a bright red cheek. Cheers Liana. I feel like I have told this anecdote about 1000 times :(

  7. 7
    Tom on 3 May 2011 #

    (I was actually in Joseph TWICE, in the other production I played A.N. Brother, and in the Potiphar one I was a brother in Act II (there were too many kids so the brothers enjoyed a Dallas-style change of actor during the interval))

  8. 8
    JLucas on 3 May 2011 #

    It’s a testament to the brevity of Jason’s moment in the sun that despite this appearing only two years after his previous chart-topper, it still feels like a weird, anachronistic chart topper. A bit like the current and wholly unexpected chart rebirth of Jennifer Lopez. Jason? Really? In 1991?

    Anyway it is what it is. 3/10

  9. 9
    Chelovek na lune on 3 May 2011 #

    I’d say that Jason Donovan and Andrew Lloyd-Webber more or less deserve each other, really.

    My one revelation tangentially related to this was made the following year (I think), on hearing Philip Schofield’s minor hit single version of “Close Every Door” (PS having succeeded JD on stage in London by then, I think), was that Schofield could actually sing. Or at any rate, and having not heard it for probably, ooh 19 years, had a better singing voice than Jason, anyway.

    It strikes me (possibly incorrectly, but if so only slightly) that the reign of this dire track at the top of the charts coincides with the creation (and possibly the entire existence) of Jonathan King’s “REVVOLUTION” magazine, which was, inter alia, the first mainstream publication to list the Top 75 since the demise of Record Mirror earlier in the year. I think it lasted for four editions, and really I can’t remember very much about it, apart from having to trek several miles to the end of the District Line to find somewhere that sold it. Very much Mr King trying to get down with the kids (he wrote cautiously), too overwhelmed and oppressed by his ego to succeed or endure.

    Thankfully my school didn’t touch Lloyd-Webber stuff. Gilbert and Sullivan were more flavour of the month, alongside rather more sophisticated or intelligent stuff. Afraid I regard G&S similarly to ALW. Bah.

  10. 10
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 3 May 2011 #

    I sang in the cantata version, but I assume I was just part of the chorus. The “musical” arrived after I graduated to more fancy scores, I guess (i.e. I was Sukey Tawdrey in “The Beggars Opera”).

  11. 11
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 3 May 2011 #

    I thought REVVOLUTION lasted just one issue! I also think I have a copy somewhere, but I’m not sure where.

  12. 12
    Tom on 3 May 2011 #

    The front cover of the first issue of REVVOLUTION had a cartoon of some buxom wench getting caned in a seaside postcard style. WHY it had this I don’t know.

  13. 13
    Matthew H on 3 May 2011 #

    Always winced at Donovan’s blowy voice but this is a pleasant enough ditty in its twee, cheap way.

    The only time I ever saw Joseph was when the National Youth Music Theatre took a production to Edinburgh a year or two before this. My mum did the costumes and Jude Law played Joseph. He had star quality even then – possibly more than now, really – and he and his ‘brothers’ all sported the voguish step hairstyle that Donovan himself rocked after losing the Neighbours mullet. I thought they looked like divs.

  14. 14
    Chelovek na lune on 3 May 2011 #

    There was definitely more than one issue. Either four or five, I think. I imagine its unwieldy and unconventional size (foolscap?) may also have played a part in its demise, if it ever was intended to be a serious or enduring project. King was banging on about how great Carter USM in one of theml they were kind of his major obsession at the time.

  15. 15
    Tim Byron on 3 May 2011 #

    This is perhaps the first and only song in the whole of Popular where I actually contributed to its chart success in the UK! And I remember this very clearly because this was one of the first two cassette singles I ever bought, at a UK Woolworths (which was fascinatingly different to AU Woolworths (which are more about groceries, whereas UK Woolworths seemed like a jumped-up newsagent). I also bought the considerably better ‘Chocolate Cake’ by Crowded House.

    I’m pretty sure I was aware at the time that Jason Donovan was not cool, and that Jason Donovan doing showtunes was even less cool, so I’m a bit baffled by it today. I don’t think I’d even seen Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, or even Jesus Christ Superstar, so it can’t have been knowing anything about the context. I remember it being towards the end of my 6-week stay in the UK, so methinks considering I was buying antipodean stuff, maybe I was just homesick.

  16. 16
    lonepilgrim on 3 May 2011 #

    I have memories of singing this during school music lessons and can still recall ‘Potiphar had very few cares/He was one of Egypt’s millionaires/ Made his money buying shares/In Pyramids’ ra-ta-ta-ta.

    This has a strong melody and vaguely spiritual lyrics which seem to fit with a lot of the other odd number 1s we’ve had this year.

  17. 17
    Tom on 3 May 2011 #

    “His sons and his wives used to call him Dad”

  18. 18
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 3 May 2011 #

    “how great Carter USM” — I think he guest-posted about this in the early days of Freaky Trigger

  19. 19
    23 Daves on 3 May 2011 #

    #4 – Ah, allow me. David Daltrey’s best known number for aficionados of psychedelic pop was “Monday Morning”, a whimsical and actually rather dull ballad produced by none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber. I think it was the only single Tales of Justine ever released, as well as being one of the earliest Webber studio productions. It’s a massive collector’s item which appears on the “Psychedelia at Abbey Road” compilation, but it’s not really worth tracking down.

    As for “Any Dream Will Do”, I seem to remember talk of Donovan’s career being resurrected by the whole Joseph hoopla, but it ended up being his last hurrah. A very absurd and out-of-place number one by 1991 standards, I used to be intensely irritated by the cheap tweeness of it, but these days I can’t actually muster up much energy to launch into a criticism of it. I suppose it must have been one of those records which mainly sold to small children (although I seem to remember it was a favourite among the West End Musical loving girls in my GCSE Music classes, and God knows there were always a lot of those in the classroom for some reason. Maybe that was the single’s target audience).

  20. 20
    Chelovek na lune on 3 May 2011 #

    I’m beginning to think my school’s approach to music lessons was decidedly unconventional, and am deeply thankful that this was the case.

    The two highlights I recall were

    (a) having to compose a rap number ina group (with accompanying backing music to be based around the use of the pentatonic scale). We came up with a Judge Dread “Big Five” style number that `rhymed’ “kicks” with “pencilcases”;

    (b) on separate occasions, being made to analyse the lyrical content and compositional structures of “Mama” by Genesis and “Papa Don’t Preach” – I think everyone immediately knows who that was by (odd that they both shared an anti-abortion theme)

    All of which beats anything to do with Joseph into a big cocked hat, as Judge Dread would doubtlessly have put it

  21. 21
    thefatgit on 3 May 2011 #

    Unlike THE GAME, I have successfully spent my life avoiding Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and pretty much chose to ignore Jase’s last tilt for the top.

    Upon hearing it now, the arrangement comes across to me as a poor quality karaoke backing track, and Jase as the designated driver cajoled into doing his turn in front of a gaggle of drunken mates.

  22. 22
    MikeMCSG on 3 May 2011 #

    Despite being the right age and a Games-evading drama kid at school I was never in “Joseph” and was unfamiliar with the song until this record came out. I think perhaps Catholic schools were a bit suspicious of the whole “Joseph/ Godspell/JCS ” oeuvre and preferred to ignore it. I remember the Protestant kids next door getting very excited about being in it at their school circa 1976.

    I think the review is spot on. The weakness of this record seems like an apt prelude to the monster that’s about to hit us. Have to say it’s more palatable than the execrable record that preceded 1994’s behemoth !

  23. 23
    Billy Hicks on 3 May 2011 #

    No such luck avoiding this for me…this and the rest of the soundtrack was a constant presence at my primary school’s music lessons in the late 1990s. They left out the ‘aah-aahs’ to make it less complicated, but a couple of the older kids sang them anyway, usually aah-aahing in the wrong places which pissed me off big time.

    It’s stuck in the mind though as it’s one of the few I remember singing, along with ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ every Christmas. It being at #1 is bizarre though, and somewhat annoys me…where’s the breakbeat rave?! Cola Boy’s ‘7 Ways to Love’ entered the charts during Any Dream’s stay at #1, and Rebel MC’s ‘Tribal Base’ was around too, which as an early bit of drum & bass is years ahead of its time (and samples a former #1 with Enya). That’s the stuff that attracts me to the music of 1991, not all this movie/musical tie-in nonsense…

  24. 24
    nixon on 3 May 2011 #

    I was mercifully never in this either. My youngest sister was, when she was about ten, which meant me sitting through a production of it at her primary school. I can’t remember what role she played, or indeed anything about it, other than this song.

    At the “A crash of drums / A flash of light” bit, they’d apparently rigged up some sort of highly unimpressive tiny flash explosion as a visual effect just as the kid sang “A flash of light!”.

    It didn’t go off. Nobody noticed, obviously, because nobody was expecting it. I only know because at the end of the show, with everyone having taken their bows, applause given, people getting ready to leave etc, my sister’s drama teacher came out to apologise to the crowd for it not working, and made them do THE ENTIRE SONG again. This time, it went off right at the end of the song (“…Coat!”).

    Applause, bows, people getting ready to leave again. But no. The drama teacher bounded out again and said they were almost there, and would everyone like them to do “Any Dream Will Do” a patience-testing *third* time so they could see it work? Very audibly (the teacher MUST have heard it, but pretended not to), a gruff-sounding bloke sat somewhere behind me said “Oh Christ no”.

    They didn’t do it a third time.

  25. 25
    swanstep on 3 May 2011 #

    This song, a fortiori Donovan’s performance of it, is new to me. Watched Donovans’ vid on youtube followed by Donny Osmond’s (with a duet assist in its second half), and I can confirm that Osmond’s version is better in every respect: better sung, better arranged, you name it. The underlying song’s pretty weak I agree, but a really great singer (simone or fitzgerald or armstrong or jordan say) would belt it or otherwise inject it with so much personality that they’d make you like it, and Osmond is almost there I’d say. Donovan not so much, hence, yes: 2

    Looking down the charts, I guess Divinyls I Touch Myself would have been a fun chart-topper…. And looking across the Atlantic, at this (pre-Bryan Adams) point Paula Abdul’s Rush Rush (the one with the mega-Rebel without a cause vid. w/ Keanu as James Dean) and EMF’s Unbelievable topped the charts. Not great, but lots better than the Don’s ADWD. His last Popular hurrah, surely?

  26. 26
    Mark G on 3 May 2011 #

    #24, as I say in #5, I never was in this, and except for a version on TV which I saw part of, I hadn’t seen it in its entirety until the “Berkshire Guides/Brownies” production last year.

    Remembered, thinking “3/4 of it through, and they haven’t sung “Any Dream”?, then they seem to sing it about five times in the last quarter!

    Plus encore, obv.

  27. 27
    Tom on 3 May 2011 #

    The underlying song’s pretty weak I agree, but a really great singer (simone or fitzgerald or armstrong or jordan say) would belt it or otherwise inject it with so much personality that they’d make you like it

    You really don’t need Nina Simone to make this OK! Any stagestruck 9-year old can belt it better than Our Jase.

  28. 28
    enitharmon on 3 May 2011 #

    I have no interest in this tedious ditty. I have never seen, let alone been in, a performance of JatATD (too old for it to be a school staple I think, and we did plays rather than musicals in them days) and what I have heard of it I find as banal as most Andrew Lloyd Webber output.

    Question: Who is the Mozart of our generation?
    Answer: Stephen Sondheim
    Question: And who is the Salieri?
    Answer: Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Question: Isn’t that a tad unfair?
    Answer: Yes, to Salieri who was more capable than Peter Schaffer/Milos Foreman would have had us believe

    And meanwhile in the soap opera world of Rosie, I endure the humiliation of being sacked from my job for the first (and only) time, from the systems house where I was working. My crime? I was doing my Open University degree and had indicated to the management consultant who came schmoozing round that I was interested in the idea of going on to do a PhD in Philosophy when I finished. This was deemed by the management consultant to demonstrate lack of commitment to the job. Bye Bye Rosie. I wouldn’t get another PAYE job for ten years (mind you I was about to enter the lucrative world of contracting, and working three months on, three months off) and it put a further strain on an already wobbly second marriage. Perhaps I should have opted to become a management consultant and get paid silly money for doing nothing useful whatsoever.

  29. 29
    swanstep on 3 May 2011 #

    @27. Point taken. I guess I was thinking/confessing that Simone’s voice plus her piano in place of the ghastly marimba synth stuff would probably easily put ADWD over the top for me.

    Oh, and I see Bragg’s Sexuality is lurking way down the charts at this point. Interesting that he wasn’t able to parlay his charity single success into much more chart action a year later.

  30. 30
    flahr on 3 May 2011 #

    Eesh. Pretty unpleasant, with that Rhythm 101 percussion. I was also disappointed by the lack of ‘aah-aah’s for the first bit of the song. It may be the case that that ‘aah-aah’s aren’t meant to be there for the first bit of the song, but their lack is certainly felt. Perhaps a remix is called for.

    Particularly painful is the bit where Jason’s “A crash of drums!”, er, crashes through. Come back “Too Many Broken Hearts”, all is forgiven. 2.

  31. 31
    Rory on 3 May 2011 #

    The very first recorded music I bought with my own pocket-money, at the relatively advanced age of 14 or just-turned 15, was the 1973 RSO LP of Joseph, in the second-hand racks of the upstairs record shop that used to be part of Ellison Hawker (small nugget of detail for 40-something Tasmanian readers there, if there are any apart from me). What can I say – all my pop music epiphanies were still months or years away. So although we never performed the show at school, the thought of it still gives me a twinge of nostalgia, even if it’s at least 20 years since I deliberately listened to any Lloyd-Webber.

    Watching the video of Donovan’s performance for the first time, the memories of that vinyl purchase come flooding back, and I’m afraid Jase’s effort can’t compare (which is not to say that the 1973 recording was much chop either). To give him his due, it’s a competent vocal from an artist I generally can’t stand; but the rhythm track is awful, and the kiddie chorus too sickly by half (but then, aren’t most kiddie chorii?).

    What’s most striking, though, is the sudden thought that Jase here seems to be modelling himself on the veteran star who had cornered the UK market in biblical-inspired pop. Go on, have a look at those close-ups from 0:50 to 1:20 and tell me they don’t remind you of Cliff.

    Pharaoh sez: You shall be my number… 2.

  32. 32

    Boiled down lyrics:

    I close my eyes, drew back the curtain
    To see for certain, what I thought I knew
    Far far away, someone was weeping
    But the world was sleeping
    Any dream will do

    I wore my coat, with golden lining
    Bright colors shining, wonderful and new
    And in the east, the dawn was breaking
    And the world was waking
    Any dream will do

    A crash of drums, a flash of light
    My golden coat flew out of sight
    The colors faded into darkness
    I was left alone

    May I return to the beginning
    The light is dimming, and the dream is too
    The world and I, we are still waiting
    Still hesitating
    Any dream will do

    I found some of this quite evocative when I was little, but I’m not surprised the properly actually religious are wary: “Any dream will do” is ecumenicalism gone mad (and plus it’s surely not correct to call a “coat with golden lining” a “golden coat”).

  33. 33
    katstevens on 3 May 2011 #

    Oh God I’ve just remembered doing this at karaoke a while back, changing the lyrics to ‘drew back meat curtains’ and ‘any dream is poo’, possibly to exorcise ghosts of #6. I’m so sorry, everyone.

  34. 34
    flahr on 3 May 2011 #

    #32: but WHERE ARE THE ‘aah aah’S?!?!?!?

  35. 35
    weej on 3 May 2011 #

    This isn’t great, not by any stretch of the imagination – the plinkity-plonk keyboard loop that goes through the whole song just really isn’t good enough for a finished pop product for example – but to give credit to Jason it’s clear that he’s been working on his singing since his previous #1s, and while he’s still not great he’s at least competent by this point.

  36. 36
    Mark G on 3 May 2011 #

    This was definitely a “pop single” version of the song, rather than an ‘excerpt from a stage performance’.

  37. 37
    thefatgit on 3 May 2011 #

    #23… Origins of Drum & Bass. There are some in the Rebel MC camp and and some in the Lennie De Ice camp. I’m not sure which was released 1st tbh, but Rebel MC’s track must have charted way higher. I remember taping “We Are I.E.” off the radio around the latter half of ’91 or early ’92. Can’t honestly say when though.

  38. 38
    Mark G on 3 May 2011 #

    Double Trouble & Rebel MC “Just keep rockin” was May 1989

  39. 39
    enitharmon on 3 May 2011 #


    And here’s me thinking it was Jet Harris and Tony Meehan…

  40. 40
    Steve Mannion on 3 May 2011 #

    #23/37 other camps: Shut Up And Dance/Ragga Twins, Smith & Mighty (specifically ‘Killa’), Genaside II (the earth-shaking ‘Narra Mine’) and A Guy Called Gerald who also moved from house to breakbeats around late ’91.

  41. 41
    katstevens on 3 May 2011 #

    @39 Amen to that (do you see etc) (except wasn’t it some other dude?)

  42. 42
    will on 3 May 2011 #

    Call me a soft old wanker but….I quite liked this at the time.

    Not for that awful plinky plonky percussion, nor the cringeworthy ‘any dream any any dream’ backing vocals. No, I just found it unbearably poignant to hear a fading teen pop star sing lines like ‘the light is dimming and the dream is too’. It was all a bit too meta for comfort.

  43. 43
    AndyPandy on 3 May 2011 #

    First breakbeat/hardcore chart entry (albeit very low down) was 4hero “Mr Kirk’s Nightmare” in November 1990.

    I remember being at a rave night (quite unusual in itself as I stopped raving at the end of 1989 until about 1994)in Lancashire (it was in the only rave I ever went to in Northern England (or actually outside the South-East) before I moved up here)and wondering if the track that I’d just started hearing on the pirates and Kiss FM down in London would be played.

    I thought this new sound was maybe just a London/Home Counties thing (and I suppose in some ways it was at first)as it was like nothing else I’d ever heard before.
    This was at the very tail end of the post-acid dance scene still being vaguely unified when you never knew what you’d hear (still a bit like 1988/89 when you could hear anything from Roberta Flack “Uh-Oh” to hiphouse to Bang the Party to Barry Blue and his “Afrodiziact”)so I didn’t think it was beyond the bounds of possibility.

    It wasn’t played and I was a bit disappointed – even now the breaks/samples sound fierce. And as I missed the next 3 or 4 years that was the nearest I ever got to hearing a hardcore track in a rave setting when it was still contemporary.

  44. 44
    Pete on 3 May 2011 #

    I was a scene shifter in my middle school’s production of Joseph circa 1988/9. I appeared briefly at the end making sure the brother that supposedly stole the item had the right bag.

    Here’s a thing, the fact it was a major West End show at the time but still sounded like it was knocked up on a Casio keyboard surely was part of its appeal for it to re-enacted at various schools around the UK. I’m beginning to think this was actually an unwritten part of the school syllabus in as much as it was cashing in on singing the songs that every pre-teen kid was forced to learn. Jason Donovan might of scored another number 1 if he’d of covered the theme to “Think about Science”
    As a footnote don’t forget who replaced Jason Donovan in his role as Joseph none other than Philip Schofield. It could easily of been him scoring this number one hit.

  45. 45
    anto on 3 May 2011 #

    A plodding bland effort flattered to number one by the shows success.

  46. 46
    Billy Smart on 4 May 2011 #

    #13 Jude Law came to my birthday party! This was my fourth birthday party in 1977, admittedly. We were at nursery school together. I can remember him saying that when he grew up he wanted to be the strong man in a circus.

  47. 47
    Billy Smart on 4 May 2011 #

    My reaction to this soppy but not disagreeable melody has always been to start singing the lyrics of ‘Crystal Days’ by Echo & The Bunnymen over the tune.

  48. 48
    Billy Smart on 4 May 2011 #

    I see that six months later, Donovan’s bid for the Christmas number one, ‘The Joseph Mega-Remix’ could climb no higher than 13.
    Thereafter, his greatest chart success was a version of ‘As Time Goes By’ that peaked at number 26 in 1992 – classy!

    1993 brought a would-be controversial comeback ‘All Around The World’. Despite featuring the memorable couplet “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight/ as long as you can masturbate” (and who could argue with that) it could do no better than get to number 41.

    I’d imagine that a comeback is always a possibility, though. Has he been on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ yet?

  49. 49
    Rory on 4 May 2011 #

    He was on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

  50. 50
    Billy Smart on 4 May 2011 #

    TOTPWatch: Jason Donovan performed ‘Any Dream Will Do’ on the Top of the Pops broadcast on 27 June 1991. Also in the studio that week were; Cubic 22, Erasure, Omar, Lenny Kravitz and Divinyls. Simon Mayo was the host.

  51. 51
    Tom Lawrence on 4 May 2011 #

    I actually was Joseph in my school’s production of Joseph!

    This isn’t the good number for Joseph, though – that’s “Close Every Door To Me”.

  52. 52
    Jimmy the Swede on 5 May 2011 #

    We did “Daniel Jazz” at school and had a whale of a time.

    There was also something at primary school featuring Tufty, the road safety squirrel. The villian here was Willy Weasel, who refused to obey the “curb drill” and thus got twatted by a double glazing van whilst dashing across the road to get an ice cream. He was then given an additional well-deserved toeing by the copper who was a badger. Just so there was no confusion as to the good Tufty and the naughty Willy, Willy wore a stripey t-shirt. He had to be a wrong-un dressed like that.

  53. 53

    Bite him bite him bite him bite him bite him!

    Those are the two bits I remember from Daniel Jazz.

    Tufty was a RED squirrel, which is odd, as they’ve been an endangered species since the 1920s. Although I guess that is when traffic safety began to be an issue for school-children.

  54. 54
    Jimmy the Swede on 5 May 2011 #

    I remember when “Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)” first came out in the 60s and Marty Hopkirk’s demise. My main reaction as a seven or eight year-old was that Marty should have been drummed out of the Tufty Club for that shockingly casual piece of road crossing.

    The infant Swede was coming along nicely…

  55. 55
    punctum on 6 May 2011 #

    Run down by Frank Windsor, no less. Talk about softly softly.

  56. 56
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 May 2011 #

    Slight correction, if I may, MC. Marty was certainly bowled o’er on the orders of Frank but not actually by him. He dialled a number to get a goon to do it. Windsor was acually a rather good baddie. He tried to destroy an important computer called George in an episode of The Avengers too, whilst pretending to care for it.

    As Steve Jones was later to say: “What a rotter!”

  57. 57
    Deannix on 24 Jan 2012 #

    UK people didn’t like other songs except dance or what? Kylie kept getting upper chart position, but not him. His 3rd album is the best album from him, yet it was not successful like his cheesy songs. There are some good songs from the album that were not released at all as single like Give a Good Heart or ballad Once in My Life. Now Once in My Life, Angel, Shout About and Mission of Love are like the soundtracks of his real story.

  58. 58
    Auntie Beryl on 12 Jan 2013 #

    He’s still out there plugging away – last year’s album Sign Of Your Love is down to £2.24 new from Amazon. Whether his voice is strong enough to carry off Every Time We Say Goodbye is debatable:


    The album didn’t sell at all well, any halo effect from Strictly 2011 didn’t translate.

  59. 59
    DJBobHoskins on 4 Mar 2015 #

    This was Donovan’s last hurrah really. A couple more ill-advised covers and other poor quality singles later, his pop career was over. Can’t help admiring the guy though, he made the best of his talent and seemed like a genuinely nice bloke.

    But yes, this is Sunny Delight vocals and production at its worst.

  60. 60
    Gareth Parker on 3 May 2021 #

    It’s all a bit passionless for me. Rather plinky-plonky and I feel Donovan is a mediocre singer. However the tune is annoyingly catchy in my view, so I’ll opt for a 4/10.

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