May 08

THE REAL THING – “You To Me Are Everything”

FT + Popular48 comments • 7,719 views

#391, 26th June 1976

The Real Thing do everything right – pleading soul vocals, springy piano line, big-impact chorus – without ever threatening the spectacular. They’re using a blueprint – tuneful underdog disco – which Hot Chocolate would have huge success with, but without the next-level abjection and paranoia Erol Brown sometimes brought to it. So the Real Thing deliver a solid good time rather than anything more striking (or commentable). Solidity can get you a long way, though – “You To Me Are Everything” has become a wedding dance staple, and for simple welcoming catchiness it deserves that ubiquity.



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  1. 31
    Waldo on 9 May 2008 #

    Yes, Miss Welch in full Blues kit… Luscious!

    That REALLY got Ossie going, God bless his heart!

  2. 32
    Erithian on 9 May 2008 #

    Billy – Charlton’s season really fell apart when Chris Dickson knackered his knee in a bizarre hotel reception accident. He’d just broken into the first team and got the goal that took the West Brom cup-tie to extra time. (The fact that he was top scorer for Erith & Belvedere two seasons running means I’m biased.) Dicko is the only footballer I’m aware of who went to the BRIT School in Croydon!

  3. 33
    wichitalineman on 10 May 2008 #

    Hotel reception accident? I’m intreeged! What the heck happened? And wasn’t he at Dulwich Hamlet too or am I getting confused?

    The Chants records stand up really well: tough – but not obviously black – Merseybeat. One of them was on Sounds Of The Sixties this morning (does anyone else wake up at 8 on a saturday to listen? I’m new round here). Which probably makes them closer to a genuine “UK soul” sound than this and Can’t Get By Without You, both obvious Philly knockoffs.

  4. 34
    DJ Punctum on 11 May 2008 #

    My Saturday morning getting up routine would be unthinkable without the mellow tones of the venerable Mr Matthew.

  5. 35
    Matthew H on 12 May 2008 #

    Definitely a six, this.

    What inspired the 1986 top 10 remix/rerelease (apart from the tenuous ‘Decade Remix’ idea)? Was it a soundtrack to Chris Amoo’s sterling exploits on the show dog circuit?

  6. 36
    DJ Punctum on 12 May 2008 #

    It was a DJ called Froggy who as I recall was very popular on Radio 1 at the time.

  7. 37
    Erithian on 12 May 2008 #

    wichitalineman (#33) – yes, I’m impressed you knew that, Dicko had a season at Dulwich Hamlet in between E&B and Charlton. He left due to a bit of a personality clash with our then manager, but being at Dulwich helped him catch Charlton’s eye. The hotel reception incident – as far as I can gather he was performing a song, did a spin then fell over something or other. He’s got a sweet soul voice as developed by the Brit School, and used to entertain us on away trips, but that particular routine cost him nearly half the season.

  8. 38
    Erithian on 12 May 2008 #

    A bit curious that this should be a wedding disco favourite, when you think about it, ‘cos it’s about a one-way love. It’s a similar theme to Billy Fury’s “Halfway to paradise” – “I want to be your lover / but your friend is all I stay / I’m only halfway to paradise / so near yet so far away”. He’s a good friend to her but is head over heels for her as well – she’ll no doubt say he’s worth more to her as a friend, but that’s not much help when he’s yearning for more than that. Not the appropriate thing for the newly-married couple. (They’d probably cut a rug to “Every Breath You Take” as well though.)

  9. 39
    BriMo on 14 May 2008 #

    Dulwich Hamlet! The Isthmian League! My father used to take me to see them in the late 50s – probably when Palace in the Third Division South were just too routinely depressing.

    A few years ago I mentioned the Hamlet to my cousin, who said that my father and my uncle used to take him there, and that one day in the late 40s somebody in the crowd exposed himself to the little lad. He told his dad and mine, and my father turned round and knocked the bloke down. Hearing by chance that your father was an action hero to other people is a wonderful thing; I wish I’d had the chance to tell him so.

  10. 40
    intothefireuk on 17 May 2008 #

    The fab 4 of the 70’s – The Real Thing’s YTMAE is a spendid example of early Brit-Soul/Funk albeit with more of a disco tinge than it’s later cousins (Heatwave et al). Great piano riff, slabs of wah wah and topped by Amoo’s throaty, soulful vox. Easily one of the better number ones of the year.

    Can You Feel The Force is excellent and I can remember making a fool of myself on the dancefloor to it many times (esp. early 80s when going whoo! whoo! often was a pre-requisite at any disco).

  11. 41
    mike on 19 May 2008 #

    Re. 36: There’s a tribute to the recently deceased Froggy from Pete Tong in yesterday’s Observer Music Monthly. James Hamilton took him to see Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage circa 1977, which pretty much marks the moment when beat-mixing crossed the Atlantic.

    As regards “You To Me Are Everything”, it’s a solid 8 for me. This pretty much epitomises all that was good about the charts during the Phew Worra Scorcha Long Hot Summer Of 76 – and in my opinion, there was a lot of good stuff around, particularly towards the mellow/soulful/romantic end of the spectrum, all of which suited the sultry stickiness of the times. (Misty Blue! Kiss And Say Goodbye! Young Hearts Run Free! Silly Love Songs!) And, yes: “Now you’ve got the best of me, come on and take the rest of me” is one of the sharpest and wryest lines in all of pop (even if its composers and singers weren’t necessarily aware of the fact!)

  12. 42
    Chelovek na lune on 25 Sep 2010 #

    I really like this (and Can’t Get By Without You too) – not least after the dross at number one in preceding weeks, but had absolutely no idea they were British. Something learned from Popular! Thanks.

  13. 43
    Brendan on 20 Sep 2012 #

    I guess with all the footie talk and with the home city of the band in question in mind I should nail my own colours to the mast and out myself as a Liverpool supporter just in time to be mercifully mocked about how the mighty have fallen.

  14. 44
    Erithian on 21 Sep 2012 #

    Shan’t do that Brendan (not THAT Brendan surely with the Liverpool connection?) but a timely moment for me as a United supporter to express the hope that all goes well with this Sunday’s encounter. Enough United fans have respect for Liverpool to ensure due tribute is paid to the 96, but I fear it could go either way.

  15. 45
    Brendan on 22 Sep 2012 #

    Thank you Erithian. I’ve never personally let things as relatively trivial as allegiances (whether it be football, music or anything else) prevent me from getting on with people and I’m happy to be on board with all the regulars who I’ve enjoyed reading as I’ve been going through the years since late 1952. I finally made it to 1977 so I’m almost at the point where I have genuine recollections rather than knowing the songs from hearing them played on the radio so hopefully I can add some of my own insights to the songs of that era as well as those yet to come which, even if the song itself isn’t good, at least may spark some memories for me. Oh, and no, I’m not THAT Brendan – lol.

  16. 46
    flahr on 23 Feb 2018 #

    So farewell then Eddy Amoo. 74 which isn’t such a bad age. I see that I voted this jolly tune a 7, which seems fair enough for something so delightfully pleased.


  17. 47
    lonepilgrim on 13 Nov 2019 #

    a much needed break from the mediocrity that had preceded it, this glides along with a rich, syncopated interplay of rhythms and strings supporting a vocal that balances sincerity and craft

  18. 48
    Gareth Parker on 2 May 2021 #

    I would agree with Flahr (#46) and would give the Real Thing a 7/10 here.

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