15
Sep 09

DEAD OR ALIVE – “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”

FT + Popular62 comments • 7,221 views

#546, 9th March 1985, video

If “Relax” – as Mark Sinker put it during the subsequent discussion – was a non-DJs idea of a club record, “You Spin Me Round” is a DJ’s idea of a Frankie track. In fact, it sounds like Stock, Aitken and Waterman have broken into Trevor Horn’s studio at night, nicked a load of his gear, done a bag of speed and started pressing buttons at close to random. Marvellous, in other words. The hidden force driving the record’s mania is that hyperfast sequenced keyboard run, its chattering bleeps like a player piano installed on the bridge of the Enterprise, adding a note of derangement to a track already lacking in restraint.

Without Pete Burns, of course, “You Spin Me Round” would be considerably shyer. It’s a fine example of a limited performer finding the one perfect record for him: he gets to play the Lion Queen, prowling and roaring his way around the song-stage in his finest panto predator style while the drum machines bang out a strutter’s rhythm. “I WANT YOUR LOVE!”

“You Spin”‘s crude machine-rush wouldn’t be matched on a number one for years but its chassis was already well-travelled: hi-NRG club beats and keyboards in debt to Patrick Cowley, Bobby “O”, and other NYC and European post-disco music. SAW always knew their stuff (and could be somewhat sniffy about the fact when their credentials were mocked). But this is trashier, buzzier, more immediate even than that: there’s a Dionysian kick to it which feels more like a rebuke to New Pop than its barbarous fag-end. Sadly it’s a staging post on its producers’ journey to the centre of the cheap, and without Pete Burns to frame they never achieved this wildness again.

9

Comments

  1. 1
    lonepilgrim on 15 Sep 2009 #

    It’s Pete Burns’ voice that adds extra value to this record for me – whereas a lot of later SAW productions tend to be a bit shrill (not always a bad thing) this resonates with a deeper bass growl.
    The video is hilarious – the three guys wrapped in ribbon look so uncomfortable – ideal candidates for the line up on Buzzcocks

  2. 2

    i love this song but i do always faintly wince when he sings “like a record DO YOU SEE, A RECORD, it is ROUND, you spin me ROUND like a RECORD it is an METAPHOR”

    stevem taught me this:
    ELP –> ZTT –> SAW

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 15 Sep 2009 #

    YES! Then and now! Tom is right about how much faster and more exciting this seems than most other singles, an effect magnified by its spinning theme and self-referencing – i.e. it sounds even more fun when you play it as a 7″ single.

    It’s also a dream combination of producers and star. SAW singles sometimes sounded a bit weedy and routine, but with an ego and outlandish character such as Burns, there was no risk of that here. Similarly, early Dead Or Alive records never sound much cop to me – a pop star lumbering about without a pop song.

    My favourite Pete Burns story comes from the fortnight that this was at the top. For a pop star to be number one and trapped in his limosine by screaming schoolgirls is a common occurrence, but for the schoolgirls to be screaming “We’re going to kill you, you fat poof!” is the mark of a character with a dangerous ability for winding people up and getting under the public’s skin.

  4. 4
    MikeMCSG on 15 Sep 2009 #

    This is a milestone number one as the first to be produced (though not written) by the terrible trio who were to debase the chart for the rest of the decade.

    Query for Billy Smart : Am I correct in thinking that Pete Waterman’s own embarrassing TOTP appearance (as 1418 doing Goodbye-ee) where he pranced around in a soldier’s uniform has been lost ? I’ve never seen it on TOTP2 or Angus Deayton’s programme.

    As for Dead Or Alive they are an 80s equivalent of Mud, a third division act who couldn’t get a look in until the competition weakened. They were getting nowhere with their stodgy goth pop when Wayne Hussey was in the line up. Once he left they decided to become a dance act and their 1984 LP “Sophisticated Boom Boom” is a masterclass in plaigiarism.

    Having said that Pete Burns did make a first rate pop star and it’s a shame that like Bob Geldof and more recently Louise Wiener he didn’t have the songs to keep himself in the spotlight.

    Does anyone know if this is still the record which took longest to reach the top in a single chart run ? I’m guessing as we move into an era where instant number ones become the norm it probably is.

    Btw while this was number one the best record of the year (IMHO) peaked at number 12. In Jimmy Savile style two points to the first person who can guess what that was !

  5. 5
    Erithian on 15 Sep 2009 #

    It was “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley and I claim my two points.

    Comparing DoA to Mud is a bit harsh on the latter, who had many more top 10 hits while none of DoA’s smaller successes were anything like as memorable as this. One of those songs that kick-starts the new year after you’ve slept through January and February, with a suitably wide appeal. And after a few more hits Burns returned to niche celebrity, only to return as the biggest asshole in a Big Brother house chock-full of them.

    As someone – it might even have been Tim Rice – pointed out, this was the first Number One record with the word “record” in the title. For the first Number One record with the words “number one” in the title, we would have to wait until this year, when the concept of a “record” is almost obsolete.

  6. 6
    punctum on 15 Sep 2009 #

    If 1985 was New Pop’s 1974, then Pete Burns was New Pop’s Alvin Stardust, and not simply because of the Pete Waterman connection – both veterans of a previous era, both hitching a belated ride on the rapidly defuelling gravy train. Older and considerably more resilient than Boy George – it’s that Northern thing again – Burns belatedly reintroduced a notion of dagger-thrusting glamour which George had by this time largely abandoned in favour of cups of tea, whining about “I hate all that Labour crap” and heroin.

    The production team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman had first come to full notice some 12 months previously with a “Relax” ripoff entitled “The Upstroke” sung by some female session singers grouped under the name of Angels Aren’t Aeroplanes. A big club hit, it led to further mainstream hi-NRG crossovers more indebted to “Blue Monday,” such as Hazell Dean’s “Wherever I Go (Whatever I Do)” (with an astonishing, apocalyptic 12-inch mix), Divine’s “You Think You’re A Man” and, eventually, “You Spin Me Round.” Though classified as the first major product of the Hit Factory, Burns and the group wrote the song and SAW produced it pretty much in accordance with Burns’ unsurprisingly firm instructions. Charting in November 1984, it proved to be yet another sleeper, hitting especially big in Scotland and the North West, but bided its time over Christmas before nudging its way into the Top 40 and thereafter hurtling to the top. Rather like “Relax” a year earlier but without the ban or the outrage.

    Nevertheless “You Spin Me Round” is an important transitional record, the most direct link between the fading embers of New Pop and the imminent age of SAW (and to a degree New Order) dominance. Its beats are trebly but resonant, harshly staccato and slightly crude but finally rather compelling. Over the top Burns flashes his “I”s and swims deliriously in the pre-E ecstasy palindromic roundelay of the chorus, riding a Moebius rollercoaster, with some ingenious touches of near-punctum, e.g. the bass-led descending harmonic figure linking the first chorus to the second verse possibly inspired by UB40’s “Food For Thought.”

    It falls just short of being a great pop record largely because Burns’ undeniably fulsome operatic tenor sometimes falls through the Tom Jones trapdoor of knicker-happy pomp (for instance, on the line “I’ve got to have my way now, ba-BEEEEEE”) and at other times he grits his teeth too hastily (the sneer on “You look like you’re lots of fun”). But “You Spin Me Round” was undoubtedly the liveliest number one since “I Feel For You” and in the light of the dour drear which will characterise much of the rest of 1985’s upper reaches, its blue glow is as near to the carrying of a New Pop torch that we’re likely to discover in the imminent future.

  7. 7
    Kat but logged out innit on 15 Sep 2009 #

    I first heard this song in 2002 and instantly fell for it. 9 is about right though – on the 700th play it’s *slightly* less good.

  8. 8

    haha the wikipedia entry on SAW has a section called “typical SAW chord sequences” — SATIRE NOT DEAD etc (ditto snooty point-missing)

  9. 9
    Billy Smart on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Hm, thinking through how this sounded to me at the time, I think that it had a kind of dervish/ incantatory quality, as if Burns is casting a spell upon both the object of his infatuation and his dancing listeners. This peaks when the chorus splits in two at the climax – “You spin me!” AND “I need you LOOOOOVE!” at the same time, forcing you to become either more involved or doubly irritated by the single. It shares this climactic device with ‘Tiger Feet’, funnily enough…

  10. 10
    MikeMCSG on 15 Sep 2009 #

    # 5 Well done Ian, you’ve bagged your points. That low peak was my first real intimation that my tastes were becoming detatched from the mainstream a process that moved on inexorably for the rest of the century. (The noughties have seen a modest reversal).

    # 6 I seem to remember it was specifically “Whatever I Do” (a record I prefer) that led Pete Burns to engage SAW. I think that notorious revisionist Pete Waterman would challenge your account of this collaboration. He has made grandiose claims of adding bits of Wagner to this record.

  11. 11
    The Lurker on 15 Sep 2009 #

    As a nine (almost ten) year old I absolutely hated this song. Not sure why – possibly I found Pete Burns a bit scary – as it’s grown on me considerably, but it’s still several rungs below Frankie’s finest for me.

    There’ll be plenty of opportunities to praise/slag off SAW later, but in the meantime may I nominate Bananrama’s Venus as probably the next best (and conveniently un-bunny-embargoed) SAW hit?

  12. 12
    Rory on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Revisiting this was more of a revelation than I expected, because I’d never connected it to SAW before (nor Divine’s “You Think You’re a Man”), although it’s glaringly obvious now. In early 1985 I didn’t really think of SAW as SAW, I guess; they were just anonymous names in the background. But the first song I thought of as a SAW production (Bananarama’s “Venus” in 1986, an Australian number one) sounds basically like this with different vocals – which was SAW all over, wasn’t it?

    The different vocals here were key, though, as Pete Burns was a more forceful and intriguing performer than the later SAW roster. They howl out of the hi-NRG backing and grab our attention, pushing the beats down to where they don’t seem as mechanical and obvious. And of course there was the video (here’s the full version without the last ten seconds chopped off); Burns is about the only interesting thing in it, but it hardly needs anything else.

    Number three in Australia, and a six from me, which for a SAW track is pretty good going. But who knows, I may yet surprise myself. We shall see, SAW.

  13. 13
    intothefireuk on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Dead or Alive had been hanging around for a few years before they met with success, Burns had been part of the Liverpool scene with Cope, Wylie etc. They’d already had a minor hit with a KC cover the previous year before joining forces with the devil and producing this piece of unmittigated drivel. There’s something distinctly unappealing about Burns voice, add a typically (for them) thin mechanised production (which unfortunately would become hugely prevalent as the decade wore on) and crap lyrics and you have a complete waste of plastic. Now if The Teardrop Explodes or Echo or even Wylie had made it to number one…..

  14. 14

    if only wylie had teamed up with SAW! the race against rockism TAKES IT UP A LEVEL

  15. 15
    swanstep on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Sorry, a 9 (the same as I feel love, 1 more than Take a chance on me [of which it’s a lame-o cousin I suppose], 2 more than Mamma mia and Careless whisper, 4 more than Message in a bottle and Brass in pocket…. I know you disavow consistency but…blimey!) for this is incomprehensible to me. Busy and irritating gets at best a 5 or 6 from me.
    I never realized this was SAW… I first took note of them a few months later with Princess’s ‘Say I’m your No. 1’ which is miles better than this (SOS-band monster bass-line + the nifty chords and chorus key-change from ‘Strawberry letter 23’ = dance record of the year: go here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuV8uL5BVls if you’ve forgotten). I dare say that it was Dead or Alive rather than Princess that accurately portended SAW’s future direction. Too bad.

  16. 16
    Jonathan Bogart on 15 Sep 2009 #

    I’ve heard this probably hundreds of times, and yet I’m lost in the foregoing discussion of specific moments in the song; all that I can conjure up in memory is the chorus. I never particularly liked this song — like Frankie, they sounded bullying to me — and this year put the capper on it when Flo– ARGH BUNNY.

    SAW has never meant anything much to me (unlike many other production teams), so I’m interested to follow their career through this context, especially given the variety of views on hand.

  17. 17
    LondonLee on 15 Sep 2009 #

    My main memory of this is being at art college parties and all the Cure and Smiths fans dancing like idiots to it (and ‘Blue Monday’) but sitting down when ‘Let The Music Play’ ‘You’re The One For Me’ or even ‘I Feel Love’ was played which, to my ears, are all fairly similar electro-dance records aren’t they? If I didn’t know better (!) I’d swear there was some Rockist snobbery involved and maybe not a little musical racism.

    Brilliant record of course, but like most SAW productions way too tinny sounding for me to really love. They always sounded a bit cheap to me.

  18. 18

    someone should draw up some very vast but very clear diagram which relates phases of tinniness vs bottom vs hifi with the demographics of who is accessing what music via what technology when — cf current release being mixed to sound GREAT as mp3s on iphones and hence lousy on old person’s wax cylinders etc etc

    in 1985 we are c.three years into the move to CD and the switchover from analogue to digital, i believe? (i didn’t look this up so may be a bit out)

  19. 19
    Conrad on 15 Sep 2009 #

    This is harmless fun, but not a record I can take seriously. The production is grating in the extreme, like pretty much all SAW records. What a dreadful thing for pop music they were.

  20. 20
    Tom on 15 Sep 2009 #

    #15 I’d rather listen to this than any of those (often fine) records, except obviously in a “Careless Whisper” mood I admit Pete Burns wouldn’t quite do.

    Re. SAW: They made other great records. Only time will tell if we get to discuss any of them. They also made some very poor ones, and it’s not too much of a spoiler to say we might meet some of THOSE.

  21. 21
    Tom on 15 Sep 2009 #

    The 12″ of this sounds (if you imagine Pete Burns out of the way) really like the Pet Shop Boys, so dismissing it on the basis of “It’s SAW” seems really like a handwave to me.

  22. 22
    lonepilgrim on 15 Sep 2009 #

    the video should also be noted for Pete Burns’ use of the eyepatch – joining the ranks of Bowie (around Diamond Dogs), Gabrielle and Momus

  23. 23
    Rory on 15 Sep 2009 #

    My favourite moment in the video is when the other members of the band are spun round at a speed unlike any record anyone’s ever seen. What is that, 8 rpm? Definitely not 45.

  24. 24
    Steve Mannion on 15 Sep 2009 #

    I had always assumed this had been their first hit, despite the Guiness book being a firm fixture in the house (oh those pre-Interweb days when a pitchfork was something we used to THWART suspect opinions…).

    So I was surprised that the KC&TSB cover which I quite enjoy tho had charted almost a year before this. Also news to me was its slow, erratic chart climb. This bubbled under the top 40 for over a couple of months before finally being propelled to the top.

    Definitely liked it at the time, probably thought Burns was a lady at first. My favourite association is much more recent tho – Erol Alkan mixing this with ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ at the Rizla Cafe, Glastonbury 02 – bringing the house down in style.

    Its got a vitality lacking from any other SAW #1 with one possible (let’s say “fortunate”) exception and is surely one of their 3 greatest productions, derivative as it may be. Take the vocals off and you still have a barnstormer of a hi-nrg/Italo cosmic disco backtrack.

    Shame about the countless inferior remixes (see also Blue Monday i guess…altho maybe a Hardfloor 303-meltdown version of YSMR(LAR) could’ve worked a treat).

  25. 25
    Steve Mannion on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Mike MCSG asked if there has been a slower climb to #1 since? I know of one 90s #1 which took a week longer (consecutively) than this to get there and THINK that may still hold that particular record.

  26. 26
    anto on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Have to admit if I’m in a club and this comes on I find it iresistible despite any reservations about the two Petes.
    Pete B is a uniquely talentless individual who seems ever more reluctant to admit how lucky he was – I mean come on even Chesney Hawkes seems to have a neat sense of irony about his position in the fickle world of the top 40.
    As for Pete W midas touch and thrust of free enterprise made an awkward combination. By the time his records were dominating the charts 3 or 4 years later he was unseemingly gloating about his ability to make it onto Top of the Pops with any reptitious crap he’d slung together in 20 minutes.
    Some things just work however and You Spin me …. works and then some. A spellbinding and lively track that if anything sounds even better now. Far greater than the sum of it’s soon to be self-parodying parts.

  27. 27
    TomLane on 16 Sep 2009 #

    A #11 chart peak in the States, but if you were to ask people today, they would think it was at least Top 5, as it has become a staple of 80’s oldies shows and commercials and just one of those 80’s songs that has outlived the artist it came from (e.g. “I Melt With You” or Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”). Also a 9 for me.

  28. 28
    MikeMCSG on 16 Sep 2009 #

    #25 You’ve got me thinking there Steve. Any clues ?

  29. 29
    Erithian on 16 Sep 2009 #

    Did it get to number one in a series of small steps?

  30. 30
    Glue Factory on 16 Sep 2009 #

    I’m a confirmed hi-nrg fan, so this is pretty perfect for me. Like Relax, it replaces hi-nrg’s usual more soulful post-disco style with something harder-edged and “nastier”. Neither Holly Johnson nor Pete Burns (nor Divine, for that matter) were you typical hi-nrg belters and their voices required some brutal, machine clatter to surround them, and in this case it’s those pulsing synth-lines and electronic hand-claps. Later SAW productions would lose much of this edge and to me that seemed to coincide with the shift in their main-market, from the club to commercial radio. Even when their dancefloor aim wasn’t as spot on as it was here (on a bunny baiting attempt at early house or their take on rare-groove, Roadblock) there was something there that was sorely missing later on.

    Plus, they just didn’t seem to try as hard later on. Surely no later period SAW production would contain anything like the “palindromic roundelay of the chorus”? Pete would have binned it off and replaced it with something more immediate that wouldn’t sound too odd on Capital FM.

  31. 31
    will on 16 Sep 2009 #

    It had taken the best part of two months to even enter the Top 40 but on entering the business end of the chart ‘rocketed’ up to Number One in four weeks, I seem to recall.

    Not sure how I feel about this now. It’s a danceable record but not a particularly lovable one. But then Burns was never a particularly lovable pop star, was he?

  32. 32
    Steve Mannion on 16 Sep 2009 #

    #28 I seem to have provided a clue in my previous post without even realising ha

  33. 33
    Billy Smart on 16 Sep 2009 #

    TOTPWatch: Dead Or Alive performed ‘You Spin Me Round’ on Top of the Pops on five occasions (the Xmas edition I’ll come to in the fullness of time);

    14 February 1985. Also in the studio that exciting week were; The Colourfield, Killing Joke and The Smiths! Simon Bates & Janice Long were the hosts.

    28 February 1985. Also in the studio that week were; Stephen Tin Tin Duffy and The Commodores. Mike Smith & Peter Powell were the hosts.

    7 March 1985. Also in the studio that week were; Shakin’ Stevens, Jermaine Jackson and David Cassidy. John Peel and Janice Long were the hosts.

    14 March 1985. Also in the studio that week were; Go West, Alison Moyet and Paul Young. Mike Smith & Gary Davies were the hosts.

  34. 34
    pink champale on 16 Sep 2009 #

    absolutely a nine. i’d never really thought about it being SAW doing frankie before, but that’s clearly what it is. there’s more than a touch of soft cell too, and it’s this slightly menacing seediness, along with the the way the SAW machine here seems set to ‘out of control’, that gives ysmr an edge over a lot of their other stuff. i will put in an early vote for ‘love in the third degree’ as being the second best of the non-embargoed ones though.

    we’ll have and wait to see whether this is the greatest celebrity big brother-related no.1 (competition is reasonably stiff) but on the evidence of cbb it seems very likely indeed that pete burns is vilest individual ever to have hit the top spot. the look of almost sexual pleasure on his face as george galloway started taunting barrymore about his alcoholism will stay with me to my grave.

  35. 35
    pink champale on 16 Sep 2009 #

    sorry about “hit the top spot” btw, momentarily turned into peter powell. i meant of course “be the toppermost of the poppermost”.

  36. 36
    Steve Mannion on 16 Sep 2009 #

    to bring up the ‘slowest climb to #1’ thing again, i’m sure i mentioned this before but Nickelback’s ‘Rock Star’ so nearly set what would probably have been a new record for this – 17 weeks before stalling at #2 (mercifully). That any song could do this as recently as two years ago is interesting tho.

    addendum: in fact yes i mentioned both this and the aforementioned 16th week chart-topper in the comments for Aneka’s ‘Japanese Boy’, so adding insult to injury in repetetive chart geek tedium terms there or wot…

  37. 37
    MikeMCSG on 16 Sep 2009 #

    #36 I think I’ve got it – a real chin-stroker that one !

  38. 38
    Kat but logged out innit on 16 Sep 2009 #

    I’ve found one that took 15 weeks to hit the top according to Polyhex…

  39. 39
    Steve Mannion on 16 Sep 2009 #

    And I’ve found another that took 16 weeks…coming up this very year! Probably a bunch of these really, its just that the one I mentioned first is the one I’ve always remembered ‘witnessing’, listening to the chart each week and groaning as it refused to be defeated. There seems to be a tendency among them all to be coming from artists who weren’t yet fully established which makes sense. Still, the challenge to come up with a 17 weeker goes on.

  40. 40
    misschillydisco on 17 Sep 2009 #

    i am an enthusiastic SAW supporter, especially when i’ve had a few ales, and i feel this is the pinnacle of their achievement. they used to fill their records with effects that would make lights at discotheques go mental. i’m all for it. pete burns was, for me, the second most perfect* 1985 popstar: an over-made up gobshite. 9, all the way.

    * most perfect, morrissey

  41. 41
    Billy Smart on 17 Sep 2009 #

    Morrissey & Burns together in Smash Hits;

    http://foreverill.com/interviews/1985/pete.htm

  42. 42
    MikeMCSG on 17 Sep 2009 #

    #34 While I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with your verdict on Pete Burns’s character I’d be very wary of buying into Endemol’s self-serving crap about “social experiments” and “revealing true selves”.

    CBB shows you how an already troubled (usually through diminished status) celebrity copes (or fails to) with extreme psychological pressure (if not outright torture) in an unforgiving artificial environment. It might tell you something about their strength of character but not their real personalities.

    I expect to be making the same point on four occasions when we get to 1999-2001.

  43. 43
    Conrad on 17 Sep 2009 #

    41, enjoyed that interview. I wonder if Pete and Mozzer are still phoning each other up.

  44. 44
    anto on 17 Sep 2009 #

    The Morrissey/Burns article is a camp classic, but what an odd pairing – Mancunian/Liverpudlian
    Indie Prince/Pop Tart
    Militant Vegetarian/Outspoken wearer of fur
    The most reserved man in music/The least reserved man
    in Britain.
    Still they seemed to find common ground over some tea and biscuits.
    By the way Conrad (43) from what I hear neither men are especially reliable at returning calls in general.

    One other thing that strikes me about You Spin Me….. Burns’ voice is not so different from Andrew Eldritch or Ian Astbury. Like those two his vocals offer command over flexibility so perhaps this is what the goth stars of 1985 might have sounded like if they had a few extra dance moves.

  45. 45
    misschillydisco on 18 Sep 2009 #

    forgot to mention previously that SAW were also responsible for this rather camp classic (one of my favourite records ever): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0nOb5h0JU8

  46. 46

    “The most reserved man in music” <--- is this morrissey? it seems imprecise!

  47. 47
    anto on 18 Sep 2009 #

    Hhmmm I suppose next to Pete Burns the Rio Carnival would seem “reserved “.

  48. 48
    Billy Smart on 27 Sep 2009 #

    Light Entertainment Watch: Not many UK TV appearances on the list, but I suspect that there may be more than these;

    THE MONTREUX ROCK FESTIVAL: with Boy George, Talk Talk, Philip Bailey, Culture Club, Dead Or Alive, Elton John, Millie Jackson, Howard Jones, Kenn Loggins, Shakatak (1985)

    THE MONTREUX ROCK FESTIVAL: with Philip Bailey, Culture Club, Dead Or Alive, Elton John & Millie Jackson, Howard Jones, Kenny Loggins, Shakatak, Talk Talk, Paul Young (1985)

    WHISTLE TEST: with Cabaret Voltaire, Godley & Creme, Dead Or Alive, The Alarm (1985)

    WOGAN: with Pamela Bellwood, Dead Or Alive, Aled Jones, Ken Livingstone, John & Chris Lloyd (1985)

    WOGAN: with Tim Brooke-Taylor, Dead Or Alive, Sheila Gish (1986)

  49. 49
    ottersteve on 2 Oct 2009 #

    #4 and others.

    I seem to recall reading a piece somewhere that Kraftwerks “the model” took almost a year from its first release to reach No 1! I certainly recall dancing to it at my local club around th summer of 1981 – 6 months before it made the No 1 spot.

  50. 50
    Steve Mannion on 2 Oct 2009 #

    ‘The Model/Computer Love’ is also on 15 weeks (within the top 75) before #1 but not consecutively, according to polyhex chartruns search. No idea how long it spent bubbling under 75 tho.

  51. 51
    Kevin's Cousin on 11 Jun 2011 #

    It’s a very dull record, it just goes round and round and round… hang on, don’t they all?

  52. 52
    hectorthebat on 23 Dec 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1,001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010) 1-1001
    Blender (USA) – Top 500 Songs of the 80s-00s (2005) 289
    Bruce Pollock (USA) – The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 (2005)
    VH-1 (USA) – Nominations for the 100 Greatest 80s Songs (2006)
    Woxy.com (USA) – Modern Rock 500 Songs of All Time (combined rank 1989-2009) 897
    Gary Mulholland (UK) – This Is Uncool: The 500 Best Singles Since Punk Rock (2002)
    NME (UK) – The 100 Best Songs of the 1980s (2012) 98
    Q (UK) – The 1001 Best Songs Ever (2003) 981
    Vox (UK) – 100 Records That Shook the World (1991)
    Gilles Verlant and Thomas Caussé (France) – 3000 Rock Classics (2009)

  53. 53
    Lazarus on 21 Apr 2015 #

    The sad tale continues, hard to know what to make of it all really – just seems to me that he should have seen a good therapist before he started consulting plastic surgeons …

    https://uk.celebrity.yahoo.com/gossip/omg/pete-burns-declared-bankrupt-after-spending-thousands-on-surgery-090801138.html

  54. 54
    Phil on 21 Apr 2015 #

    The hidden force driving the record’s mania is that hyperfast sequenced keyboard run

    On “The Reunion” on Sunday, Pete Waterman revealed that this was a mistake – they stayed up all night mixing the thing, and only at 10 o’clock the next morning did they realise that they’d left the arpeggiator running on track 32 (or whatever). Presumably it would have taken a lot of work to take that track out (perhaps they’d mixed it down onto one track with some other stuff) so they left it in and hoped nobody would notice. Pete B however did notice, and loved it (and rightly so) – so they never told him it was a happy accident. All of which might help explain why they never hit that peak again.

  55. 55
    BT on 22 Apr 2015 #

    Moz & PB can be heard performing together here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx51PsNBe8E, although IMO the track really takes off after they’ve left the stage and the band reveal their jazz-funk chops

  56. 56
    Lazarus on 24 Oct 2016 #

    Another busy day in 2016 for the Reaper … following on from the news of Bobby Vee earlier, Pete Burns succumbs to a heart attack aged 57. RIP.

  57. 57
    AMZ1981 on 24 Oct 2016 #

    Bobby Vee and Pete Burns were both brief superstars from different eras and while neither ever quite sunk into obscurity, once the spotlight moved on they were never to regain it. Their deaths announced on the same day are a reminder that success peaks so quickly, youth is only passing and nobody is immortal.

  58. 58
    Jimmy the Swede on 25 Oct 2016 #

    #57 – Apparently Captain Scarlet was.

  59. 59
    Paulito on 27 Oct 2016 #

    @57 Burns did briefly regain the spotlight much later on, albeit in a desperately tawdry, end-of-the-pier freakshow capacity. Sad.

  60. 60
    Martin F. on 13 Nov 2016 #

    Bill Drummond on Burns (and more): http://www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/entertainment/remembrance-sunday-by-bill-drummond

  61. 61
    Mark M on 14 Nov 2016 #

    Re60: Still puzzling over the Pete Frame quote that the Eric’s scene was ‘the first unforced geographical rock boom since San Francisco mushroomed in 1967.’

    Anyway, that’s an enjoyable read, but as often/usual with Drummond it’s both very self-centred – it tells you almost nothing about Pete Burns – and full of connections that would fall apart if you tugged too hard. (I’m very sceptical that Townsend and Waterman actually visited him the same day, rather than the same… month?)

  62. 62
    Gareth Parker on 8 May 2021 #

    I would say 7/10. A fun record and Peter Burns really goes for it here.

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