Jan 10

NICK BERRY – “Every Loser Wins”

FT + Popular102 comments • 9,679 views

#578, 18th October 1986, video

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

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

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



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  1. 91
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2011 #

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

  2. 92
    DanH on 26 Jan 2013 #

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

  3. 93
    Mark G on 30 Nov 2013 #

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

  4. 94
    Erithian on 12 Mar 2015 #

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

  5. 95
    speedwell54 on 12 Mar 2015 #

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

  6. 96
    CriticSez on 6 Mar 2016 #

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

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

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

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

  7. 97
    Andrew Barton on 14 Apr 2020 #

    Ref DanH on comment 92.

    Yep, there was All I Need by Jack Wagner who was in General Hospital – co-written by Glen Ballard, who co-wrote Man In The Mirror.

    The Jack Wagner song was blocked from the No.1 spot in America by Madonna’s Like A Virgin.

    Rick Springfield, also of General Hospital, had a U.S. No.1 already with Jessie’s Girl and later scored a U.S. No.2 with Don’t Talk To Strangers (Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s Ebony and Ivory blocked that song from the top).

    Then there was Gloria ‘mother of Robin Thicke’ Loring, known at the time for her role as Liz Chandler in Days of Our Lives, teaming up with Carl Anderson for their only appearance in the U.S. chart, with the song Friends and Lovers – a love theme for a couple of characters on the NBC soap opera.

    It was stopped from reaching No.1 in the US by Huey Lewis and The News and their song ‘Stuck With You’.

  8. 98
    Andrew Barton on 14 Apr 2020 #

    Speaking of the Neighbours ones, the Blakeney twins (Gayle and Gillian, aka Caroline and Christina Alessi) released some singles.

    All Mixed Up under the name of The Twins failed to chart, so they tried again after leaving the soap but their records Mad If Ya Don’t and a cover of a Prince song didn’t interest the public.

    Then there was Stefan Dennis with the ridiculed Don’t It Make You Feel Good, which after that there was a follow up called This Love Affair which fared worse, and it was over for him after that.

    Felice Arena, who played Marco Alessi, whose parents in Neighbours were played by George Spartels, who had starred alongside Tina Turner, Mel Gibson and Angry Anderson (!!) in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and Elspeth Ballantyne, an original cast member from Episode 1 of another Grundy soap, Prisoner Cell Block H, and the only one to last out the whole series.

    Well Felice left later and released a cover of More Than A Woman (groan). Thankfully it never charted and he went into writing novels instead.

    Dan Falzon, who played his brother Rick, released a track called Seventeen with his band Milk. Again, no-one was interested.

  9. 99
    Chelovek na lune on 15 Apr 2020 #

    Craig McLachlan was another member of the Neighbours cast to trouble the charts in the late 80s/early 90s. While his second hit came very hot on the heels of the first – giving him (take note Beautiful South) two simultaneous top 30 hits both of which had girls’ names as their title (“Mona” and “Amanda”), which might have suggested that he knew his talent at most entitled him to a musical career as lengthy as that of Stefan Dennis, he had a couple more hits later on, including a Grease duet with Debbie Gibson.

  10. 100
    Kinitawowi on 15 Apr 2020 #

    Neighbours could get very stupid very fast, from the wide array of cameos (half of the Pet Shop Boys appeared in 1995) to the then unknown randoms (Russell Crowe’s band, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts, never troubled the UK charts), but excluding the obvious bunnies… Natalie Umbrellastand made a much better fist of a musical career than anybody was expecting.

  11. 101
    hardtogethits on 17 Apr 2020 #

    #99. Flippin’ ‘eck, that’s an amazing spot about Craig McLachlan’s hits being simultaneous (that’s to say overlapping). At the time I never noticed how keen his people must have been to make hay whilst the sun shone – to be honest, like Morten Harket and Chris Isaak before him (the latter not long before him) I thought McLachlan’s humour and charm made him impossible to dislike and I assumed on that basis he would be sure to be around for a long time.

    I’m a little occupied by work at the moment and I am under no illusions about how very fortunate this makes me – my heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they are uncertain about employment and the challenges this might bring. That aside, if I were not so occupied I think I’d be embarking on some research into the speed with which follow-up singles a) were released b) charted c) overtook their predecessor d) peaked etc. Anyone?

  12. 102
    Gareth Parker on 4 May 2021 #

    Blimey this is a dispiriting thing. I’d have to go with a 2/10 here.

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