Jan 13

TAKE THAT – “Everything Changes”

Popular45 comments • 4,041 views

#704, 9th April 1994

The fifth (of six!) single from Everything Changes, and yes, it shows. Breezy, disco-inspired, but this is the fussy, low-fat studio hack’s version of disco which dotted pop albums through the 90s and beyond. A sax solo fills in time and helps to cement the impression that this is a sketch of a song, bulked out as required by passing sessionmen.

What can be said about it? The B-Side was a medley of Beatles songs – as with the Lulu team-up, this feels a bit of a “we belong” move, though the band is asserting a continuity of boyband frenzy and light entertainment domination rather than any kind of songwriting chops. More importantly for Take That’s immediate future, this is the first number one with lead vocals from Robbie Williams. Cheeky in front of the cameras, chafing (by his later account) behind them, Robbie does nothing at all here: with hindsight you might take his perfunctory devotion as a sign of boredom, but it’s just as likely he simply wasn’t ready to own a performance yet. “I love you”, he mutters at the end: the words have rarely sounded less convincing.



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  1. 31
    Tommy Mack on 5 Jan 2013 #

    In other words are there some TT disco bangers that missed the top spot that I’ve forgotten? It all seems to be soppy love songs so far. In my mind, they were always more fun and more lively than this.

  2. 32
    James BC on 8 Jan 2013 #

    The best other Take That disco-type songs are It Only Takes A Minute and Could It Be Magic, which both made top 10 but not number 1 because the group’s popularity was still building at that time.

    It seems Take That were a lot more disco on the way up than they were when at the top. Now in the group’s “second coming”, when they are bigger than ever, they’re also further than ever away from the pop-disco sound that made them popular in the first place.

  3. 33
    Steve Mannion on 8 Jan 2013 #

    That said, the last album WAS produced by Stuart Price. Sadly by then he himself had seemingly moved away from or lost the disco midas touch he possessed between ‘Darkdancer’ and ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ (not that I think the reformed TT would really have suited the approach he took with Madonna there…unless perhaps he could’ve done for them what he did with Seal on ‘Amazing’ but that probably requires a stronger solo voice than anyone in TT has.

  4. 34
    tm on 8 Jan 2013 #

    I was looking forward to talking about Could It Be Magic (Barry Manilow cover IRC?) and was really surprised it didn’t get to number 1. It seems a smart move for a breakthrough single, I always remember the piano on it, pegging TT as more of a D:ream-style pop-dance crew than a bunch of soppy moppets. It was only later when I saw them doing Babe or Pray or maybe even IOTAM on telly that I dismissed them as girls’ music.

    I’ve very little time for most of the post-reunion stuff. Apart from one quite fun and massively over-exposed number and a couple of very pretty moments in a couple of the ballads, it all seems too Coldplayish; battering the audience into submission with production heft and crafted instant-anthemicness. Actually, a lot of it sounds more like the number Chris Martin wrote for Embrace; a sort of generic post-Verve indie-ish anthem preset. Not my bag at all and I’m guessing, not a lot of people on here’s bag either.

  5. 35
    Mark G on 8 Jan 2013 #

    I remember “Could it be magic” was done by Barry Manilow and Donna Summer around about the same time period (Donna did accentuate the word “come” in particular), but I don’t know which was first.

  6. 36
    Lazarus on 9 Jan 2013 #

    I wasn’t sure either, so I looked it up – it appeared on Manilow’s 1973 debut album and was released as a single in the US two years later. Donna’s version came the following year, and Manilow’s UK record company finally issued it as a single here at the end of 1978. The single edit – played by Ken Bruce yesterday, incidentally – is a good deal shorter than the album version which runs to nearly seven minutes – that’s the one that appears on ‘Manilow Magic.’

  7. 37
    wichita lineman on 9 Jan 2013 #

    Barry Manilow originally recorded Could It Be Magic under the group name Featherbed, a single on Bell produced by Popular alumnus Tony Orlando. Here are Barry’s memories of its first incarnation:

    “Tony had produced (a single called Amy) a few months before on which I had been a “ghost” voice of a fictitious group called “Featherbed.” Bell Records wanted another “Featherbed” record and (Could It Be Magic) seemed like a good follow-up.

    I remember sitting at the piano in my small apartment, playing the song for Tony.

    “Now the way I hear it, Tony,” I said, “it should be very romantic and build slowly. to a climax that makes you feel as if the performer is totally carried away with passion.” He said he understood perfectly and went away to begin producing the track.

    When I showed up at the recording studio and heard the bubble gum sounding track (complete with cowbells and a girl trio!) I was thrown for a loop. He had treated Could It Be Magic in a young-sounding up-tempo way that in no way resembled the style I had hoped for.”

  8. 38
    weej on 12 Jan 2013 #

    Agreed with the score here, but for different reasons. This is surely the least annoying entry in their dismal catalogue – still not great, just a bit of throwaway 90s pop I’d, perhaps, not turn off the radio for.

  9. 39
    Patrick Mexico on 29 Mar 2013 #

    The sleeve just screams “A gestalt creature of us five would make Bobby Briggs from Twin Peaks”

  10. 40
    stebags on 8 Apr 2013 #

    My nethers were alight watching them sing this live on TOTP in sailors outfits.

  11. 41
    glue_factory on 9 Apr 2013 #

    Re:37 – there’s also a Sylvester version, on his live album Living Proof. I’d assumed it would be the basis of the Take That version, but it’s actually quite stately and almost melancholic.

  12. 42
    Patrick Mexico on 9 Apr 2013 #

    Re: 34. Damn right. Sometimes I wonder how Chris Martin sleeps at night, thinking as a student he dreamt of Radiohead-esque iconoclasm but is now filed alongside S**** and J****** B****** (bunny block activated!) on the “nightmare rock festival lineup” memes.

  13. 43
    Erithian on 27 May 2013 #

    Catching up a bit here! I really don’t have a problem with this – a grower, and one you can perfectly understand as a hit. More particularly in the That narrative, after those vids of them being unattainable sex objects, here they’re cheery, cheesy lads joining in and having fun with people of all ages, about to be adopted as the country’s new national treasures, even if Barlow still looks smug as hell.

  14. 44
    Musicality on 14 Dec 2014 #

    This had character and personality from Robbie on lead and is a good pop track with jazzy parts to it.

  15. 45
    Gareth Parker on 20 May 2021 #

    Again, a perfectly solid enough track from Take That. I’ve gone with a 5/10 here.

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