Jan 14

ROBSON AND JEROME – “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted?” / “Saturday Night At The Movies” / “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

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#750, 9th November 1996

satan In an act of unprecedented generosity, Robson and Jerome’s return single – the first from a new LP of reworked covers – was a triple A-side. If they were indecisive over the lead track, that’s no surprise – each of these songs is a worthy addition to the Robson and Jerome catalogue, quite the equal in quality of “I Believe” or “Unchained Melody”.

Why such a bold treble-header release? Perhaps, deep down, they knew that – in the words of another triple-disc-making member of rock’s pantheon – all things must pass. Much like the Jam, Robson and Jerome split at the peak of their fame. This is their final single, making the dying chords of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – a true people’s anthem, given a highly affordable production here – that much more poignant. Their legacy is immense: not only did they help launch the career of hitmaker Simon Cowell, they remain the only act whose every original release – single and album – hit the top of the charts. It’s a stunning testament to their efforts and the judgement of their fans.

The other tracks on this landmark single are just as good as “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. “Saturday Night At The Movies” sees the boys tangle with the Drifters back catalogue again – which they showed such sympathy for on “Up On The Roof”. They’ve been practising in their time away, though – high notes which would have given Jerome (or Robson) pause last time are now yomped over with something close to aplomb. But best of all is “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted?”, a powerful reading of the Jimmy Ruffin hit. “All that’s left is an unhappy ending”, Ruffin sang. But it’s a mark of the imagination and goodness of Robson and Jerome that they won’t let that depressing state of affairs lie. Instead they give us a happy ending – with a cannily-placed key-change and an exciting drum break to end on. “Now departed – yeah!” And as these two men themselves depart, let’s not forget that nothing really ends. Robson and Jerome are gone, back to the starry world of television, but maybe we will see their like again.



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  1. 61
    Brendan F on 22 Jan 2014 #

    Blue Room by The Orb was released as a single (and made the singles chart) despite being about 40 minutes long

  2. 62
    Ed on 22 Jan 2014 #

    @60 – Prince’s ‘Lovesexy’ is a single track now in digital formats, for no good reason I can work out.

    I am pretty sure it had separate tracks when I had it on cassette.

  3. 63
    lockedintheattic on 22 Jan 2014 #

    @62 Lovesexy was originally released on CD as a single 45 minute track ‘for artistic reasons’, it was only later a tracked version was released.

  4. 64
    iconoclast on 22 Jan 2014 #

    For some reason SNatM has put me in mind of Queen’s “Man on the Prowl”.

  5. 65
    Paulito on 22 Jan 2014 #

    @32, 35 etc: the Stones hit #2 in ’71 with a triple A-side comprising Brown Sugar, Bitch and Let It Rock. I’m pretty sure there have been other such instances, although none spring to mind…

  6. 66
    flahr on 4 Feb 2014 #

    I seem to remember one of the early 80s anarcho-punk acts putting out a triple A-side – possibly Zounds.

    Right, after some research “Can’t Cheat Karma”/”War”/”Subvert” by Zounds was either a triple A-side or an EP or a double A-side with a B-side. As far as I can remember “Subvert” was the only one that was any good.

  7. 67
    Stephen Emmett on 26 May 2020 #

    This is not the last time we encounter “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Number One – on 24th April 2020, the song returned to No.1 when Michael Ball (who once had a No.2 hit in 1989 with “Love Changes Everything”) alongside the NHS Voices That Care Choir helped WWII veteran Captain Tom Moore celebrate his centennial birthday in style. (Interestingly, The Weeknd – who was No.1 the week prior with 2020’s biggest seller so far “Blinding Lights” – put out a tweet at the last minute before the results were announced to get everyone to download and support the track. Kinda similar to how Justin Bieber tweeted his support for the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir in 2015 when “A Bridge Over You” went up against “Love Yourself” for that year’s Christmas Number One – sorry to get really giddy and fast forward years later!)

  8. 68
    Kinitawowi on 26 May 2020 #


  9. 69
    Stephen Emmett on 5 Jun 2020 #

    @68 I honestly should just admit that I do like the idea of a track like “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (the song itself of course) going to No.1, but at least the point still stands – do not spoil the journey of the No.1s over the years if this can continue for some time.

  10. 70
    Gareth Parker on 1 Jun 2021 #

    I’ll go with YNWA 2/10 Broken Hearted 3/10 Movies 3/10. Generously rounded up to 3/10.

  11. 71
    Mr Tinkertrain on 1 Mar 2022 #

    Another shameful confession: I bought this single when it came out.

    Well, I saw the WBOTBH video on Top of the Pops and liked it a lot, and when I also liked the SNATM video shown the following week I decided it was worth blowing some pocket money on, and I stand by my choice as I played the songs loads for a while.

    Looking back – WBOTBH is actually decent enough, SNATM is kitschy and YNWA (a song which I massively dislike in any incarnation) is dreadful. Averages to a generous 5.

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