James' Blog - Songs

Detailed appreciation of hit songs from the past which perhaps deserve far more attention than they often receive. A chance to unearth some hidden gems.

The story of the greatest disco record you've never heard of - yet which for people of a certain age is embedded in their memory.

A brief history of the Moody Blues, and the frustrating way they narrowly missed having one final valedictory hit at precisely the time when everyone would have welcomed it.

The story of how a cosmopolitan group of musicians from New York briefly became the sensation of summer 1990 and how their iconic debut single caused a row which led to the brief peeling back of the layers of just how the singles chart was compiled.

The story of Innocence, briefly one of the more compelling "faceless" dance acts of 1990. And in particular, their almost forgotten end of year tear-jerker.

One of Ace Of Base's lesser-remembered classics. But one which always has a particular resonance for me, especially in late December.

Some random musings on some of the weirder parts of the Spotify catalogue after a friend challenged my assertion that "everything ever recorded" is up there.

In 1991 Elaine Paige attempted to become a proper certified chart-topping pop star. She failed to get anywhere near the charts, but in the case of the album's lead single, this is actually something of a crying shame.

The story of Propaganda's ill-fated 1990 comeback, a full six years after Frankie Goes To Hollywood first stole their thunder (and all the label resources)

Native New Yorker by Odyssey, and the curious attachment I have to it based on some old student radio shows.

Not an appreciation of a song, as such, although one in particular does feature. More an account of the occasion in 1993 when Cilla Black attempted a pop charts comeback, was invited on Top Of The Pops and trampled all over her own legacy.

Surely everyone knows that Climie Fisher's Rise To The Occasion was a hit in a remix version. But did you know this was at the expense of the track whose beats and bass were lifted wholesale to create it? Find out the full story here.

The Jim Steinman single that time forgot. Lifted from his reluctant solo album Bad For Good, it is a ten-minute epic which runs through every one of his favourite lyrical obsessions. And it is one of my favourite songs ever.

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