Erasure review the singles - Smash Hits - March 1988 

(If you've ever thought some of the music critic's views of Erasure have been harsh over the years, wait until you read this- Even the single of the fortnight comes in for a bashing!. Andy and Vince review the singles - be afraid, be very afraid!!).

 

DEACON BLUE: When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring) (CBS)

Vince Clarke: Terrible, really awful. Nothing more than a high class, well produced pub band. There's just nothing in there, nothing new or different, it's all horribly bland and boring.

Andy Bell: It's very seventies-sounding, like a young Joe Cocker (ancient crumbly who sang the title "track" to the film An officer And A Gentleman). It sounds like a golden oldie, something you'd hear on an old pub juke box.

Vince:... Except that it's not that golden.

 

ACDC: That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'N' Roll (Atlantic)

Andy: I find this heavy metal stuff all a big joke. It's just a macho pretence. All these blokes really get into it, they think it's brilliant when really it's a pile of shit. The only heavy metal track that I've ever liked was called "Jane" by Jefferson Airplane. I think heavy metal's just for Sun readers - mindless morons. I can't discern this sound from any other heavy metal song, they all sound the same.

Vince.. I don't like this sort of music but I think ACDC are the best of them all. They're like a pop punk band, and they look great. I'd love to be in a heavy metal band, I'd play lead guitar.

Andy: You'd have to pull all the rock'n'roll chicks, Vince.

Vince: Oh no! I wouldn't do that!!!

 

JESUS AND MARY CHAIN: Sidewalking (blanco y negro)

Andy: This is the sort of music people used to listen to at senior school when they all went down the pub and were into their "alternative" phase. It's the sort of thing you play when you first start up a band, which is fine if that's what they want to play, but it's not saying much for their musical progression if they're still at this basic stage so far into their career.

Vince: This is terrible, like a really bad version of T. Rex.

 

A-HA: Stay On These Roads (WEA)

Vince: This would make a good stadium song, I can see hordes of people swinging their banners in time to this at a football match or something... but it's far too manufactured and over-produced.

Andy. I was really looking forward to hearing this, but I'm disappointed now. I think they've done some good songs but this isn't one of them. It's much more bland than anything else they've written. There's no tune to it, nothing that makes you want to sing along to it. I couldn't make out a single word he was singing. Perhaps they realise they've had their heyday and are going downhill, so they've decided to try and be serious and credible all of a sudden. It's a real shame.

 

EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL: I Always Was Your Girl (blanco y negro)

Andy: The way pop music's swinging towards slush and summery stuff at the moment, this one might get them into the charts at last, because that's exactly how this sounds. It's a bit Radio Two, very relaxed and laid back, and er, bland.

Vince: She's got a nice voice but the music's a bit dreary. It's got a saxophone whining in the background, and I hate saxophones in pop music. They always sound horrible.

 

BANANARAMA: I Want You Back (London)

Andy: They say they've just re-recorded the new singer's vocals over the top in place of Siobhan's? Phtht!, Oh yeah... I'd be really ashamed if I was releasing singles like this. I wonder if they worry about what people think of them? Obviously not. How can they get any self-satisfaction out of doing things like this? They must get their kicks from being on TV programmes, and for the money they earn from it. I think people must get so sick of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman (who produced this single) sound. I really hope Stock, Aitken and Waterman have got some clever trick up their sleeve where they'll totally destroy all trace of what they've done so far and then completely change their music. But I doubt it somehow. I tihnk it's a real shame how Bananarama have gone. I used to think they were quite good, but that one was really terrible.

Vince: I don't quite know what to think of this. Pretty bad, isn't it?.

 

PATRICK SWAYZE: She's Like The Wind (RCA)

Vince: This is terrible.

Andy: It's so straight and safe, girl meets boy story line with a slushy romantic-y wishy washy sound over the top and that's basically it. It sounds like they picked him for his looks for the film, made sure he could just about sing in tune and brought this out. I can't even think of how to describe it. Pap. It's like a male version of Samantha Fox, trying to make yourself into something you're not. Total dross.

 

FLEETWOOD MAC: Everywhere (WEA)

Andy: All their records start the same, all tinkly chords leading into a honeyed vocal. The chorus is really poor, really weak, and it sounds exactly the same as the last single. It's Obvious that they were stuck for singles off the LP - which, I have to stress, has been out for absolutely ages - and this is the worst so far.

Vince: An awful little ditty... terrible.

 

BARRY MANILOW WITH KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS: Hey Mambo (Arista)

Andy: It's a bit of an unlikely combination, isn't it? Bazza meeting Kid Creole. There isn't much Barry Manilow in there. I'm sure I've heard it before, unless it's just that typical Kid Creole calypso sound. I think it's quite admirable that he's still sticking to the same old stuff over and over again, when all around is changing. It sounds like Bazza's "Copacabana" song. I'm sure all his fans will buy it and there's millions of them, aren't there?

Vince: It sounds very different from everything else we've heard today, so that in itself can be no bad thing, but I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy a copy, somehow. To be honest, all the records we've heard were pretty awful. It sounds boring, but I really don't have much of an opinion about pop music. I rarely listen to it...

 

SINGLE OF THE FORTNIGHT

PET SHOP BOYS: Heart (Parlophone)

Andy: This sounds like an Eartha Kitt (ancient crumbly who doesn't wear many clothes) backing track. I like Neil's deadpan vocals. They're riding on the crest of a wave at the moment, and they'll probably get to number one with this, but it sounds pretty second rate Pet Shop Boys to me, like they don't really care about what they're putting out. It's just a backing track with any old vocals slapped on top. Unfortunately though, it's the best of a very bad bunch.

Vince: I'd really rather not pick one for the best single - they're all terrible. I remember thinking the Pet Shop Boys' first LP "Please" was really good, then the second one was put together hurriedly, and it showed because it was dreadful. A bit like this single, in fact. Having two sleeves is a bit dangerous. (One version features a picture of Neil, the other of Chris.) What if everyone buys the Chris cover and not Neil?. He'll be really upset haha...

 

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