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  • Rob

NOW PLAYING: 'RAINDANCING' BY ALISON MOYET...

Updated: 5 days ago

In a now familiar story, Top of the Pops reruns on BBC 4 + many, many cans of high-quality IPA + Discogs = another classic album from the 80s now in my collection.


This album was released in April 1987 and produced two records that made the top ten in the UK Singles Chart: 'Weak In The Presence Of Beauty' (6) and 'Is This Love' (3).  Also released from it was 'Sleep Like Breathing' and my favourite single, 'Ordinary Girl', neither of which made the Top 40 surprisingly.


'Is This Love' was co-written by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame after he went to the studio to visit his friend and 'Raindancing' producer, James Iovine and suggested the pair write a song together.  According to Wikipedia, to avoid problems with his publishers, Stewart's contribution was disguised under the pseudonym Jean Guiot - very cloak and dagger.


Moyet also worked with David Freeman and Joseph Hughes of the band The Lover Speaks, with the former duetting on 'Sleep Like Breathing'.  'Weak In The Presence Of Beauty' is a cover; it was initially released by Floy Joy, a Sheffield band that barely troubled the charts in the early and mid-eighties.


This is Moyet's difficult second album, and it 'suffers' from being a bit slick, safe, and sanitised.  The singer puts this down to the bright production designed to appeal to American radio and MTV (not a bad target to aim for, in all fairness!).


I love the production.  I love how clean the record sounds, with Moyet's voice taking centre stage, especially on quieter tracks like 'Blow Wind, Blow' and 'Stay'.  Elsewhere, there are great big pop bangers like 'When I Say' and 'Glorious Love', which is probably my favourite track on the album.


The record marks a clear break from her former life with Vince Clarke and Yazoo and was supposed to propel her to the next level and help her conquer America, but it never really panned out.  It took four years for Moyet to release a follow-up, and any momentum gained from 'Raindancing' was lost, which is a shame.


Plenty are available on eBay and Discogs for reasonable prices if you fancy a copy.  This near-mint copy cost me less than a tenner.


Tracks To Try: 'Weak In The Presence Of Beauty', 'Ordinary Girl', 'Is This Love', 'Glorious Love', 'Stay'.

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