Monday, January 4, 2021

Musical Monday - Only You by the Flying Pickets

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: December 10, 1983 through January 7, 1984.

Until I pulled up this song for the Musical Monday feature, I had never heard it. When I saw the title, I assumed that, given the love affair between the U.K. charts and 1950s era do-wop music, that this was a cover of the 1955 Platter's hit Only You (and You Alone).

It isn't. It is still a cover song - but the original band for this song was the 1980s synth pop group Yazoo. While the Yazoo version is catchy and interesting, this a capella version by the Flying Pickets is perfect. Using just voices captures the plaintive poigancy of the lyrics, while preventing the song from descending into maudlin self-pity. Setting the video in a slightly run-down pub just adds to the atmosphere of the piece, reflecting the general malaise of the early 1980s in the U.K. The fact that the Flying Pickets were originally named as a reference to some members' experience participating in miner's strikes just makes this background richer and fuller.

Previous Musical Monday: All Night Long (All Night) by Lionel Richie
Subsequent Musical Monday: Say Say Say by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Pipes of Peace by Paul McCartney

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

The Flying Pickets     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

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