Wednesday, 12 October 2016

REWIND: The Beautiful South - 'Rotterdam'

It's hard for me to believe that 1996 happened 20 years ago. Every day until the end of this year, RW/FF will be looking back two decades to remember all of the amazing music that was released that year. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts make a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

The Top 10 in the UK singles chart from 20 years ago this week (October 6 - 12, 1996) is probably one of the most impressive I've ever seen, despite the presence of Celine Dion at number 4 and Dina Carroll at number 10. See the full chart rundown HERE. One of that week's new entries was 'Rotterdam' by the divisive Hull-based outfit The Beautiful South, which went in at number five.

The Beautiful South got a lot of stick from the hipster community for supposedly specialising in bland coffee table music. While I don't necessarily agree, I will admit that I do find it hard to listen to an entire album of their songs without losing attention. However, as a young kid, one of my Christmas presents in 1994 was the group's mega-selling 'Carry On Up The Charts' compilation, which really does prove Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray as a gifted songwriting partnership. It's even been (dubiously) claimed that one in seven British households owned a copy. With lead vocals from singer Jacqui Abbot, his brilliantly catchy, laid-back ode to loneliness appeared a couple of years later on the band's 1996 album 'Blue Is The Colour', which was also a chart topper. Between 1988 and 2007, the band released ten studio albums and sold over 15 million records, before splitting due to "musical similarities" rather than the usual "musical differences"...


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