Just Seventeen: Heartbeats (Fanfare, 1989)

Just Seventeen

Just Seventeen r

Review
Just Seventeen was a weekly magazine primarily aimed at teenage girls. It ran from 1983 to 2004. Every Wednesday. By 1989 the circulation was at its height and the cover stars impeccably chosen to fit in with the prevailing pop trends of the day. A tie-in compilation was a logical marketing step to take so Heartbeats quickly followed and was sequenced by Box Music’s Ashley Abram.
It contained “16 passion packed tracks to set your pulse racing.”

Heartbeats is an impeccable selection of frothy pop and breathless romantic numbers. Listening to it now – 25 years later – I am transported back to my local disco and those immortal words from the DJ.
“Now it’s time to slow things down.”
I turned 17 in January 1989 and almost all of these tracks represent a moment in time, a snapshot of a (sometimes) memorable night, a hazy long-forgotten walk to the chipper and then home.

The timeline runs from 1987 to early 1989. The earliest tracks are Wet Wet Wet’s bug-eyed soul [Angel Eyes] and Patrick “North and South” Swayze’s epic She’s Like The Wind from Dirty Dancing. Stock, Aitken and Waterman’s inevitably take a key involvement in a number of tracks – Rick Astley’s downbeat Hold Me In Your Arms, Brother Beyond’s sparkling career highlight Be My Twin, Bananarama’s just-as-good-as-the-Supremes Nathan Jones and Sinitta’s perky Cross My Broken Heart. And don’t forget Angry Anderson’s epic Suddenly that soundtracked Scott and Charlene’s wedding in Neighbours [broadcast on UK television on 8 November 1988].

Talking about artistic peaks – it’s got to be said that Bros never topped the heartfelt ballad Cat Among The Pigeons. Best heard on a Walkman while stumbling out a dark unlit road, Christmas Eve 1988. Neither did Yazz with her regret-filled Fine Time [the last top 10 hit]. Hue and Cry’s Looking For Linda is an enigmatic mystery while Climie Fisher’s Love Changes (Everything) still retains a key message: love can turn madness to gladness; it can turn darkness to lightness; it can turn ugly things to beautiful things; love can really change everything.

Favourite tracks
Bananarama – Nathan Jones

Brother Beyond – Be My Twin

Lest we forget
Patrick Swayze – She’s Like The Wind

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2 Responses to Just Seventeen: Heartbeats (Fanfare, 1989)

  1. Matt Hayes says:

    Love putting this album on every now and then. A terrific track selection. Bomb the Bass stick out a bit and, although it’s a great track, it’s totally out of place here. Agreed that “Cat Among the Pigeons” was possibly Bros’ best track. It’s definitely one of my favorites of theirs. Disagree that “Be My Twin” was Brother Beyond’s finest hour. I think it’s a good song but nowhere near the level of either “The Harder I Try” and “He Ain’t No Competition”. Different strokes for different folks and all that. I do agree with you about “Nathan Jones”. It’s every bit as good as The Supremes… at least, the single version is. The album version, from Wow!, is a bit suspect and it definitely needed remixing for a single release. For some reason, “Hold Me In Your Arms” is a song I’ve never enjoyed. Objectively it’s a decent song but I didn’t like it as a 10-year-old when it was in the charts and I’ve never quite gotten over that. I suppose as a kid I was used to Rick’s more upbeat pop.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Hi Matt – yes, Bomb The Bass was an odd inclusion. Hold Me In Your Arms has gotten better over the years – wasn’t gone on it at the time. Great compilation.

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