“Oh whip the dogs away my Lord,
They make me ill with lust.
Bend bare knees down to pray, my Lord,
Teach sulky lips to say, my Lord,
That flaxen hair is dust”. (John Betjeman – Senex)
It was demoed by the Pet Shop Boys in 1985 as a wordless track called A Roma. In 1987, Patsy Kensit approached the duo several times asking that they write something for Eighth Wonder. They eventually decided to complete A Roma for her and name it I’m Not Scared. The end result was one of the best singles of the decade. The Pet Shop Boys would go on to record their own version for their third LP Introspective which emerged in April 1988. The Eighth Wonder 45 is the third track on Formel Eins – Happy Birthday and easily the strongest. Gangster chic with a heart of gold.
On your marks, get set. . . Yello lead with The Race. Eurosport, Nuns On The Run etc. It was a welcome inclusion on Now That’s What I Call Music 13 along with Jane Wiedlin’s gorgeous pop-fizz of Rush Hour. Lips touching mine. If only. Elsewhere there’s a bunch of summer hits that originally featured on Now That’s What I Call Music 12 – namely Danny Wilson’s straight-ahead rock Mary’s Prayer, Hazell Dean’s frantic hi-NRG of Who’s Leaving Who, Natalie Cole’s sparkling Pink Cadillac and the essential Theme From S-Express. And it is a trip. “Ooh you send me”.
Climie Fisher’s third single This Is Me didn’t set my stereo alight back in 1988. After repeated listens I got sucked in by the slick production and great hooks. The wrestling helped. It’s followed by The Adventures’ outstanding Broken Land. Check out those pipes at the end. Next up is an oddity – Guesch Patti’s Let Be Must The Queen; a female Duran Duran with a Dirty Diana sound. However I am indifferent to Herbert Gronemeyer and his cryptic stylings of Was Soll Das. Eddy Grant also keeps popping up on these compilations. Sadly Gimme Hope Jo’anna gets fast-forwarded nowadays.
Glass Tiger have form. Someday turned up on Formel Eins – Special while Thin Red Line was on Formel Eins – Wild Hits!. Now it’s the turn of Diamond Son, another powerful piece of songwriting from the Scottish Cry Before Dawn. Rock with a harder edge is served up by Aussie James Reyne; the oblique Fall Of Rome. Two top poppers to exit with: Sabina Brons was Selena, a Dutch girl whose SAW-flavoured Shotgun was one of the year’s more fun-filled disco fillers. And good old Mandy Smith. Success continued to elude her in the UK but Boys And Girls stole the hearts of Swiss pop pickers. Let it take control of your body, mind and soul as you slide behind the wall of sleep.
“Now here comes a story that’s never been told
About the turbulent demise of Climie Fisher
They had their success and they went separate ways”.
Eighth Wonder – I’m Not Scared
Climie Fisher – This Is Me
Lest we forget
Mandy – Boys And Girls