And All Because The Lady Loves… arrived in record shops at the end of January 1989, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The concept: she wears (stone-washed) denim wherever she goes – courtesy of the Cokells, Phil and John. Ashley Abram sequenced the 14 great love songs and we’re reminded that “the design and the All Because The Lady Loves… slogan are the property of Cadbury Ltd, and are reproduced with their permission.” Labels assisting were EMI, Polygram, Arista, Island, Chrysalis, Motown and EG Records.
Milk Tray adverts showed a mystery man dressed in black breaking into a lady’s house and leaving her a box of the chocolates along with his famous calling card – a dark silhouette on a white background. The Milk Tray Man’s career lasted from 1968 to 2003. He was a tough James Bond–style figure who undertook daunting raids to deliver the goods. Gary Myers was most recognisable as the action figure, starred in 11 adverts lasting until 1984. Directors included Adrian Lyne while the music, The Night Rider, was written by Cliff Adams, who was also responsible for the Fry’s Turkish Delight tune. The music was also recorded commercially by Alan Hawkshaw and appeared on his album 27 Top TV Themes, released on the seminal Studio 2 Stereo label in 1972. Top of the chocs: hazelnut swirl.
This romantic selection begins with an ageless track from 1969 – Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie Amour which was released on 28 January that year. The strings and horns elevate it to heavenly status – “How does someone blind, write with such vision?” Slipping in seamlessly is Tina Turner and Let’s Stay Together, the 7″ mix of the single that announced her comeback. It was her second collaboration with Heaven 17 and the British Electric Foundation production team after Ball Of Confusion in 1982. We zip back to 1972 for another Motown slushfest, Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye getting it on with You Are Everything, a top 5 UK single but wasn’t released on that format in the US. From 1975 comes Cliff Richard’s intensely personal ballad Miss You Nights. Sung perfectly.
An Officer And A Gentlemen provided Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes with a big hit in Up Where We Belong. File under gospel-inspired pop standards. We stay in in the 1983 era with Spandau Ballet’s timeless True (also in 7″ form) – a tribute to Marvin Gaye who is mentioned in the lyrics. And then the album version of Bryan Ferry’s Slave To Love where the vocal kicks in at 0:40 as opposed to 0:26 on the single mix. Next: Dionne Warwick’s gorgeous All The Love In The World. This was written by the Gibb brothers and Barry co-produced Dionne’s Heartbreaker LP in 1982. Meanwhile Still was the Commodores’ last #1 before Lionel Richie went solo. Supremely soulful with deep feeling – as an old white boy once said “You know..it’s not the music you get in to….it’s the music that gets into you.”
The first four songs on CD2 of Now That’s What I Call Music 1983: The Millennium Series are all here (Let’s Stay Together, Up Where We Belong, True, Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You). Marching on, Leo Sayer’s totally massive 1977 hit When I Need You. Same melody as Leonard Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat. Elsewhere ex-Mechanic Paul Carrack brings us up to date on the pleading Give Me A Chance – or to some, “the point of pop pedestrianism.” To end, a fine pair: Minnie Riperton’s Loving You (to be immortalised by The Orb on A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld) and Eric Clapton’s deeply poignant ode to Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight.
Cliff Richard – Miss You Nights
Commodores – Still
Lest we forget
Paul Carrack – Give Me A Chance