The lonely, desolate woman is back for more punishment on another instalment of EMI’s Album Of Love sequence. Unlike Missing You, this compilation appears to only have one configuration. Again, the concept is credited to the maestro Ashley Abram with cover design and artwork by QD. Thanked record companies include EMI, WEA, CBS, MCA, Polygram, Island & BEC. One chair lies empty. Tiles are black and white. Stalemate.
The roof is blown off with the opening number, Heart’s almost operatic Alone. A strong favourite in this house, the nostalgic rush continues with Roxette’s stupendous Listen To Your Heart. A piano beginning, an emotional overload even more tragic given Marie Fredriksson’s recent passing. Plus it’s the single edit – nice. The next step belongs to Womack & Womack. “I really have tears in my eyes because this song brings back the memories of people I loved to the moon and back and they are no longer here” recalls Marie Griffin with deep regret. I remember being 16 in the Crosbie Motor Hotel when this was played every weekend. And the people who were there with us, now passed on. In endless time, in endless art. While MC Hammer’s cover was included on the first Missing You, Ashley has gone for The Chi-Lites original now, a beautiful and ageless jam.
Keeping it soulful are Earth, Wind & Fire with After The Love Has Gone, which sounds like an early fade of the 7″ mix. It’s followed by Hall & Oates’ superb She’s Gone, a refuge from All By Myself. And then a turn back to the early ’60s: Roy Orbison’s operatic ballad In Dreams (as heard on Blue Velvet) blends into Patsy Cline’s mournful dirge Crazy (1961). And then the Everly Brothers with Crying In The Rain, “Raindrops falling from heaven could never wash away my misery.” A-Ha having covered it the previous year – and practically doubled the length. Into the Summer of Sam – June 1977 – and Cliff Richard’s perfectly delivered When Two Worlds Drift Apart. Visions of harbour lights in Duncannon.
In November 1990, Jimmy Somerville released The Singles Collection 1984-1990 which took in Bronski Beat, Communards and his solo career. A decent cover of The Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody was the new track. And in a neat trick, You Win Again is up next. See what he did there? We go back to 1983 for Elton John’s breezy I Guess Why They Call It The Blues. Stevie Wonder on harmonica. A memory from that long hot summer, caned by Larry Gogan on Radio 2. As I write, news breaks of his death this morning (7 January). Elsewhere there’s Up Where We Belong, a surefire winner from An Officer And A Gentlemen which is followed by Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville singing a homage to ignorance, Don’t Know Much. “Look at this face…” We end a rather pointless inclusion – Minnie Ripperton’s Loving You which had already appeared on the first volume. An unearthly sampled delight on The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, a record I would discover later in ’91. “And they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.”
Elton John – I Guess Why They Call It The Blues
The Chi-Lites – Have You Seen Her?
Lest we forget
Cliff Richard – When Two Worlds Drift Apart