Friday, 29 May 2009

Carmel 'More, More, More'

Chart Peak: 23


A record that really was new to me - unless I'd heard them at the time and forgotten about it, Carmel were an act I knew through flicking through their records. I had gleaned somewhere down the line that they were a group, albeit one named after their lead singer (Carmel McCourt, to be exact) and that this song was not a cover of the one made famous by Andrea True Connection. But I didn't know exactly what to expect.

As it turns out, 'More, More, More' has a certain amount in common with the Matt Bianco track that precedes it in the running order. It too has a distinct jazz-pop flavour and probably could have been written twenty years earlier; or twenty years later, for that matter. However, it's a much more convincing pastiche: there are no conventional drums, which would normally be the dead giveaway in a recording of this era, with the beat coming instead through congas and tambourine. Indeed, the entire arrangement is remarkably sparse, giving the impression of an as-live performance (I have no idea whether it actually was done that way, of course) and the brass even sounds like it could have been recorded on vintage equipment. The performance is excellent too, bursting with confidence and energy.

The only problem is, unfortunately, the song itself, which doesn't really seem to go anywhere. Indeed, it reminds me of one of those old soul records with a Part 2 on the flipside where they're just keeping the groove going... but without the Part 1. This might be why it wasn't quite the hit the compilers must have expected: as the note proclaims, it "Had reached number 25 by 28th February 1984." but in the event it only managed to climb another two positions, failing to match the peak set by 'Bad Day' and indeed they never saw the inside of the Top 40 again. They were very big in France, though.

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