Chart Peak: 13
Whilst they're rarely taken very seriously (and didn't necessarily want to be) Hot Chocolate arguably have quite a place in history as one of the UK's most successful singles acts, and one who made a success of a racially mixed lineup at a time when that was still commercially difficult.
1984 was the fifteenth consecutive year in which Hot Chocolate had managed at least a Top 75 single in the UK, but it was the end of the run: 'I Gave You My Heart' proved to be their last hit, aside from revivals of 'You Sexy Thing' and 'It Started With A Kiss'. In fact, the whole side 2 of Now II seems to be a bit of a jinx, since Hot Chocolate and Cyndi Lauper are the only acts on there to manage further Top 40 success. In truth, though, you can sort of tell their number was up - the song (notably not written by any of the band, but by ex-Racey singer Richard Gower) is paper-thin, and Mickie Most doesn't seem to have known how to produce in the style of the times, falling back too much on that sampled handclap sound that was everywhere then and a barrage of drumming at the start that has nothing to do with anything. It also contains one of the lamest false endings in pop history, where it seems to stop and start again without any real conviction, and the whole thing provokes no more positive adjectives than "smooth".
After one more single, Errol Brown finally called time and left for a not-massively successful solo career, although apparently you can still see a version of the band, fronted by the man who impersonated Brown on Stars In Their Eyes. They made some very good singles and some very bad ones, but this doesn't really seem to have enough in it to be either. It's a pity that this had to be the song of theirs that I got to write about.
Also appearing on: Now 9, 38
Available on: Their Greatest Hits
Charting 1997: 27th December
5 years ago