Chart Peak: 1 (1 week)
The success of Now 69 feels a bit like an anomaly - shouldn't compilation albums be an anachronism in the download era? Well, in one way this track gives the lie to that; its appearance here was the first time it had ever been available outside Tesco, since the original physical digital and physical singles were exclusive to that supermarket, producing as close to a surprise Number One as you seem to get nowadays.
That mildly interesting history doesn't make it a good record though. Of course it's for charity, but there's something about the whole concept of a beyond-the grave duet, especially since Cassidy's contribution appears to come from a lo-fi live recording. And she obviously sang with no expectation that anyone else would be joining in. Melua, who I don't actually mind as much as some people seem to, doesn't have much of a chance. Even so, we end up with a rather strained version of the overdone standard, which doesn't seem to convey any real joy or sadness. Of course it's unfair to criticise either of them, especially Cassidy, for being unable to supply the age that made Louis Armstrong's version so compelling; but surely they could have done better than this. Big hit though it was, it's a poor ending to the album.
Eva Cassidy also appears on: Now 48, 53
Katie Melua also appears on: Now 57, 62
Available on: The Katie Melua Collection (CD + BONUS DVD)
Charting 1997: 27th December
4 years ago