Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Hothouse Flowers 'Don't Go'

Chart Peak: 11
A hit thanks to Johnny Logan!?... His Eurovision success in 1987 led to the 1988 contest being held in Dublin... While the judges were deciding who to vote for on game[sic] Hothouse Flowers to reach an audience of millions... Charted at No 47 on 8/5/88, peaked at No 11 on 22/5/88.
Side 2 starts with the longest sleeve note so far, setting the scene for the first and biggest hit by this Irish group. In fact this was their only Top 20 hit, with only three more singles even reaching the Top 40, though I'd never got the impression they were particularly perceived as a one-hit wonder. Possibly it's because they were, for at least a while, a pretty successful album act (even I have their second album somewhere, although I don't remember it that well). And they even got to be in an episode of Lovejoy.

The label tells me that 'Don't Go' was produced by Langer & Winstanley, best known for their work on almost anything Madness have ever recorded. But the only real connection is the saxophone: where Madness had a tendency to conceal the seriousness in their music, this track wears a certain earnestness on its sleeve. Not that it's an obviously serious song, but they seem to want you to know they're "real musicians". And though I wouldn't have spotted this at the time, there's a bit of E-Street Band in there too. It's a fun pop record for all that though.

As it turned out, Eurovision 1988 produced another star: the winning Swiss entry was performed by Céline Dion, then unknown outside the Francophone world.

Available on: People

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