Chart Peak: 20
No sleevenote this time, as this is one of the three tracks exclusive to the CD version of Now 16. I don't know exactly what the mechanics were of this, whether this was because the record company refused to clear it for all the formats or whether it was intentionally relegated to bonus track status - but it certainly isn't the smallest hit on the album. Indeed, it was a pretty big song at the time and if it doesn't seem to get mentioned much nowadays it's only because it gets overshadowed by other hits from their admittedly meagre output.
It's only become clear to me as I've been studying the Now! albums that the Fine Young Cannibals were actually really rather good. To be sure I enjoyed hearing the songs at the time, but they seem to have more depth to me now. And for once I can be pretty sure it's not the nostalgia talking, because the picture they paint of eighties Britain isn't all that pretty. On this present track, though, the gaze is turned somewhat inward on a song that sounds like a lament for lost youth (although Roland Gift was still under thirty when he recorded this, so I imagine there may be more going on than the obvious). Possibly it's the return of the narrator from 'Johnny Come Home' further down the road to oblivion. It makes for an odd track to put on a compilation called "Happy Birthday Dad", really, but at least he might appreciate the music, which seems like a precursor to Emeli Sandé's excellent recent hit 'Heaven'.
Aptly enough, this song of weariness was to be their penultimate major hit. They split after dragging one more single from the second album, and then re-emerged with a one-off single and best of album in the mid-1990s. They deserve to be more remembered though.
Also appearing on: Now 5, 6, 14, 15
Available on: Happy Birthday Dad (Digital Version)
Charting 1997: 27th December
5 years ago