'One By One' was a huge No. 7 hit for Cher in January 1996... She has now had big UK Top 10 smashes in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.And in fact she managed it in the 2000s as well with 'Music's No Good Without You', though that's her only hit single so far this century. You might think that Cher was something of an about-turn from the Britpop sound of the previous tracks, but in fact there is a connection: the song was written by Tony Griffiths of proto-Britpop group The Real People, though it's fair to say that their original demo recording isn't that Britpoppy. Nonetheless, Griffiths and his brother have a place in the genre's history as it was in their studio that Oasis recorded the demo which got them signed, whilst he also sings backing vocals on their first single 'Supersonic'. The Real People also recorded probably the only Top 100 single named after a place in the Harrow area: 'Rayners Lane'.
Although Johnny Logan had had a hit in Ireland with the song, this is the only well-known version in most of the world. It's a solid mid-tempo rocker which features some really rather good singing from Cher herself, although it's more potboilerish than truly outstanding, mainly because the chorus doesn't quite seem to hit home. The great weakness is Steven Lipson's production, which seemed staid even at the time and is painfully dated now, though it's still rather better than the lightweight pseudo-RnB remix that was released as a single in the USA. This aging (and maybe the fact that it wasn't much of a hit over there) might be why you never seem to hear this one nowadays, but either it's better than I remember it or I'm more open-minded.
Also appearing on: Now 30 (with Chrissie Hynde and Neneh Cherry), 32, 42
Available on: It's A Man's World