Wednesday, 6 February 2013

East 17 'Thunder'

Chart Peak: 4

Tony, Brian, John and Terry have been consistent hitmakers around the world since 1992... 'Thunder' steamed into the UK chart at No. 4 and spent 11 weeks in the Top 40 up to January 1996.
In case you thought the bit about steaming into the chart was a mixed metaphor, I think it's a pun on the title of their album Steam, although that would have worked better had this song come from that album: it's actually the first release from their third set Up All Night, which is surely the only possible explanation for it making the Top 5. That "around the world" line may also be a reference to their 1994 hit of the same title.

By this point, the band did seem to be - ahem - running out of steam. And whilst the album was another inevitable Top 10 entry for them, it lasted less than half as long on the chart as each of the previous two. That's not an uncommon pattern for the modern boy-band, whose biggest-selling album is almost always their first, and you suspect that the record company must have noticed too, as they don't exactly seem to have gone crazy with the video budget here. 'Thunder' is a bit of an odd song, combining the pretentious chorus lyric "When the thunder calls you/Under purple sun/To the place where horses run" with verses which try to sound vulnerable in the face of love, not a mood that seems to come naturally to the usually cocky group, nor a combination that makes any sense. Tony Mortimer does an amazingly shoddy rap in the middle and the two who aren't him or Brian Harvey wander around a bit in the background. Er, that's it.

In my last posting about East 17, I mentioned that they'd reformed again, replacing Brian Harvey with an X-Factor contestant. Just to keep you posted, they later ditched the frontman, and the remaining trio of founding members released a new album last year with a new musical direction they think sounds like Kings Of Leon, although it sounds to me more like Wet Wet Wet. You have to love the "driving me crazy" mime though.

Also appearing on: Now 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 35 (with Gabrielle), 36, 41 (as E-17)
Available on: Thunder

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