Monday, 15 July 2013

Boy George 'Everything I Own'

Chart Peak: 1 (2 weeks)

Written by David Gates and originally a 1972 Top 40 hit for Bread. Ken Boothe's version topped the chart for three weeks in late 1974. This new recording is George's first solo recording and was released in late February 1987.
George O'Dowd's only solo appearance on a Now album, though he has also appeared as a member of E-Zee Possee, Jesus Love You and of course Culture Club. In fact, of the many high-profile things George has done in his life, his solo career seems one of the least remembered parts, despite the highly successful start; something of a turnaround after the diminishing returns of the later Culture Club material. Things must have seemed to be looking up somewhat, given that he was also fresh out of rehab. But things didn't quite go to plan, follow-up hits were harder to come by, and his records weren't even getting released in the USA.

That said, I suspect the main reason this track isn't better remembered is that it's not actually much cop. It's not a song I'm massively fond of in any incarnation, but at least Ken Boothe's UK pop reggae version benefits from a decent vocal (though he does change the lyric slightly, singing "Anything I own," which I suppose is more realistic). George does get the words right, but in all other respects this feels like a poor imitation of Boothe's version, with a terrifically bland production from Steve Levine. It's about as soulful as the weather forecast. I feel sorry for him as a person but this is a real non-event of a single and I can't really understand why anyone liked it at the time.
By total coincidence this came up as a question on Popmaster today: they played the Bread version and asked the contestant to name either of the singers who'd topped the chart with it. He remembered Ken Boothe but not this version.

Available on: Sold

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