Charted at No. 30 on 9th December 1986. Had reached No. 4 by 15th January 1987, becoming their biggest British hit to date.And their biggest British hit this remains, at least in chart peak. Yes, the first single from their imaginatively-titled album Gap Band 8 even charted higher than the famous 'Oops Upside Your Head' of sitting-down dance fame, although Charlie Wilson got as high as 2 as a featured vocalist on 'Signs' with Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake. Despite all this success, 'Big Fun' (not to be confused with the later hit by Inner City) is the first track on Now 9 that I don't remember. And I don't only mean that I didn't remember it from the time, but when I bought the album on vinyl a couple of years ago I listened to it, and I've played the cassette a couple of times at work, but this track left no impression on me. In fact, I listened to it last night while I was looking up the YouTube link and I've already forgotten pretty much everything about it.
It's a pretty simplistic club song of the era, reminiscent of some early-80s soul/disco songs by the likes of Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross, the Whispers et al that you do still hear, but a less interesting version. I'm willing to believe that it sounded good if you were actually in a club in your CHOOSE LIFE T-shirt and legwarmers but there just doesn't seem to be enough melody or anything for it to appeal outside that context. It's not bad or unpleasant but I'm at a loss to guess how it became such a big hit; my first theory was that it might have been a big hit at New Year parties but that's hard to reconcile with it being Top 30 in early December.
Available on: 101 Soul Anthems