Saturday, 9 August 2014

Scarlet 'Independent Love Song'

Chart Peak: 12
'Independent Love Song', a No. 12 hit in February 1995, is Scarlet's 1st big single... They are pianist Joe Youle and singer Cheryl Parker and hail from Hull.
One of these days I mean to compile a proper list of "Now Nuggets" - tracks that obviously had some degree of success at the time of their original release, in order to make it onto such a release, but seem overlooked by posterity. This is one of the songs that would certainly be there (another is 'Breaking (Sugar Samba)' by Julia & Company, by the way). In fairness, the number of cover versions I found on YouTube suggests the song isn't quite as forgotten as I might have thought: the song was also covered by German metal act The Bates, though their version wasn't a hit anywhere I know of. It's not a song I remember hearing on the radio since 1995, nor does it even seem to crop up on compilation albums much.

This exile to the footnotes of pop history is unfortunate, since this is a charming song with a big chorus of the sort that never seems to be wholly in or out of fashion. Whilst it's hard to think of anyone who's become a big star in the past 20 years offering this sort of style, there are many less good songs like this that seem to have become radio staples. Perhaps this would have been more marketable under the name of a solo singer (ironically, Scarlet had already slimmed from quartet to trio to duo by the time of this hit) or even a group with a less generic name. Perhaps it's actually the combination of feisty attitude and big swooping music that people find hard to grab; but it must be said that neither of these things stopped the song making the Top 20 in the first place, and they even scored a Top 30 follow-up with the even more forgotten 'I Want To Be Free (To Be With Him)' a song even I can't honestly claim to remember. Maybe one of these days I'll even pick up one of those copies of their album that always seem to be in Poundland and find out whether they had any strength in depth.

Available on: Naked

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