Thursday, 13 November 2014

Michael Ball 'Love Changes Everything'

Chart Peak: 2
Yazz fan Michael Ball had raced to No. 2 by 19th February 1989 with this song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Aspects Of Love.
I'm no expert on musical theatre but I think it's fair to say that Aspects Of Love is not one of the Llord's better-remembered productions. In fact I only remember it in the context of this song, and even then mostly because I remember a few months later one of our teachers set us an essay called "Aspects of Spring" and the kid sitting next to me started singing "Spring, Spring changes everything..." The teacher responded, "Well, you've just shown how easy it is to write Andrew Lloyd Webber lyrics," so I don't think he was a fan.

Of course, I wouldn't have admitted to liking this song even if I did at the time, but a quarter-century on I can at least say that I understand what people might like about this song in a formulaic sort of way, and I suppose it makes sense as a show opener setting out the themes, although I suppose it's a bit of a double-edged sword when the big song is right at the start of the show. I also think of this as being one of the last times that a song written specifically for a stage musical became such a big crossover hit, presumably for demographic reasons. It is, though, harder to forgive the very cheap-sounding production on this recorded version, which hardly fits with what I'd expect of the West End stage. It's also hard to forgive Michael Ball for his terrible cover version of 'May You Never', which I heard this very morning.

Still, I can see why this makes a fitting end to Now 14, even at the expense of putting it next to Climie Fisher (who had of course had an identically-titled hit less than a year earlier). And as a big hit it makes up for some of the less successful tracks elsewhere on Side 4. I suspect it reassured some buyers. I still don't get the Yazz joke, though I presume it was topical at the time.

Available on: Love Changes Everything: The Collection [+Digital Booklet]

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