Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Robin Beck 'First Time'

Chart Peak: 1 (3 weeks)

Of course it's not unusual for a song to be popularised by a TV commercial, but there's something a bit odd about a Now album actually printing a corporate logo (other than its own!) like that. Presumably it was a condition of licensing the track on here; the fact that the song was an advert turned into a single rather than an existing track simply used in ad advert is underlined by the fact that the original single sleeve depicted actors rather than Beck herself. I suppose in these days where everyone talks about "engagement" with brands and we all realise that the cash isn't rolling in for musicians, it doesn't seem so strange that people would effectively pay to listen to an advert, but I did find it slightly strange at the time. Mind you, I found it a bit strange that anybody would pay for this record under any circumstances, it's not really the sort of thing that appeals to ten-year-olds.

26 years later and it's still not appealing. Although we're on a new side of the album here, it seems to follow quite seamlessly from Natalie Cole's drab ballad. In fact I'm slightly surprised to discover from the type of compilation albums it shows up on that this is apparently supposed to be a rock song. I certainly didn't hear it as such at the time, and it doesn't sound any more rocky now. The other thing I didn't realise was that Robin Beck had released an album in 1979 - not that anyone else noticed it either, at the time, but I'd remembered her as being a very young pop star, possibly a teenager. In fact she was in her mid-30s and a successful jingle singer when she recorded this and her 60th birthday is the day after tomorrow. This single also brought her the distinction of being a UK one-hit-wonder by the strict, Guinness book definition: a Number One single and no other Top 75 appearances. None, at least, until she guested on a dance re-recording of this song in 2006, though not all sources give her an artist credit. 

I can't even give this much credit for being catchy considering how many times I heard it in its two incarnations. 

Also appearing on: Now 64 [with Sunblock]
Available on: Soft Rock Highway

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