Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cutting Crew (I Just Died) In Your Arms

Chart Peak: 4
Charted at No. 74 on 12th August, had sped to No. 4 by 16th September to become Cutting Crew's first hit single.
Arguably the two most different tracks on Side Three are right up against each other at the end. One thing Cutting Crew do have in common with Billy Bragg is that neither of them graced the main Now series again, although they're not quite the one-hit wonders you might recall them as: 'I've Been In Love Before' had two runs in the Top 40 and peaked as high as 24.

I must admit that it never occurred to me until now that Cutting Crew could be any nationality other than American, but apparently they were mostly British though ultimately more successful in the USA. This single was recorded there and certainly has every hallmark of being aimed at radio stations in that market: it's almost a textbook example of every mid-80s soft-rock cliche. Keyboard pads, a bit where it goes slightly quiet and builds up again, a "polite" guitar solo exactly where you expect it to be, endless repetitions of the big chorus... in fact only a few minutes after listening to it I'm already struggling to remember the verses but they're not really the point. Singer Nick Van Eede, a man clearly unfamiliar with the concept of "too much information", explains that he had the idea for the song title while having sex with his girlfriend and wrote it down for future use. His girlfriend's reaction to this, or indeed to the chorus lyric "I should have walked away" is not recorded. The record has a remarkable inert quality, as if it's trying to bypass any need for anyone to actually like it and heading straight to being a hit (in fairness it did succeed). Several of the band were successful session musicians and with all due respect to that trade, they sound like session men on this track too.

Available on: The Best Of Cutting Crew

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