Saturday, 14 February 2015

Jermaine Stewart 'We Don't Have To...'

Chart Peak: 2
Charted at No. 68 on 5th August, made No. 2 for 2 weeks from 16th-29th September... Jermaine at one time was a backing singer with Shalamar
Two things to start with: I promise it's a coincidence that this particular song crops up on Valentine's Day; and yes that is how the title is listed on the Now 8 sleeve (and if I remember correctly the original UK single). Evidently even a song about not disrobing was considered too edgy in mid-80s Britain because it implied that you could do so.

Nonetheless, radio seemed unafraid of playing the track and it remains so familiar I was tempted to slip relistening to it for the purposes of this post. As that probably implies, I'm not that keen on the song, because even though I sort of appreciate the sentiment behind it it's too silly to be convincing (unless "cherry wine" is some obscure euphemism I'm unaware of) but not quite silly enough to be funny as a novelty. Apparently the song was interpreted in some quarters as a response to the AIDS crisis, although there's an obvious tragic irony that Jermaine Stewart himself did die as a result of the disease. Producer (and co-writer) Narada Michael Walden has some great funky basslines to his name, including 'Jump To The Beat' and his own 'I Shoulda Loved Ya' but his inspiration seems to have dried up here and the effect it frankly a bit cheap and tacky. I wasn't best pleased that it it returned to the chart in 2011 after it was used in an advert, although that was better than the cover by forgotten reality TV irritant Lil Chris. And even that was better than the Gym Class Heroes song that samples it.

Also appearing on: Now 11, 12
Available on: We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off

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