Chart Peak: 1 [3 weeks]
One of the biggest UK hits in the first half of 1986 and one of the most surprising absences from the main Now series - it was even on "home" label EMI - 'Chain Reaction' is one of the many hits in the 1980s written by the Bee Gees but not officially performed by them, though of course they add their usual prominent backing vocals. In fact, the Bee Gees scored only two UK Top 40 hits under their own name in the entire decade, and one of those was actually released in December 1979.
This song was apparently supposed to be some sort of Motown pastiche but while there are obvious elements of the beat, it is more unmistakably the work of Gibb Brothers, as much as 'Islands In The Stream'. It's mostly notable for the rather filthy lyric, which sailed entirely over my seven-year-old head at the time, but contains references to "after-midnight action" and "Your hand goes lower, you taste a little and you swallow slower". I'm not sure I wanted to think about Diana Ross and the Bee Gees having sex and the song doesn't really sound that good nowadays. The single was released twice in the US without making the Top 60 so maybe people in the US didn't want to think about it either.
Also appearing on: Now 21, 22, 44
Available on: Eaten Alive
Charting 1997: 27th December
5 years ago