Monday, 2 November 2015

t.A.T.u. 'All The Things She Said'

Chart Peak: 1
t.A.T.u. are Russian duo Lena Katin - the "soulful redhead" and "feisty brunette" Julia Volkova...'All The Things She Said', their story of a love affair between 2 young girls, saw them dubbed by UK tabloids The most controversial act of the year" as the record raced to the top of the UK chart in January 2003.
I suspect I may not be the only man to have searched YouTube for the video of this song after his wife has gone to bed, though I can say I was doing this for linkage purposes only. I have of course seen enough of the video in the past to get the general idea and as I understand it it's similar to the video for the original Russian version, released in the year 2000 (when the duo were aged about 15).

Actually watching it again is officially beyond my remit so I must try to concentrate on the song itself, aware as I am that without the sensation around the video it probably wouldn't have been a big enough hit to open the album. In search of world domination, manager/producer Ivan Shapovalov called in Trevor Horn to produce an English-language version, and Horn also has a writing credit, possibly for assisting with the lyric. I don't know how mainstream an opinion this is, but I've come to think that Horn does his best work when he's most involved in the creative process either by writing the song (like 'Slave To The Rhythm') or by radically reworking source material (some of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood stuff springs to mind here). When confronted with a more specific template as he would have been here (and as I suspect he was when he worked with Belle & Sebastian), he seems to lose his way slightly and this track has never seemed quite as dramatic as it wants to be, and it felt a bit dated even at the time. There again, I was never really minded to like this track because of the slightly tawdry hype that preceded it.

I'm sure you could write a thesis about the fact that Russia of all countries produced a massive global hit single about homosexuality. In fact I expect somebody has by now. They could certainly mention that it was the first single by a Russian act to top the UK chart.

Also appearing on: Now 55, 62
Available on: t.A.T.u. - The Best

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