The reason why I consider my vinyl collection to be eclectic is because I’m not snobbish about its content. Why should I restrict myself to Alternate Rock or Electronica to roll with a crowd. Often some music lovers look down on manufactured pop which is actually nonsense because whatever is produced has a market for someone to listen to it, otherwise it wouldn’t be successful. Bucks Fizz were put together to represent the United Kingdom for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest and they won with “Making your mind up”. The group comprised of Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston, Mike Nolan and Bobby Gubby. Cheryl was a singer who was part of a group called Coco who sang at the same contest in 1978. Jay was 19 at the time and her brother was in a group called Prima Donna who sang at the 1980 contest. Mike already had sung in groups without success and recorded the original demo of “making your mind up” with singer Nichola Martin and it was decided to look for singers to join Mike and build a group around him. Bobby Gubby or Bobby G as he is known
auditioned and when singer Stephen Fischer became unavailable Bobby was asked to join instead. Stephen Fischer went on as a part of the duo Bardo for the 1982 contest. With ten top 40 hits including three number ones and 3 top 20 albums in the UK, the release of “I Hear Talk” their 4th album saw a more harder edged sound. A crash of their tour bus leaving all of the group seriously injured and with Mike in a coma, suddenly turned their fortunes. Consequently this album only reached #66 for a 2 week run on the chart and is probably some of their best work. Jay left the group in 1985 to be replaced by Shelley Preston and the fifth and final studio album limped to #89 for one week in the UK.
Side one kicks off with the title track which was actually the 3rd single lifted from the album reaching #34 in a 6 week run on the UK top 75. Lead vocals were shared between Bobby and Cheryl. There is a brass section and the track was recorded in Zurich. “Indebted to you” has the familiar Bucks Fizz drum sound but an electric guitar solo and during chorus sections the girls vocals complement the guys almost in a echo response. The lead is taken by Cheryl on the softer pop sound of “Tears on the ballroom floor”. The mood changes again for “Cold War” which has lots of harmony in the chorus sections and another guitar solo.
The last track is the 2nd single released from the album which made only #42 for a 5 week run on the UK chart. “Golden Days” is a finely crafted pop song written by Terry Britten and Sue Shifrin which lyrically tells the story about the golden days of a former popular actress and her demise. All members produce some of their strongest vocals on this song.
Side two starts with the lead single from the album “Talking in your sleep”. This made #15 in a 9 week run on the top 75. Recorded in Zurich and a cover version, originally a very big hit in Europe by “The Romantics” It’s surprisingly very similar to the original in sound. This was an attempt to appear more mature and rockier. “Breaking me up” carries on in the same vain with a good mixture and use of all the groups vocals with Bobby giving a very forceful delivery in his lead role. “January’s gone” changes the pace.
A delicate ballad sung by Mike and again some very good harmonising. “She cries” is written by Nik Kershaw and produced by Pip Williams known for his work with Kiki Dee. The album closes with “Thief in the night” with the lead taken by Jay. The vocal delivery is almost “punk” in style and there is so much going on with drums, percussion and keyboards.
Today, due to legal disputes the group performs as two separate acts, Bobby G with new members as Bucks Fizz and Cheryl, Mike and Jay in the other known by their names with the tag Formerly of Bucks Fizz. As of 2016 a fourth member Bobby McVay has been recruited to the line up. Bobby was part of trio Sweet Dreams that represented UK in Eurovision Song Contest 1983.