Title - 'Bucks Fizz - The Definitive Edition'
Artist - Bucks Fizz
For those not in the know here in the States, Bucks Fizz is an English pop group which achieved success in the 1980s, most notably for winning the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Making Your Mind Up.'
The group was formed in January 1981 specifically for the contest and comprised four vocalists: Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston. They achieved instant attention with the dance routine which accompanied the song, involving a skirt-rip.
The group went on to have a successful career around the world (albeit largely; and weirdly ignored here in the States), while the UK remained their biggest market, where they had three #1 singles and became one of the top-selling groups of the 1980s.
And thankfully for all us BF lovers, Cherry Red Records (UK) have just released all four (4) of the original Bucks Fizz albums - Bucks Fizz, Are You Ready?, Hand Cut and I Hear Talk - as Definitive Edition 2-CD collections. Combining the original album - now fully remastered from the original master tapes - with all the B-Sides from the 7" singles, together with extended mixes and rarities associated with the original album, having all these together in one place has just never happened before. Well, unless you had the original LP, all the 7" singles and 12' singles released along with it from back in the day, of course!
The first track (which was also the second single they ever released off this debut album in 1981) is the fun and bouncy 'Piece Of The Action' ("I know it sounds funny, but I don't wanna be in love. Just want a piece of the action"), and is backed by the more serious 'Midnight Reservation.' A song that never made it as a single, the harmonious aspect of it could easily have made its way up the UK Singles Chart at the time; so says I, of course. Next up is 'It's Got To Be Love,' a piano ballad that showcases Mike Nolan's voice to a tee. Never one to really take the lead on such songs, Cheryl Baker backs him beautifully on the duet. The brilliant disco funk of 'Took It To The Limit' is next and is followed by their third single released from this great album, 'One Of Those Nights.'
With a string of hits following their memorable victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981, it's that very same song, 'Making Your Mind Up' that comes next. Always a bright and breezy wonderment of a track, that drum beat intro as prominent a lead in today as it ever was back then, it is followed by 'Lady Of The Night.' A cut that resembles everything that ABBA was famous for before them, the girls take the chorus home beautifully, before 'Getting Kinda Lonely,' another ballad, this time sung by Jay Aston. The pop slip 'n' slide of 'Shine On' is next, and as Eurovision pop party atmosphere of 'The Right Situation' is next, that rounds out the original debut album just perfectly.
This album, much like all their albums, is honestly, chock full of greatness, especially (or maybe only) if you are a Bucks Fizz fan to begin with, of course. And, if you are indeed one of those true fans, you'll easily recall that the vinyl album was released in a glossy gatefold sleeve, depicting head and shoulders shots of the group both inside and outside. Ahhhh, the memories, they come flooding a-back! Anyway, back on track and with nearly three hours of hits, hard-to-find tracks and extended mixes, the first disc of two continues on with a set of bonus B-Sides.
A delightful thing to have all under one roof, now we really get to see what's under the hood of this band. I mean, B-Sides are made that way as they are meant to be never as good, never as polished, never inclusive of even a note of a hit chorus ... aren't they? Well, think again, because from the off, 'Don't Stop' comes out, all pop guns blazing, and is backed by the equally fun 'Always Thinking Of You.' 'One Of Those Nights (Demo)' is not much different to the original, and is backed by another 'One Of Those Nights (2012 Extended Version),' and then 'Piece Of The Action (Demo),' and 'Piece Of The Action (Stephen Vaudin Dedication Mix),' and a rather great 'The Right Situation (Early Mix).'
The 'Making Your Mind Up (Original Fat Dog Remix)' is then followed by both 'Making Your Mind Up (2011 Anniversary Remix)' and a brand new, freshly-created remix of the very same number one Eurovision-winning song 'Making Your Mind Up (Matt Pop's Bending The Rules Mix)' by, well, Matt Pop himself!
Compiled, collated and produced by long-standing Bucks Fizz experts Fat Dog Productions, it's actually hard for me to realize that there was only three (3) singles released from this album, the group's very first studio album and one that only, weirdly, reached #14 the UK Albums Chart. But, the memory will always play tricks on you as we get older, and so the fact that their debut got into the Top 20 is enough for them to smile broadly back then, one assumes!
Containing all the relevant found and remixed tracks from the acclaimed Lost Masters series, making this the definitive version of this album, the second disc found here on Bucks Fizz: The Definitive Edition contains the Spanish album, El Mundo De Ilusion, for the very first time on CD in its entirety. Remastered from the original master tapes it is a 10 track rarity that, if you are a true fan, you have to hear to believe! 'Otra Noch' ('Another Night') kicks the Spanish album off, and that is followed by 'Hoy Siento Soledades' ('Geting Kinda Lonely),' Via Libre' ('One Way Love),' 'Brillar' ('Shine On'), 'Toda Ha Terminado' ('Now You're Gone'), 'El Mundo de Ilusion' ('The Land of Make Believe'), 'Yo Se Que Es Amor' ('It's Got To Be Love'), 'Robos Y Asallos' ('Breaking And Entering'), and then both 'Eso Fue Ayer' ('Now Those Days Are Gone),' and then, finally, 'Noches Sin 11' ('One Of Those Nights').