Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Hands Across the Sea" by Modern English

Song#:  1851
Date:  04/07/1984
Debut:  93
Peak:  91
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  This UK band gained a small US following thanks to their #7 Rock hit "I Melt with You" (#78 Pop), which was also featured in the 1983 movie Valley Girl. It set them up for an even bigger breakthrough with their third LP Ricochet Days, but unfortunately this first single couldn't build on their previous hit's success and it stalled at #24 at Rock while barely making a blip on the Pop chart. In their UK homeland, the track was a non-starter and it failed to even make an appearance on the chart. The band would issue one more album before splitting up. A reformed version of the band would surface in 1990 for the album Pillow Lips, which featured a newly recorded version of "I Melt with You" that got to #76 on the Pop chart and #25 Dance.

ReduxReview:  This is a pleasant little ditty with a college-radio, Brit new wave slant, but it's nowhere near as memorable as the instantly hooky "I Melt with You." However, the more I hear it, the more I like it. I just don't think it's single-worthy. Once they established themselves as potential hitmakers, the band really needed something better to reel in listeners. This one wasn't going to do it.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The band's album Ricochet Days featured appearances by Kate St. John and Nicky Holland. Those two musicians along with Virginia Astley became The Ravishing Beauties. Although they would never record an album, the trio would perform on albums by bands like Echo & the Bunnymen and Siouxie & the Banshees. The trio came to an end with each member going on to other projects. St. John would become a member of The Dream Academy, who scored the Top 10 hit "Life in a Northern Town" in 1985. Holland would continue to do studio work in addition to songwriting. She has penned songs for Cyndi Lauper, Oleta Adams, and Tears for Fears. Astley embarked on a solo career and has recorded several albums. Her brother Jon would grab a #7 Rock hit in 1987 with "Jane's Getting Serious."


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