Thursday, February 25, 2021

"Are You Sure" by So

Song#:  3416
Date:  02/20/1988
Debut:  91
Peak:  41
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock, Pop

Pop Bits:  This London-based duo was made up of Marcus Bell and Mark Long. Both had been members of the post-punk band The Opposition. Formed in 1979, the band would release four albums, but after their last one in 1985, they would take an extended break. Bell and Long then went out on their own as a duo. Naming themselves So, they adopted a slicker, radio-friendly pop/rock sound and signed on with Parlophone. They then recorded a debut album titled Horseshoe in Glove and this first single was issued out. It didn't do all that well in the UK only getting to #62. It did slightly better in the US nearly cracking the Pop Top 40. The album would then be a minor entry at #124. The mediocre results didn't do much for the duo and that along with a general dislike for the machinations of being on a major label (according to an interview with Bell) led to the demise of So.

ReduxReview:  Although I don't remember ever hearing this song, I do remember the album cover. I have no idea why. It wasn't remarkable in any way, but I recognized the image right away when I saw it again after 30+ years. This song has that European arena rock sound along the lines of Simple Minds. It takes a couple of listens to hook into the tune, but it's a solid track with great production. I also like the background vocals on it as well. It nearly made the Pop Top 40 and perhaps with a bit more promotion it might have gone further. Although their background was in indie/post-punk, Bell and Long dove head first into mainstream rock with this track and came up with a winner.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  After they decided to call it quits with their So project, Bell and Long reformed The Opposition and recorded the 1990 album Blue Alice Blue. Two more albums would follow. After an extended decade break, the band returned to the studio for a few more albums. Marcus Bell would die in 2014. Mark Long would keep the band going after Bell's death.


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