Tuesday, September 14, 2021

"Jackie" by Blue Zone U.K.

Song#:  3613
Date:  08/13/1988
Debut:  89
Peak:  54
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  This UK trio formed in 1984 and immediately began to write songs and record demos. They would shop their tunes to many labels, but it seems the only one who showed interest was the indie Rockin' Horse Records. The trio signed on and then in a stroke of good luck, the label was purchased by Arista. Being on a bigger label would certainly be beneficial to the new trio who had already been in the process of recording. In '86, they would release two stand-alone singles in the UK, but neither charted. Still, they completed a debut album titled Big Thing and then pushed out the single "On Fire," which was getting traction and made the chart at #99. Unfortunately right after the song got on the chart, the King's Cross tube (subway) fire happened that killed 31 people. A song titled "On Fire" just wasn't appropriate at that time and Arista recalled the single. A second single, "Thinking About His Baby," charted at #79, but it wasn't enough for Arista to release the album in the UK. Seeking a broader audience, the label then released "Jackie" to some other territories including the US. It would get a little attention getting to #37 Dance and close to the halfway mark on the Pop chart. The album would be released in the US (with the adjusted name of Blue Zone U,K., due to an existing Blue Zone), but strangely no further singles or promotion would be done and it quickly disappeared along with Blue Zone's prospects. The LP wouldn't receive a release in the UK until 2016 when a deluxe reissue was assembled.

ReduxReview:  This slice of dance-pop was nothing like the silky smooth blue-eyed Barry White-influenced soul of Lisa Stansfield debut album (see below). She and her cohorts certainly upped their game for that LP. This urgent song had a lot going on. It was both exciting and exhausting. You can tell that Stansfield had a great voice, but the song and production nearly swallowed her up. It took me a couple of listens, but the tune ended up winning me over. It's a fun lost tune that helped to kick off Stansfield's career.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The trio consisted of three former school friends, Ian Devaney, Andy Morris, and lead singer Lisa Stansfield. After Blue Zone's debut album came and went, it seems they were in a sort of limbo state with their career and with the label. Then Stansfield co-wrote and performed vocals on two track for the debut album of the English electronic duo Coldcut, What's That Noise? Devaney would also participate playing keyboards. One of the tunes, "People Hold On," would be released as a single credited to Coldcut featuring Lisa Stansfield. It would reach #11 in the UK while getting to #6 on the US Dance chart. The hit boosted Stansfield's profile and Arista decided to sign her on as a solo act. Although she would be billed solo, Stansfield would co-write all the tracks on her debut album with her old trio-mates Devaney and Morris. Those two would also produce the tracks. The resulting LP, 1989's Affection, would be a major worldwide hit thanks to the single "All Around the World," which would get to #3 in the US and go platinum. The LP would reach #9 and also go platinum.  2) This is a remake of a song originally recorded by US singer Elisa Fiorillo. Written by the hitmaking team of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, it was recorded by Fiorillo and included on the soundtrack to the 1987 Mark Harmon comedy flick Summer School. It was not released as a single.



  1. Lisa is So Boss. (Also, So Natural - couldn't help it). If there is one 80's performer I would wish a major comeback for, it would be her.

    1. She is awesome - that voice is so incredible. A comeback would certainly be welcomed.