Saturday, December 18, 2021

"Nobody's Perfect" by Mike + the Mechanics

Song#:  3705
Date:  11/05/1988
Debut:  98
Peak:  63
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  This side project from Genesis member Mike Rutherford did well out of the gate with their 1985 self-titled debut album going gold thanks to a pair of Pop Top 10 hits including the #5 "All I Need Is a Miracle." Afterwards, Rutherford returned to Genesis for their #3 LP Invisible Hands and its associated tour. Once everything was wrapped up with Genesis, Rutherford then chose to focus on a second Mike + the Mechanics disc. Bringing back the same lineup from the first album, which included vocalists Paul Carrack and Paul Young, the group finished off their second effort Living Years. This first single was issued out and it would be a hit at Rock getting to #3. However, that success didn't translate to the mainstream with the tune unable to reach the top half of the Pop chart. The result didn't bode well for the album, but a second single would change things around in a big way.

ReduxReview:  For me, this was like two different songs smashed together. First there was the dark, prog-rock style verse. Then there was the more pop-friendly, optimistic chorus. I liked both parts and they melded together fairly well, but really I wanted a more mysterious chorus that would go along with the terrific verse. I loved the feel of that opening verse and I wanted that to continue in some way. Instead, a happier sounding chorus came in that changed the direction of the tune. It all played well on rock radio, but it didn't have the same mainstream pop appeal along the lines of their previous hit "All I Need Is a Miracle" and therefore stalled early on the Pop chart. I'm guessing the band and their label wanted to maintain their rock cred and pushed this single first over the obvious choice, the title track. Luckily, that tune was strong enough to overcome this tepid result.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  For his non-Genesis work, Rutherford struck up a writing partnership with BA Robertson. Robertson would co-write four tracks for the band's debut album and five for Living Years including this first single. In the late 70s/early 80s, Robertson had a successful recording career of his own. Robertson had recorded a couple of albums earlier in the 70s that failed to gain attention, but things began to change when he signed with Asylum Records in '79. His second single for the label, "Bang Bang," took off and became a #2 hit in the UK, He followed it up with the #8 "Knocked It Off." An album titled Initial Success would follow in 1980 with another single, "To Be or Not to Be," getting to #9. The album would reach #32. Unfortunately, his success as a solo artist would prove to be short-lived with his next two albums doing far less business. His last significant hit came in 1981 with the #11 "Hold Me," a duet with Scottish rock vocalist Maggie Bell. After his days at Asylum were over, Robertson continued to write songs for other artists including Cliff Richard. In the mid-80s, he met up with Mike Rutherford and the two began to write songs for Rutherford's Mike + the Mechanics project. Rutherford and Robertson would co-write songs that would appear on the band's first six albums.


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