Tuesday, January 11, 2022

"Cross My Heart" by Eighth Wonder

Song#:  3723
Date:  11/19/1988
Debut:  96
Peak:  56
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  This English band was initially known as Spice in the early 80s and lead by Jamie Kensit. When their lead singer quit, Kensit decided to bring his 15-year-old sister Patsy on board as a replacement. By the mid-80s, the band had updated their name to Eighth Wonder and were seeking a record deal, but it would be a film director that would give the band their first break. Documentary/music video director Julian Temple was in the process of making his first major film Absolute Beginners when he saw the band perform. He was captivated by Patsy Kensit and offered her a role in the film. In addition, the band would get to contribute a song to the soundtrack ("Having It All"). This led to the band getting signed to CBS Records and in 1985 they recorded and released their first single "Stay with Me." It would only get to #65 in the UK, but it ended up topping the chart in Italy. A couple more singles would follow including another Top 10 hit in Italy "Who Will Remember?" A six-track album titled Brilliant Dreams would be assembled, but it was only released in Japan in '87. Working with various producers, the band then assembled their first full-length debut LP Fearless. The lead single would be "I'm Not Scared," a song written and produced by Pet Shop Boys. The song would take off and reach #7 UK and #1 Italy while making the Top 10 in several other European countries. Next up for release was "Cross My Heart." It would do well again in Europe reaching #13 UK/#10 Italy. The song got a push in the US and it would hit #10 at Dance. It then crossed over to the Pop chart where it stalled just shy of the Top 50. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to sell the album and it failed to chart in the US.

ReduxReview:  I was a bit surprised that this tune didn't crack the Top 40. It was a fun, catchy dance-pop tune that was well-produced. It sounded current for the time period and I bought the single. It did well on the Dance chart, but perhaps it just didn't get enough of a promotional push at pop stations. "I'm Not Scared" was the big hit in Europe for them. That Pet Shop Boys-produced track was quite good, but it wasn't one that a US audience would embrace. "Cross My Heart" had a better shot here and indeed it did make the charts. It just should have been a bigger hit.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song certainly got shopped around in '88. Written by Michael Jay, the tune was first picked up by 11-year-old Star Search winner Tracie Spencer for her debut album. Then Eighth Wonder was able to secure it for their Fearless album. Around the same time, Jay began to work with teen singer Martika and had her record the song for her '88 debut album (the same one that would spawn the #1 hit "Toy Soldiers"). Also in '88, Hong Kong singer/actress Sandy Lam recorded the song for her album City Rhythm. For her version, there was a lyrical translation into Cantonese with the title then being "Once We've Touched." Of the four versions recorded in '88, the only one released as a single was the one by Eighth Wonder.


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