Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fun Boy Three - Really Saying Something: The Best of Fun Boy Three (1997)

European Import

Today is the third anniversary of this blog. 3 years ago, things kicked off with my brief thoughts on Paul Simon's Graceland album.  That was 947 CDs ago.  In honor of the three years that have passed, I chose this disc from Fun Boy Three.  Sure it's a weak, cheesy connection to the number three, but I did it anyway.

I never owned or heard either of Fun Boy Three's two albums, so here's how I came to this compilation:  30 years ago at my friend Jim's place, I saw the video for Fun Boy Three's version of Our Lips Are Sealed on the MTV.  It must have been at Jim's place because my household didn't have cable.

I never heard this version on the radio (still haven't) but was immediately captivated by the cellist as well as the incessant rhythm guitar part that weaves its way throughout the piece.  I had to have a copy.  My hometown didn't have a mall, but there was one a few towns over.  A "quick" trip to the mall landed me a copy of the 12" single.

This record was immediately in heavy rotation on my turntable.  As I recall, the 12" had the single version, a good extended mix, and, oddly, a version sung in Urdu.

Flash forward a few years; the single version of the song is readily available on many '80s compilations, including this one, and it is a wonderful addition to any '80s music library.  But I was always missing that Urdu version for some inexplicable reason.  I finally found it on this CD, ordered it and that FB3 Urdu thirst was quenched.  That's right, I bought this CD for an obscure b-side sung in a language I can't understand. Obsess much, Mark?

As for the compilation itself, it isn't a favorite among casual FB3 fans.  The band only released 2 albums containing a total of 21 tracks, yet there are 19 tracks here on an disc titled "The Best Of." From AllMusic:
Instead of concentrating on the single versions of hits like "Our Lips Are Sealed," The Best of Fun Boy Three -- Really Saying Something includes remixed versions of nearly all of the group's best-known songs. While this is a selling point for some collectors -- after all, many of these 12" mixes have not been on CD before -- for most fans, it makes the compilation an ultimately frustrating listen, since the extended mixes and alternate versions aren't nearly as infectious as the originals.
All that doesn't matter much to me, though. I got what I wanted. 

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart:  Did not chart

Tracks:  If the second track, T'Aint What You Do It's The Way That You Do It, isn't a dead ringer for the Macarena, I'll turn in my blogger license.  The take on Gershwin's Summertime is enjoyable, as is the collaboration with Bananarama that gives this compilation its title.  Most of the remaining tracks are simple, if idiosyncratic, pop music songs and I normally don't mind when one of them comes around on a shuffle.  Ironically, the tune I want to skip the most is the group's breakthrough UK single, The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum).  For the record, the group had absolutely no hits in the US unless you count skimming the margins of the Club Play charts a couple of times.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  None.  This may be the second time I've listened to it in its entirety.  The first was not long after its purchase, on a solo road trip to hear my son in a band contest in Whitehouse.

1 comment:

  1. Great story.

    Tell us another one, Uncle Mark.

    Please, please?