Wednesday, June 24, 2009

before they were famous

The other day I found, lurking in what's left of my ancient cassette collection, a compilation tape I must have put together ooh I don't know a good fifteen years ago. One of the tracks--I think I used to have the single too--was "Don't Come To Stay", a moody soul ballad by a band called Hot House.

I've since discovered that the lead singer was one Heather Small who went on to front M People, the band mainly remembered now for being the least ever popular winners of the Mercury Music Prize in 1994 when they consigned Blur's Parklife to also-ran status. (Whatever happened to them?) The following year they went on to perpetrate the overblown "Search For The Hero" which I seem to remember becoming a clatteringly obvious choice to routinely accompany feats of sporting endurance on TV. Maybe then the Hot House years produced Small's best work?

This is the best YouTube can do, a bit jumpy and sadly it cuts off abruptly at the best part of the song, but you probably get the general idea...



On the same tack, how about this, an early offering from another northern soul diva who went on to bigger things. Again, I think this is better than anything Lisa Stansfield (for it is she) recorded later as a solo artist...

7 comments:

Planet Mondo said...

I do love a good early doors appearance - I've got some crackers from Tom Jones, David Essex, Kiki Dee and Elkie Brooks tucked away on my blog..

stan said...

The Mercury Music Prize has never quite recovered from the 1994 debacle. It's like a credibility leak that has never been properly fixed...

Hoops Hooley said...

Thanks for the tip PM. Will have a delve in your blog.

Strikes me a few MMP winners have gone on to almost-obscurity rather than greater things: Roni Size, Talvin Singh, even the Klaxons maybe though time will tell for them. M People kept going until 1999. I'm not saying they were any good though...

Cocktails said...

That Lisa Stansfield track is outrageously 80s. Not sure if it's as good as 'the hit' though.

Speaking of 80s, do you like Swing Out Sister?! This really reminded me of them, but I think it might just be those genuine 80s production values!

Nice new look by the way. And good luck with Twitter!

Hoops Hooley said...

They liked their blaring synths in the 80s didn't they? I suppose All Around The World (was it?) has lasted the course a bit better because it's not quite as dependent on 80s instrumentation as the Blue Zone tune.

Yes I can go with a bit of Swing Out Sister. I like this one for example though I think it was a Dusty song originally.

Twitter is a slippery slope!

Cocktails said...

Yes, I think it was Dusty but I'm not overly familiar with her version. I like the Swing Out Sister one - I bought the single when it came out!

Hoops Hooley said...

Record shops. Those were the days eh?