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"Only You" | by Michelangelo Manalang Photography
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"Only You"

Queen Street West, Toronto

 

A favorite tune from the amazing eighties!! - Mike

  

*****

 

All I needed was the love you gave

All I needed for another day

And all I ever knew

Only you

  

"'Only You' is a ballad written by musician Vince Clarke. He wrote it while with Depeche Mode, and offered it to them when he was leaving. They declined, and Clarke recorded it after forming the duo Yazoo with Alison Moyet. It was an instant success, hitting number two in the UK, and charting in the U.S. (number sixty-seven, Billboard Hot 100), a feat only attained by one other Yazoo single (coincidentally, that single was 'Situation,' the original UK B-side of 'Only You'). 'Only You' also made the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart at number thirty-eight.

 

A remix of 'Only You' made the UK Top 40 again in 1999, while reaching number sixteen on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The music video for the new version was created using the Houdini 3D animation software package.

 

Clarke had gone through a divorce around the time that he wrote the song, the song may reflect his mood at the time.

 

Clarke's melody in the song 'has a sweetly yearning quality, elegantly arranged by Clarke and producer E.C. Radcliffe in a fashion that links several different monophonic synths together to give the tune more depth and melodic substance' according to Allmusic. Moyet's vocals, they say, is a 'perfectly understated vocal performance, soulful yet dignified in the manner of '70s soul star Ann Peebles, of Clarke's gentle and romantic lyrics.'

 

Although not a Christmas song, it has become a popular song to play at that time of year. This is probably due to the association with the Flying Pickets version, which was a Christmas hit.

 

An a cappella version by The Flying Pickets was even more successful than the original on the UK Singles Chart by becoming the Christmas number one in 1983. It spent five weeks at the top. This made 'Only You' the first a cappella chart-topper in the UK. The Flying Pickets version went on to become a number one hit on the German Singles Chart in 1984 and charted in Canada as well, though it saw no chart action in the United States.

 

Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias covered the song on his second studio album Vivir. The track was released as the second single from that album and became very successful, debuting at number 1 in the United States Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart (his second in a row, and the first artist to do so) in May 3, 1997 and spent ten non-consecutive weeks at the top." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Only_You_(Yazoo_song)

 

*****

 

"The Flying Pickets is a British a cappella vocal group, that had a Christmas number one hit in 1983 in the UK Singles Chart, with their cover of Yazoo's track - 'Only You'.

 

The name 'Flying Pickets' refers to mobile strikers who travel in order to join a picket. The band of six was founded by Brian Hibbard in 1982 from a group of actors who had been active with him in John McGrath's '7:84 Theatre Group', a fringe theatre organisation who had sung a cappella in their production of the 1981 play One Big Blow. The group chose the name The Flying Pickets as band members had played a part in the UK miners strikes of 1972 and 1974. The Flying Pickets came up with the then novel concept of transferring the art of a cappella to the pop music scene. Joining Hibbard in the Group were Rick Lloyd (who also wrote the music to One Big Blow), Gareth Williams, David Brett, Ken Gregson (Real name Kenneth Gregory) and Red Stripe (real name David Gittins). The members of the group were internationally renowned for their flamboyant appearance: Hibbard's huge sideburns, Stripe's thick eye-liner, and four others showing off gaudy suits and large hats. Two of the other original members, Ron Donachie and Christopher Ryan left the band before 'Only You'.

 

'Only You', their debut single, was the UK Christmas number one in 1983 spending a total of five weeks at the top, and also doing well around Europe and in Canada, where it hit #17 in the spring of 1984. Despite the radical Socialist politics of The Flying Pickets then Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher proclaimed to much amusement that it was her favourite record. A second single, featuring Van McCoy's 'When You're Young and in Love' originally written for Ruby and the Romantics reached number 7 in the UK, but their third, a cover of the Eurythmics' 'Who's That Girl' barely charted.

 

The height of the group's fame coincided with the 1984 Miners Strike. In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers called strike action following the National Coal Board's decision to close 20 pits and lay off 20,000 people. The Flying Pickets were very vocal regarding their support of the miners during the dispute and came to blows with the record label Virgin after they picketed Drax Power Station in Yorkshire. They also performed benefit gigs for the miners. Hibbard himself claimed that their political beliefs probably had a detrimental affect regarding the group's mainstream image but it was a sacrifice they were willing to make, one well known record store refused to sell the groups albums due to their support of strike action.

 

In 1986 Hibbard and Stripe left the band and were replaced by Gary Howard and Hereward Kaye. Hibbard and Gittins tried to stay in the music industry, forming their own act called 'Brian and Stripe', but their first and only single featuring a cover of Yazoo's 'Mr. Blue' failed to chart, and they returned to their separate acting careers.

 

There have been many different members of The Flying Pickets and the line-up kept changing constantly throughout the 1990s and 2000s; since the Pickets began, there have been at least 19 different band members. The last member of the original line-up, David Brett, left the band in 1990. However in 1994, the original line-up (minus Lloyd) reformed to record one more album.

 

Since the Original Flying Pickets split, new teams of ambitious men using the name The Flying Pickets have tried to follow in the Original's footsteps. There have not had songs in the music charts. In the late 2000s a line-up was touring Europe all year round performing in small venues." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flying_Pickets

  

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Taken on March 30, 2010