A long time ago now, I remember fiddling about with a big radio/tape recorder thing. I was going through the dial and trying to discover where all of the stations on FM were. I remember coming across the test transmissions for Classic FM, Britain’s first national commercial radio station, which consisted of some birdsong, and as I have very little interest in classical music, this was about the only time that I ever listened regularly.
It was also around this time where I did that thing that so many other people supposedly liked to do, which was trying to tape some songs off the Top 40 as they were announced on BBC Radio 1 on Sunday afternoons. I remember one song particularly striking me, meaning that this really has been rattling around in my head for the last three decades or so now.
Sophie B Hawkins is an American singer, who had a rather distinctive look of long straggly blonde hair, and in July 1992 her debut hit “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” was released. The first video to this was rather steamy, and there was a second made, which was in black-and-white (which reminds me out of nowhere really, does anybody else remember when Trevor And Simon used to host the video reviews on CBBC’s Live & Kicking, and they often complained when a video was in black-and-white?).
This reached no. 14, and this was also her first Top Ten hit single in the USA and Australia. Her album “Tongues And Tails” made the chart not long after. Next in September 1992 was “California Here I Come”, and this was followed in February 1993 by “I Want You”, but neither of these made the Top 40 in the UK. She returned in August 1994 with “Right Beside You”.
This had a rather eye-catching blue-tinted video, which was shown on The ITV Chart Show, and there was a lot of radio airplay. This slowly started to climb up the chart, and eventually reached no. 13, to become her biggest hit in the UK, and this also earned her a few appearances on Top Of The Pops. But rather surprisingly, this one didn’t make the Top 50 in America. It’s definitely among my favourites by her though. Her second album “Whaler” made the chart around this time too.
After this, in November 1994 “Don’t Don’t Tell Me No” reached no. 36, and in March 1995 “As I Lay Me Down” reached no. 24. This was her final hit single in the UK, and her second and final Top Ten hit in both the USA and Australia. She is still around, and her most recent album was released in 2012. She may not be my favourite-ever singer called Sophie (I think you all know who that is!), but it was always good seeing her on the chart in the mid-90s.
It’s “Ballantine”, by the way.