Here’s someone who did well in one area, and then unexpectedly did well in another. There have been plenty of comedians who have also released singles over the years, and this is another example of that. Vic Reeves is someone who had been on the comedy scene since the mid-80s, and in 1987 he appeared in a Shakin’ Stevens video. In 1990 he suddenly hit the big time when his comedy show launched on Channel 4.
Vic was the self-styled “top-flight entertainer”, and his rather bizarre range of characters and sketches did rather well with viewers. In April 1991 Vic launched a pop career too, fancying himself as something of a crooner, his first hit being a cover of “Born Free” which reached no. 6. He was accompanied by The Roman Numerals who were presumably his backing singers, and there was also a performance of this on Top Of The Pops that was just lovely really.
That wasn’t the end of the joke, there was more to come. Because in October 1991, Vic released a cover of “Dizzy”, and this turned out to be a chart-topper for two weeks (Vic was one of the few people in 1991 who wasn’t Bryan Adams to have a Number One single). Among the notable things about this are the guest vocals from indie band The Wonder Stuff (and this was their biggest hit by some distance), and there were a lot of washing machines in the video, probably because of the lyric “like a whirlpool, it never ends“, how terrific.
There was then a whole album of this, when in November 1991 “I Will Cure You” was released, and this reached no. 16. By now Vic was an established name, and he toured the country and performed his blend of comedy and music to much acclaim. He would have one more moment of chart success in July 1995 when a cover of The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer” was released, and this was the final time he made the Top 40.
This time Vic’s mate Bob Mortimer also contributed some vocals, along with indie band EMF (this puts them in an amusing position of their three Top Ten hit singles in the UK being “Unbelievable”, “I Believe”, and “I’m A Believer”). After this, along with several more various bizarre comedy shows, Vic has also had some success as an artist and an actor, he really can do it all.