Considering that this blog is called ‘Obscure Music and Football’, I’m always on the lookout for obscure blogging material that is linked to both music and football.
Therefore, you could imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Frash’s flop ‘Here I Go Again’ – which featured Johnny Spurling, from Bell & Spurling (who recorded 2001’s top ten hit ‘Sven Sven Sven‘ and its follow-up ‘Goldenballs‘ in 2002), on lead records.
You could also imagine my disappointment, though, when ‘Here I Go Again’ turned out to be a very damp slice of uninspired dance-pop.
This post is not intended criticise Spurling; in fact, he’s probably the best thing about this track.
His strained vocals are powerful and they ideally complement a dance-based backing track, which is a little too thin on the ground.
It certainly makes the track more interesting and it also helps to add some much-needed depth to it.
In fact, I’d dread to think how forgettable this cover of ‘Here I Go Again’ could have been if Frash had a different vocalist.
The lyrics of Whitesnake’s 1982 hit, however, is a major flaw.
More often than not, the lyrics are so plain that you’d expect them to go from a ten-year old. These lyrics, which include: ‘I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no time time. Here I go again. Here I go again.’, are amateurish at best and, because of this, it’s hard to take the song seriously at times.
The dance genre has never been known for producing lyrical masterpieces, but rarely are they as toe-curling and clumsy as the ones seen in ‘Here I Go Again’.
It immediately undoes Spurling’s good work, in trying to make the song sound credible. At least songs like M People’s ‘Sight For Sore Eyes‘ attempt to base the lyrics around the song’s catchy beat, so you can forget about the unimaginative sonnet.
‘Here I Go Again’ does not even make the faintest attempt to do this.
The lyrics are just a minor quibble, though, when you look at the underlying problem of the song: its production.
The association of chart veterans PWL most certainly did not help in this aspect, as their tired Euro-pop singles like ‘Here I Go‘ by 2 Unlimited were ones that had very little chart impact or relevance by 1995.
The production values seen in ‘Here I Go Again’ end up sounding very run-of-the-mill and it definitely had a whiff of a below-par reproduction of D:Ream’s ‘U R The Best Thing‘.
The producers of the song clearly had problems in condensing a six-minute club record into a three-minute single, which also needed to appeal to the record-buying public.
It’s not an easy track to work from; although the original shows more variety and has some nice turns, it’s one with very little substance.
Re-working it for a more contemporary audience would’ve been an uphill struggle, for even the most experienced producer, when you consider the blandness of the original.
When it’s compared to more dynamic bootlegs, like ‘The Bomb‘ by The Bucketheads, it’s clear that the producers had very little to work with.
Despite these minor mitigations, it remains a disappointment that the producers went down the lazy route of re-recording the song for a child-friendly audience (shown by the embedded performance, which was shown on the Saturday morning children’s television show ‘What’s Up Doc?’).
There’s no reason, with a lot of hard work, why the song could not have had a richer sound and appealed to a wider audience.
Instead, the production feels watered-down and its dance origins ensures that its identity is muddled.
It’s particularly telling when a track has to cynically use vocal effects for a more effective sound.
While it brings some variety to proceedings, it fails to add rhythm to the track: a component that is strangely absent throughout. It just drifts along casually, and remains consistently dull to the very last note.
Considering this, it should come as no surprise that ‘Here I Go Again’ scrapped in the charts at a lowly Number 69 when it was released in February 1995.
Not only was it a track that failed to capture the imagination of the most easily pleased music fan, but it was released at completely the wrong time. The UK Singles Chart was saturated with dance singles at this point, and tracks like ‘Let Me Be Your Fantasy‘ by Baby D and Grace’s ‘Not Over Yet‘ had greater immediacy.
The self-indulgent ‘Here I Go Again’ just ended up doing the exact opposite. No wonder it failed.