Saturday, August 16, 2008

One Great Song

In 2009 "They Don't Know", the song written by Kirsty MacColl, will be 30 years old. it is a song forever associated with her but, unbelievably, it was never a chart hit for her. When it was being released in 1979, there was a strike at her record's distribution company which effected the singles sales. There is more on the song's history here. Kirsty's version would also never appear on a solo album by her but has been on most of her "best of's" compilations over the years. Her version of "They Don't Know" is below. "They Don't Know" was re-recorded in 1983 and was a huge hit for Tracey Ullman. It was a number 2 hit in the UK charts and number 8 in America and was one of the first of a new wave of hits by British artists in the US in the 1980's, a trend that continued throughout that decade. I have always liked Kirsty MacColl, except for Fairytale of New York" which I have never liked. I loved all of Tracey Ullman's hit singles. In 1983, as well as the success of They Don't Know she also had UK top ten hits with Breakaway and Move Over Darling, all three featured on her album You Broke My Heart in 17 Places. In 1984 Tracey released two more singles; My Guy and Sunglasses but while both were Top 30 hits, neither song made it into the top ten. A few years later in 1987 Tracey was on her way to becoming a major TV star, especially in America where her "The Tracey Ullman Show" would go on to earn four Emmy wins and was also the launchpad for a new cartoon sketch featuring the family known as The Simpsons. Here's Tracey's video for They Don't Know.. The video is a real classic, highlighting both her comic talent and cheeky girl next door image that she would often use in sketches throughout her career. The video also features a cameo by Paul McCartney.
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