“Fresh as the moment when the pod went pop”. Patsy Kensit first entered the UK’s collective consciousness at the age of 4 when she fronted the well loved and iconic Birds Eye peas television advert…I still remember it and I’m sure many others do too!
Eight Wonder were formed by Kensit’s brother Jamie who put her at the front of the band and by all accounts they caused quite a stir with London’s A&R departments before finally signing a deal with CBS. All this was in the heady days of 1985! The band had success in Italy and Japan but in the UK the record buying audience were slower to respond. There was an album – “Fearless” which was released in ’88 but then the band split in ’89!
This anthology spans the band’s whole career and highlights remixes of their well loved singles including three versions of “I’m Not Scared” (originally written and co-produced by Pet Shop Boys) which originally peaked at #7 in the UK.
For those quick to dismiss this record it should be noted that there’s some pretty big names on remix/production duties on this record including Little Louie Vega, David Leonard, Pete Hammond, Richard James Burgess, Alan Shacklock, Pet Shop Boys and Phil Harding. Six of the tunes on this CD appear in the UK for the very first time.
I have a small confession! During the lifespan of Eighth Wonder my musical diet consisted of a steady stream of Space Rock, Anarcho Punk and towards the end of the 80’s house and techno…so I’m about as familiar with the work of Eighth Wonder as I am with the inner workings of a nuclear power plant, but I’m nothing if not open-minded and I’m partial to a bit of acid house and a bit of a fan of Louie Vega.
Ok, the extended versions of the originals don’t really do it for me and, to me, are standard 80’s pop fodder, but “Cross My Heart” (House Mix) is a good, if formulaic, early house tune and I would have happily spun this in my early DJing days…at a push. The dance mix of “Baby Baby” is OK in a early Madonna style and the Acid House mix of “Dusted” makes all the right noises for a “jack-track” …even if it is a little light on the old 303. Little Louie’s mix of “I’m Not Scared” is an interesting and very 80’s mix of a pop tune with its early house stylings and whilst it’s pretty good, it is very much of its time.
There are 12 tracks on The Remix Anthology (out now on Cherry Pop) and, coming from the perspective of someone who isn’t/wasn’t an Eighth Wonder fan, it doesn’t so a lot for me, but for those lovers of all things 80’s pop I reckon this has all the right elements present and correct.