Are You Ready (Bucks Fizz album)

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Are You Ready
Studio album by Bucks Fizz
Released 26 April 1982[1]
Recorded 1981–82
Genre Pop
Length 41:06
Label RCA
Producer Andy Hill
Bucks Fizz chronology
Bucks Fizz
(1981)
Are You Ready
(1982)
Hand Cut
(1983)
Singles from Are You Ready
  1. "Another Night"
    Released: 1981 (Japan only)
  2. "The Land of Make Believe"
    Released: November 1981
  3. "My Camera Never Lies"
    Released: March 1982
  4. "Now Those Days Are Gone"
    Released: June 1982
  5. "Are You Ready"
    Released: June 1982 (not UK)
  6. "Easy Love"
    Released: June 1982 (not UK)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Smash Hits 10/10 stars(10/10)[2]
Q Magazine 2/5 stars[3]

Are You Ready is the second album by British pop group Bucks Fizz. It was released in April 1982 and features the UK No.1 singles "The Land of Make Believe" and "My Camera Never Lies" as well as the follow-up "Now Those Days Are Gone". It was produced by Andy Hill and released on RCA records. It remains the group's most successful album.

Overview[edit]

Background[edit]

By the end of 1981, Bucks Fizz had proved that they were not destined to be another one-off Eurovision act by cracking the UK Top 20 with their first three singles and their debut album. In November, the group released the first single from their forthcoming second album. "The Land of Make Believe" became a big hit over Christmas 1981 and in the early weeks of January made number one in the UK Charts.[4][5] The record eventually outsold "Making Your Mind Up" to become their biggest selling single in the UK.

Buoyed by this success, the group concentrated on recording the second album. A second single was released in March 1982, entitled "My Camera Never Lies". Well regarded in the press for its production values and intricate vocals, the song also made number one in the UK Charts.[6][7] This became the peak of the group's career, bolstered by an award for best group at the Daily Mirror Rock and Pop Awards and a nomination at the Brit Awards.

The album was recorded during late 1981 and early 1982 at Mayfair Studios in London. Like the previous album, Are You Ready was produced by Andy Hill, who complimented the group on their ability to effortlessly adapt to the intricate harmonies and overlaying vocals on many of the tracks. For the cover of the album, the group employed a parachuting theme. The front depicts them wearing parachuting gear in an aeroplane; the gatefold sleeve opens out to show them flying through the air, while the back reveals a silhouette of them having landed. This was the idea of the art director, but the group themselves told him that they thought it was "very naff".[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Are You Ready was released at the end of April and entered the UK charts at No.11 on 8 May 1982. The following week it rose to No.10, making it their first (and only) top ten album. After dropping down the chart it later rose up again as far as No.11 on the back of the third single. It remained on the chart for 23 weeks and was No.61 in the end of year album chart.[9] It was certified gold by the BPI on 17 May for sales of over 100,000.[1] Outside of the UK, the album reached No.18 in New Zealand and No.25 in Netherlands.[10] It remains Bucks Fizz's most successful album and was met by positive reviews.[11]

A third single, "Now Those Days Are Gone" was released from the album a month later. Seen as something of a departure for the group, it was largely an a cappella ballad and also became successful in the UK Charts when it duly made the top 10. No further singles were issued from the album after this, although some European countries released album tracks "Easy Love" and "Are You Ready" as singles – the latter also being released in Australia. In Japan the track "Another Night" was issued following its receiving a Best Song award in the World Popular Song Festival, held in Tokyo.[12] The group also recorded many of the songs from this album in Spanish for the Latin American market and released an album, El Mundo de Ilusion later in the year.[13]

The album was re-issued twice. The first time in 2000, and again in 2004, both times with bonus tracks.[14] In 2006, a demo of track "Breaking and Entering" and alternate versions of "My Camera Never Lies", "Now Those Days Are Gone" and "Easy Love" were released on The Lost Masters compilation. Two years later saw a follow-up, which featured an alternate recording of "Another Night" and remixes of "Easy Love" and "The Land of Make Believe".

Critical reception[edit]

Although Bucks Fizz generally faced harsh criticism in the press for being a lightweight pop act, their albums usually met with favourable response. Are You Ready in particular received some of their best ever reviews.

Smash Hits gave the album a rare 10 out of 10 rating, saying that "[The hits] are overshadowed by the new material which demonstrates surprising versatility. "Are You Ready" and "Twentieth Century Hero" are obvious future hits, although one of the ballads "Now Those Days Are Gone" could easily combine a new credibility with chart success. Almost the perfect pop album".[2] Album track "Twentieth Century Hero" was listed by another staff writer as the best song of the month. Reviewing the album in The Daily Express, writer David Wigg said "[Producer] Andy Hill can take a common everyday phrase and turn it into an infectious tune, dressed up with breathy harmonies and expansive production. The driving "Another Night" or "Are You Ready" are perfect examples of this technique. Nothing is spared to give the production zest".[15] Continuing to give most credit to Hill, The Sunday Times said "Andy Hill's catchy arrangements and slick production have produced a very fine album...[Aside from the singles] there are quite a few more excellent tracks, especially "Another Night" and "20th Century Hero", while "Now Those Days Are Gone" suggests that the group's vocal talent is a lot stronger than many of us imagined".[16] Ireland's RTE Guide said of the album; "Some [songs] would never survive as singles but one or two are pretty excellent tracks – "Twentieth Century Hero" is a case in point" and summed the album up as "Good, straightforward pop music".

On the 2000 re-release Q Magazine stated that the album was "harmless fluff" and gave the album a 2 out of 5 rating, but singled out "The Land of Make Believe" as being "not half bad".[3] "The Land of Make Believe" itself was later credited in Number One Magazine as "sheer genius".[17]

Members Cheryl Baker and Bobby G both rate "The Land of Make Believe" as the best of their own songs.[18] While future members Shelley Preston and Heidi Manton both list album track "Love Dies Hard" as their favourite Bucks Fizz song, and is also mentioned by Jay Aston along with "Easy Love" as among her favourites.[19] Baker has also stated that Are You Ready is their best album.

Track listing[edit]

1982 vinyl release[edit]

All songs produced by Andy Hill.

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "My Camera Never Lies"   Andy Hill / Nichola Martin 4:02
2. "Easy Love"   Hill / Martin 5:03
3. "Love Dies Hard"   Pete Willsher / Daisy Parks 5:00
4. "One Way Love"   Hill / Pete Sinfield 4:46
5. "Are You Ready"   Hill / Martin / Bucks Fizz 3:50
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Breaking and Entering"   Hill / Sinfield 3:35
2. "Now Those Days Are Gone"   Hill / Martin 3:33
3. "Twentieth Century Hero"   Hill / Sinfield 3:50
4. "Another Night"   Hill / Martin 3:38
5. "The Land of Make Believe"   Hill / Sinfield 3:50

2000 CD re-issue[edit]

Bonus Tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
11. "Now You're Gone"   Hill / Martin Hill 3:36
12. "What Am I Gonna Do"   Daisy Parks / Bill Edwards Andy Hill 3:55
13. "What's Love Got to Do with It"   Graham Lyle / Terry Britten Christopher Neil 3:37
14. "When We Were Young" (Extended Club Mix) Warren Bacall Brian Tench / Hill 6:25
15. "Rules of the Game" (12" Extended Mix) Bacall Tench / Hill 5:41

2004 CD re-issue[edit]

Bonus Tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
11. "Now You're Gone"   Hill / Martin Hill 3:36
12. "What Am I Gonna Do"   Daisy Parks / Bill Edwards Andy Hill 3:55
13. "My Camera Never Lies"   Hill / Martin Hill 5:00
14. "Takin' Me Higher"   Bucks Fizz Bucks Fizz 3:40
15. "One Touch (Don't Mean Devotion)"   Hill Tench 5:06
16. "Censored"   Hill / Martin Tench 5:01
17. "Twentieth Century Hero" (Live recording) Hill / Sinfield   3:20
18. "Don't Pay the Ferryman" (Live recording) Chris De Burgh   3:56

Personnel[edit]

Musicians
Production
  • Recorded at Mayfair Studios
  • Mixed at Mayfair Studios and Marcus Studios
  • John Hudson, Brad Davis, Brian Tench, Bobby Parr – Engineers
  • Dean Murphy – Executive Producer of 2004 CD re-issue
  • Christopher Neil – Producer of "What's Love Got to Do With It" (bonus track)
  • Bucks Fizz – Producer of "Takin' Me Higher" (bonus track)
  • Brian Tench – Producer of "One Touch (Don't Mean Devotion)" and "Censored" (bonus tracks)

Chart performance[edit]

Release date Single title UK Chart position

[21]

November 1981 "The Land of Make Believe" 1
March 1982 "My Camera Never Lies" 1
June 1982 "Now Those Days Are Gone" 8
Release date Album title UK Chart position

[21]

April 1982 Are You Ready 10
October 2000 Are You Ready (CD re-issue)
June 2004 Are You Ready (2nd CD re-issue)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b BPI. "Sales certifications – Bucks Fizz". Retrieved 9 October 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Bev Hillier. Smash Hits album reviews, 13–26 May 1982
  3. ^ a b Q Magazine, album reviews. October 2000
  4. ^ Official Charts. "UK No.1 singles – "The Land of Make Believe", 1982". Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  5. ^ Years of Gold. "UK singles chart, 16 January 1982". Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2008. 
  6. ^ Official Charts. "UK No.1 singles – "My Camera Never Lies", 1982". Archived from the original on 12 November 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  7. ^ Years of Gold. "UK singles chart, 17 April 1982". Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2008. 
  8. ^ Number One Magazine. Jay Aston interview “Making Their Clothes Up”, January 1984
  9. ^ Chartstats. "UK album chart, Are You Ready". Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  10. ^ Swisscharts. "New Zealand album chart details". Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  11. ^ Ian Bairnson. "Guitarist's site with song clips". Archived from the original on 18 November 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008. 
  12. ^ Telenet. "World Popular Song Festival 1981". Archived from the original on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2008. 
  13. ^ Raffem. "Bucks Fizz history – 1982". Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  14. ^ BMG. "Album re-issue press release". Archived from the original on 5 June 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2008. 
  15. ^ David Wigg. The Daily Express album reviews. Saturday, 1 May 1982
  16. ^ Sunday Times album reviews, 2 May 1982
  17. ^ "Keep Each Other Warm" single review, Number One Magazine, November 1986
  18. ^ Look-in. "Cheryl Baker profile, 1983". Retrieved 16 January 2009. [dead link]
  19. ^ Jay Aston. "Jay Aston official website". Archived from the original on 30 June 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008. 
  20. ^ Album sleeve notes
  21. ^ a b Official UK Charts - Bucks Fizz