Diamond Lights

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"Diamond Lights"
Single by Glenn & Chris
Released April 1987
Format 7"
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop
Label Record Shack Records
Writer(s) Bob Puzey
Producer(s) Bob Puzey, Terry Hobart

"Diamond Lights" is a 1987 single by footballers Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle, released under their first names, "Glenn & Chris".[1] The song, by the then-Tottenham Hotspur and England team-mates, reached number 12 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1987[2][3] and was by far the more successful of two chart releases for the duo.[3] Despite its success, public opinion of the record's quality has been decidedly negative[4] with the pair's television performance of the song being widely ridiculed.

Background[edit]

Chris Waddle recalls the single coming about following an appearance two of them made for their personal sponsors, Budget Rent a Car, at an annual company awards ceremony.[5] Hoddle and Waddle attempted an impromptu karaoke performance which was praised by a friend with connections in the music industry who was able to introduce the duo to Bob Puzey.[5] Puzey, whose writing credits included I'm in the Mood for Dancing by The Nolan Sisters and Soul Rock by Billy Ocean, auditioned the pair and agreed to write and co-produce a single for them.[5][6] The "diamond lights" of the title are reportedly a reference to the floodlights commonly in use in football stadia.[7][8]

Release[edit]

Written by Bob Puzey and co-produced by Puzey and Terry Hobart,[1] "Diamond Lights" debuted in the UK Singles Chart at number 30 on 18 April 1987.[9] It spent 8 weeks in the chart,[10] climbing to a peak position of 12 on 2 May.[2][11]

Television performance[edit]

The duo's live performance of the song on the widely-watched music programme Top of the Pops is often referred to as one of popular music's most embarrassing moments.[12][13][14][15] One journalist described it as "... truly awful dad dancing and shocking lyrics"[14] while another opined, "A timeless classic for all the wrong reasons ... You get the feeling that Waddle was rightly embarrassed to be there while Hoddle genuinely felt he was at the start of something big."[16] Chris Waddle later remembered the Top of the Pops performance as "the most nerve-racking thing [he'd] ever done" and stated that the duo had to appear on the programme in person as the producers had refused to air the accompanying music video because "[it] was so bad."[5] In contrast, Hoddle recalled the appearance in a positive light, referred to it as "One of the greatest things I ever did ... I'm glad I did it and I learnt a lot from it."[17]

Follow-up single and legacy[edit]

Waddle in 2012

Glenn & Chris recorded and shot the music video for a follow-up single entitled It's Goodbye but promotion for the release was hampered by Hoddle's transfer to AS Monaco[5] and the song subsequently only reached 92 in the British chart.[3] Waddle later recorded a song titled We've Got A Feeling with Olympique de Marseille team-mate Basile Boli[5][18] which he claims topped the Albanian music charts.[18] The success of "Diamond Lights" inspired another Tottenham and England midfielder, Paul Gascoigne, to release his own single, "Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)" in 1990.[19]

"Diamond Lights" is still remembered with amusement for its perceived kitsch, referred to by a journalist as "... pure cheese and fashion atrocity that retains its Premier League status 22 years on",[20] and has featured prominently in popular polls to discover the worst pop song ever.[21][22] In 1997, when interviewing Hoddle for the position of manager of the England national team, FA chief executive Graham Kelly reportedly asked him, "Any skeletons in the closet?" before quipping, "apart from that record with Chris Waddle?"[23]

Track listing[edit]

7": Record Shack Records / KICK 1 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Diamond Lights"
  2. "Diamond Lights" (instrumental)

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 12

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Glenn & Chris – Diamond Lights". Discogs. Retrieved 21 July 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 228. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ a b c "Glenn Hoddle So gifted ... but don't get him started about reincarnation". Mirror Football archive. Daily Mirror. "In 1987, [Hoddle] and Spurs team-mate Chris Waddle had a number 12 hit with Diamond Lights, but the follow-up, It's Goodbye, reached only number 92." 
  4. ^ "Roque Santa Cruz: 'Four or five clubs were interested in me, but it was Mark Hughes who made the difference'". The Independent. 1 September 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "Tottenham and England midfield duo got together to record the dismal pop effort "Diamond Lights", recently voted the 33rd-worst song of all time" 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Waddle, Chris (25 April 2009). "23 April 1987: Hoddle and Waddle appear on Top of the Pops". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Puzey, Robert John. "About Robert John Puzey". Yoga-De-Age. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Hughes, Ian (2 December 2002). "Big Ron goes for a song". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "Hoddle and Waddle's ode to football floodlights reached number 12 in the Hit Parade back in 1987." 
  8. ^ Samuel, Martin (6 September 2012). "No mess, no fuss, be just like Capello". Mail Online. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "Diamond lights. It wasn't just Glenn Hoddle who got a kick out of them ... Give them floodlights, a night game ... [and] English players feel right at home." 
  9. ^ "18th April 1987". Official Singles Chart UK Archive. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Glenn & Chris". Artist Chart History. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "2nd May 1987". Official Singles Chart UK Archive. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Anthony, Andrew (5 October 2003). "Blind faith". The Observer. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "... a Top of the Pops performance of 'Diamond Lights' – the embarrassing pop record the duo made together in 1987 ..." 
  13. ^ Roberts, Genevieve (10 June 2012). "The worst words in pop: 'We'd like to sing a duet ...'". The Independent. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "It comes as no surprise that Diamond Lights is one of the more embarrassing moments in popular music history." 
  14. ^ a b "Way out of tune: Top 10 worst sport songs ever". Metro. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (25 June 2004). "Name Game: John to Jensen". BBC. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "Diamond Lights: which was excruciatingly performed live on Top of the Pops" 
  16. ^ Aikman, Richard (23 September 2009). "Gazza, Glenn & Chris and the 10 of the most poptastic football songs". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Mott, Sue (28 September 2002). "Hoddle enjoys the high life". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Chris Waddle: One-on-One". FourFourTwo. Haymarket Media Group. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Hamilton, Ian (1994). Gazza Italia. Granta Books. p. 52. ISBN 0140140735. "The 'Fog on the Tyne' recording was, he said an attempt to emulate Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle, who in the eighties had had a hit with 'Diamond Lights'." 
  20. ^ Lawford, Mark (7 January 2009). "Sportsmail reveals football's biggest fashion criminals". Daily Mail. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Beatles classic voted worst song". BBC News. 10 November 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "Three of the songs on the list are sung by footballers, including the 1987 song Diamond Lights by Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle." 
  22. ^ McGuinness, Mike (2009). Bateman, Anthony and Bale, John, ed. Sporting Sounds: Relationships between sport and music. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 182. ISBN 0203887972. "Although some of these became popular hits ... they have also featured in listings of the 100 worst pop records. A recent Channel 4 listing had 'Diamond Lights' at number 33 ..." 
  23. ^ Ridley, Ian (28 September 1997). "Hoddle's Sweet Revenge". The Independent. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 

External links[edit]