Sight for Sore Eyes

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For the Aerosmith song, see Draw the Line (Aerosmith album).
"Sight For Sore Eyes"
Single by M People
from the album Bizarre Fruit
Released 7 November 1994
Format 7" single, 12" maxi
CD single, cassette
Recorded 1994
Genre House
Length 3:57
Writer(s) Mike Pickering, Paul Heard, Heather Small
Producer(s) M People
Certification Gold
M People singles chronology
"Renaissance"
(1994)
"Sight for Sore Eyes"
(1994)
"Open Your Heart"
(1995)

"Sight For Sore Eyes" is the tenth overall single from the British band M People released as the lead single from multi-platinum album Bizarre Fruit. Written by Mike Pickering, Paul Heard and Heather Small and Produced by M People. It was released on 7 November 1994. The song peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart.

Background[edit]

The band had scored four consecutive Top 10 singles from the previous album Elegant Slumming and toured the UK and Europe twice, but over the summer of 1994, worked quickly and resolutely to continue their sizeable success, recording new album Bizarre Fruit, and the first fruits of their labour were in the form of Sight for Sore Eyes.

Composition[edit]

The song was recorded at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, London. The song starts with a gospel-esque 'harmonised' warm-up by the backing vocalists accompanied with a building piano with lead vocals by the unmistakable voice of Heather Small.

The key refrain #"Ain't love, ain't love, ain't love a surprise"# is bellowed by Heather and then other key elements are introduced, most notably synths and a subtle allegro acenato (quick and accentuated) piano movement during the verses with Small's vocals more prominent than on previous singles. In the chorus breaks, an Italo house style chord progression and sequenced bleeps granuliser synths[clarification needed] lead up to the verses. Like "One Night in Heaven", the melody line is guided by the insistently infectious deep Moog bass line, programmed drumming, percussion drumming and layered high hat synths and a four-to-the-floor house beat. This is underlined by subtle strings and euphoric chords during the actual choruses. The Italo house style is most punctuated during the middle–eight piano-break.

Chart performance[edit]

Like previous single, Sight for Sore Eyes became the fifth consecutive single to enter the Top 10. It also, for only the second time since One Night in Heaven seventeen months previous, promptly climbed the next week. It is the only the second M People single to climb within the Top 10. It entered the chart at number 8 and following huge club support and some major performances on British television, most notably Top of the Pops saw a massive surge in sales to then peak in its second week at number 6.

A lot of pressure was on the first single of the new album, to continue in the success of Renaissance which peaked at 5, but in two weeks the single sold over 150,000 copies, to not only continue but surpass previous successes and Sight for Sore Eyes became M People's third biggest selling single, behind "Moving on Up" and "One Night in Heaven".

The single entered the chart at number 8 with sales of 79,000 copies in its first week and another 89,000 copies in its second week to rise and peak at number 6 and a further 63,000 in its third week to chart at number 9. The single spent three weeks in the Top 10 and chart positions went from number 8 to 6 to 9 to 17 to 20 to 26 to 27 to 43 to 71. This single spent nine weeks on the chart and left in early January 1995.

Airplay[edit]

Sight for Sore Eyes was serviced to radio five weeks before physical release on Monday 1 October as the eagerly awaited brand new song to continue the unbroken string of five consecutive top 5 Airplay hits. Radio was quick to play the single, with Top supporters in the being the Capital Radio group, Galaxy and BBC Radio 1, who all placed the song on their A-List/Single if the Week. By the end of week one on airplay, the single had become the highest new entry being played 539 times on UK Radio placing it straight in at Number 45.

Growing anticipation of the new album and the very radio friendly sound propelled the single up the airplay chart and received plaudits form DJs, as a result the single climbed from 45 to 31 to 19 to 9 to the week before release. At this point the song peaked at number 3 on airplay for two weeks and stayed in the top 10 for another three weeks becoming a firm radio favourite. It then took another ten weeks to leave the Airplay Top 75 which meant it was still being heavily played when its successor Open Your Heart was released to radio. This had only happened once before with "One Night in Heaven" and "Moving on Up" and would happen again with future singles Just for You and Fantasy Island.

Music video[edit]

It features the four main members of the band who are performing to the song throughout, accompanied by Andy Gangadeen on drums, Paul Johnson and Lynieve Austin on backing vocals. Within the studio, there are two main colour themes, red and blue. And the starting shot of empty cars leaned up against each other and twelve people dressed in dark mechanic overalls with their backs facing the camera all dancing up against the cars in the background. To the fore, is Heather dancing on the spot and very much reflecting the general happy mood of the video, surrounded by her band mates: Mike Pickering on guitar, Paul Heard on first and second keyboard and Shovell on Bongos.

To incorporate the overall metal theme of the new album there are cutaways of sparks flying as metalwork is carried out mechanics and close ups of booted-feet dancing to the music.

The video was filmed entirely in a North London studio, by the legendary British photographer and film director Terence Donovan, and filmed in one day on 29 September 1994. Donovan had taken several promotional photos of the band for merchandise and tours between 1994–1996 and was considered[by whom?] a very good friend of the band. They dedicated their next album Fresco (1997) to him following his untimely death.

Live performances[edit]

When performed live, Sight for Sore Eyes gets arguably one of the largest rapturous audience responses, alongside "One Night in Heaven", "Moving on Up" and "Search for the Hero". During the Bizarre Fruit, Bizarre Fruit II tours as well as T in the Park in 1995 proved to be an enormous crowd pleaser played with additional Percussion obligato by Shovell in the middle eight break to add to the Italo house style. Some additional rhythm guitar and saxophone ad-libs are also played throughout and during the Italo house break towards the latter half of the song is greeted by audience whoops.

Remixes/B-sides[edit]

At the time of release only one remix of the single was readily available by the Hed Boys and their 'Post Op' Mix, a much sought after E-Smoove Mix was being heavily rotated on the dance floor but was not made available for general issue until it featured on CD2 of successor single Open Your Heart nearly three months later.

The B-side was album track 'Sugartown' providing people with a sampler as to what the album may sound like showing that M People could also do a funk Soul song with a melodic groove.

Track listings[edit]

CSS
  1. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Radio Edit) 3.57
  2. "Sugartown" 4.36
7" Mini
  1. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Radio edit) 3.44
  2. "Sugartown" 4.36
12" Maxi
  1. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Radio Edit) 3.57
  2. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Master Mix) 6.13
  3. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Hed Boys Post Op Mix) 10.12
  4. "Sugartown" 4.36
CD Maxi
  1. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Radio Edit) 3.57
  2. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Master Mix) 6.13
  3. "Sight for Sore Eyes" (Hed Boys Post Op Mix) 10.12
  4. "Sugartown" 4.36

Charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA) 20
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[1] 24
New Zealand (RIANZ) 17
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)[2] 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Belgian peak
  2. ^ UK Singles Chart [1] (Retrieved 28 March 2009)

External links[edit]