The F-Z of Pop

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The F-Z of Pop
The F-Z of Pop.jpg
Studio album by The Fizz
Released22 September 2017
Recorded2016-17
StudioMPG Studios, London, UK
GenrePop
LabelMPG Records
ProducerMike Stock, Jimmy Junior
The Fizz chronology
Fame and Fortune?
(2012)
The F-Z of Pop
(2017)
Christmas with the Fizz
(2018)
Singles from The Fizz
  1. "Dancing In The Rain"
    Released: August 2017
  2. "Amen"
    Released: October 2017
  3. "Home for My Heart (Festive Mix)"
    Released: December 2017
  4. "Up for the Fight"
    Released: February 2018

The F-Z of Pop is a 2017 studio album by The Fizz. It is the second album by the group (the previous album being released under the name OBF) and the first by the four-member line up of Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston, Mike Nolan and Bobby McVay. Released in September, the album entered the UK albums chart at No.25, the highest chart position achieved by a Bucks Fizz line-up since the "New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)" single in 1986, 31 years earlier.

Background[edit]

By 2015, The Original Bucks Fizz, a group featuring original Bucks Fizz members Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston and Mike Nolan had been in operation since 2009. It was in this year that they became a four-piece (as per the classic line-up of the 1980s) with the inclusion of former Sweet Dreams member Bobby McVay. The group undertook a series of live dates across the UK throughout 2016 and towards the end of the year decided on recording a new album with acclaimed 1980s producer Mike Stock. Having been a fan of the group in their 1980s heyday, Stock was keen to work with the group and work began on a number of Stock's own compositions along with some written by members of the band and a reworking of three classic Bucks Fizz tracks. The album was touted as being the group's first album in over 30 years (referring to the last Bucks Fizz studio album).[1] Of the album, member Cheryl Baker said: "I cannot tell you how happy I am to have been back in the studio, my favourite place and with the genius that is Mike Stock. I am so proud of this new album and I know Fizz fans will love it too!"[1]

In August 2017, the first single was released from the album, "Dancing In The Rain". The following month, the album was released under the title The F-Z of Pop following a successful Pledge Music campaign. Featuring eight new compositions, three reworkings of old Bucks Fizz songs and four alternate versions, the album was well received by the group's fans and sold sufficient well-enough to score a UK top 30 placing, entering the chart at No.25.[2] This was the first chart entry by the group and the highest chart entry of any Bucks Fizz line-up since the Bucks Fizz single "New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)" peaked at No.8 in 1986 and in albums matched the peak of their Greatest Hits album in early 1984. The album charted even higher on the sales-only chart, entering the chart at No.14, a position only beaten once by a Bucks Fizz album (1982's Are You Ready).[3] It also charted at No.23 in the Scottish album chart.[4] The album had a mid-week chart position in the UK at No.11.[5] The album was BBC Radio 2's album of the week by Ken Bruce.[6]

Track "Home For My Heart" was written by member Jay Aston with her guitarist husband Dave Colquhoun, "There's No Turning Back" by members Mike Nolan and Bobby McVay, while "Amen" was written by Cheryl Baker's daughter, Kyla. The latter, voted the best song on the album by the group's fans in a Twitter poll.[7] The album cover shows the group dressed in plaid striking puppet poses, a concept imagined by member Jay Aston in a nod to their manufactured origins. The album's launch was heralded by appearances on TV and in the press.[8] A vinyl version of the album was released on 13 October 2017 featuring ten tracks, including the previously unreleased song "I Am the Beat".[9]

In October, a second single was released from the album, the track "Amen". The single received a high-profile due to be playlisted on Radio 2 for several weeks, reaching the station's airplay top 20. They also promoted the song on television, performing it on Lorraine for example.[10] Classic Pop Magazine gave the song a rave review calling it "brilliant" and saying that it was "moody, pounding [and] melodious".[11]

A third single was released by the end of the year; a festive-themed version of "Home for My Heart", featuring piano by Rick Wakeman,[12] while the fourth and final single "Up for the Fight" was released in February 2018.[13]

Track listing[edit]

CD
  1. "Up for the Fight" (Stock / Kalel) 3:23
  2. "Break the Ice" (Stock / Kalel) 3:17
  3. "Where I'm Gonna Be" (Stock / Kalel) 2:39
  4. "Home for My Heart" (Stock / Aston / Colquhoun) 3:39
  5. "Dancing in the Rain (Stock / Kalel) 3:05
  6. "Control Freak" (Stock / Kalel) 3:24
  7. "There's No Turning Back" (Stock / McVay / Nolan) 3:17
  8. "Amen" (Stroud) 3:23
  9. "My Camera Never Lies 2017" (Hill / Martin) 3:48
  10. "Piece of the Action 2017" (Hill) 3:37
  11. "The Land of Make Believe 2017" (Hill / Sinfield) 3:35
  12. "Up for the Fight (extended version)" (Stock / Kalel) 4:48
  13. "Break the Ice (extended version) (Stock / Kalel) 4:59
  14. "Piece of the Action 2017 (extended version)" (Hill) 5:39
  15. "My Camera Never Lies 2017 (karaoke version)" (Hill / Martin) 3:52
Vinyl

Side One

  1. "Up for the Fight" (Stock / Kalel) 3:23
  2. "Break the Ice" (Stock / Kalel) 3:17
  3. "Where I'm Gonna Be" (Stock / Kalel) 2:39
  4. "Home for My Heart" (Stock / Aston / Colquhoun) 3:39
  5. "Dancing in the Rain (Stock / Kalel) 3:05

Side Two

  1. "Control Freak" (Stock / Kalel) 3:24
  2. "There's No Turning Back" (Stock / McVay / Nolan) 3:17
  3. "Amen" (Stroud) 3:23
  4. "I Am the Beat" (Whetstone / Bass) 2:57
  5. "My Camera Never Lies 2017" (Hill / Martin) 3:48

Personnel[edit]

  • Cheryl Baker - vocals
  • Jay Aston - vocals, album artistic director
  • Mike Nolan - vocals
  • Bobby McVay - vocals
  • Mike Stock - producer, instruments
  • Jimmy Junior - producer, instruments
  • Big Eared Boys - mixers
  • Dave Colquhoun - guitar on tracks 3 and 4
  • Chris Lyndon - engineer
  • Matt Parisi - engineer on tracks 9, 10, 11, 14, 15
  • Claire Domiic - photography
  • Phil Gardner - album design
  • Kate Stretton - artwork and layout

Chart positions[edit]

Country Peak
position
UK[2] 25
Scotland[4] 23
UK Sales[3] 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Fizz announce their first new studio album in 30 years". Classic Pop Magazine. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  2. ^ a b "FIZZ | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  3. ^ a b "Official Albums Sales Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  4. ^ a b "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  5. ^ "The Killers are leading the pack on the Official Albums Chart Update". Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  6. ^ Baker, Cheryl (3:31 AM - 21 Sep 2017). "Great hearing #UpForTheFight on @BBCRadio2 @RealKenBruce Thanks for making us Album Of The Week! Love you! @TheFizzCMJB #TheF2ZofPop". @Cherylbaker. Retrieved 2017-10-02. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "TheFizzOfficial (@TheFizzCMJB) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  8. ^ Hughes, Tammy (2017-09-28). "Artists formerly known as Buck Fizz reveal crazy antics as they return to pop". mirror. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  9. ^ The F-Z of Pop, Absolute Marketing, 2017-10-13, retrieved 2017-10-02
  10. ^ O'Sullivan, Kyle (2017-10-31). "Lorraine viewers shocked by Bucks Fizz's appearance during live performance". mirror. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  11. ^ "Single Reviews". Classic Pop Magazine. No.35, December 2017. 27 November 2017.
  12. ^ The Fizz, Home for My Heart, retrieved 2018-03-26
  13. ^ The Fizz, Up for the Fight, retrieved 2018-03-26