Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 48)

48. "Kite"
Artist: Nick Heyward
Year: 1993

OK, so now you really know why I had the works of Nick Heyward swimming around my head earlier this week. I think this unapologetic popster crafted a couple of great albums in the early '80s, including Haircut One Hundred's 'Pelican West,' as well as his first solo album, 'North of a Miracle.' (I loved it too, Uncle E!) My tastes changed quite a bit after that, and I completely lost track of him for about 10 years. In 1993, while working at a record store, I was unpacking that week's new releases when I came across a single copy of Heyward's 'From Monday to Sunday.' Seeing his name was a shock. He's still around? It was a smile, but there was something about the cover that made me want to listen to it. I'm sure happy I decided to take a chance because I enjoyed the entire album... especially this single. If you were ever a fan, I think this one will be a pleasant surprise. Having said that, if you found his commercial endeavors grating, I doubt this will bring you over to the light side.

While reading up on Heyward today I was surprised to see that "Kite" was a minor hit here in America, his first since "Whistle Down the Wind" in 1983. So, I guess I wasn't alone in rediscovering an artist from our youth. I did buy one more thing by Heyward after this album. In 1996, he released an EP called 'A Hard Days Nick' that featured his latest single, "Rollerblade," as well as three covers originally performed by the Fab Four. It seemed like those songs would be in Heyward's wheelhouse, and I have to admit I rather enjoyed that one too, but I soon lost interest again. In the comments section of my last post, reader C, she of the excellent blog Sun Dried Sparrows, wondered what had happened to Heyward. He has performed a new song in the past year. Unfortunately, it was while on the roster of Rewind, Let's Rock or some other nostalgia fest to which he has become a regular fixture. There hasn't been a new album for many years.

8 comments:

george said...

Brian, I was totally prepared to dismiss this song after about a ten-second airing, but it's turned out to be not a bad little pop-song, a bit Lightning Seeds-ish. I am surprised that I like it so much.

Echorich said...

Nick Heyward has spent an entire career surprising his audience, Kite is one of the pleasant surprises.

McPop said...

Excellent song! One of my favorites by Mr. Heyward. While I never got into Haircut 100, I'm a huge fan of Nick's solo work. You must check out the two albums after 'From Monday to Sunday' because I think they're even better than that one.

My version of 'Tangled' is an expanded reissue that contains all the tracks from 'A Hard Days Nick' EP and 'Rollerblade' single including the awesome track "Better Place". The next album 'The Apple Bed' was released on the defunct Big Deal label in the States and is stellar from start to finish.

friend of rachel worth said...

Tangled is fantastic , I didn't quite get appleseed, he had signed to creation at this point and in places it sounds like he was listening to too much oasis!. There was a new h100 lp worked on with original band. Then nothing , it seems that the different interpretations of the original break up resurfaced. Still hopeful though!

Scott said...

Similiar to yourself Brian I was working in record stores in '93 and it was the cover that attracted me initially before I even realised it was Nick Heyward. Gave the album a play just to see if he still had that knack of penning great pop tunes and, of course, he did. Never gets the credit he deserves.

C said...

Well thank you, Brian, I have just listened to Kite and really liked it. Understated, well-crafted, poignant pop. It's opened my eyes (ears?) and I'll spend some time checking back now. Who'd have thought it!

Thank you too for the mention - most kind of you!

C said...

And now I'm listening to The World... which now I hear it again I remember liking at the time - but I had forgotten about completely. It still sounds good.

Brian said...

Nick love!! Well, this is certainly a pleasant surprise. Thought I would be kicked out of the club for sure. As I had hoped, some of you even suggested more of his work. I will move on to Tangled. Why not? I have yet to be disappointed by anything I have ever bought. Thanks again, everyone. George, I never would have guessed. Yippee...