Today’s POP RESCUE from obscurity, is the 1994 album Together by five-piece boy band, Worlds Apart. But would this album be like world peace, or an international disaster? Read on..
This 12 track album begins with the bright piano intro of Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, a cover of The Spinners’ 1972 hit. This version is a bit faster than the original, taking in house piano, sweeping synth strings, and a dance beat. There’s plenty of vocal harmonies between all 5 members of Worlds Apart. The end result is quite an up-beat credible cover of the song. This was the fourth single, and gave them a #15 moderate UK hit.
Papa Wouldn’t Understand is up next. This is a slower, more soulful song, with a softer 90’s beat that sounds like it was borrowed from Take That‘s hit Pray. Again, there’s plenty of vocal harmonies here, as some pretty typical love-fuelled boy-band vocals weave in and out. The end result is actually quite a catchy yet mellow song.
This is followed by fifth and final single Beggin’ To Be Written. This is a gentle heartfelt boyband ballad, with a ton of vocal harmonies, smooth saxophone segments, and a gentle beat that just makes you want to give them all a damn good hug. Sadly, the song stalled in the UK singles chart, reaching a high of #29.
Next up is Everlasting Love. This is a cover of the 1967 single by Robert Knight (although better known as by the group Love Affair). It served as their third single. This version has a throbbing bass and hard dance beat. It feels a little bit like a hi-NRG cover by session singers though, but despite this it gave them a #20 UK chart position.
Dance beats, and phat synths usher in next song, Come Back & Stay and I’m swiftly musically reminded of Haddaway’s hit What Is Love? and the contemporary euro-pop sounds of 2 Unlimited and Culture Beat. This song has quite a nice pace and melody too. I’d definitely have preferred to have heard this song as a single than the travesty of Everlasting Love, and I’m sure that it would have fared better.
Now for perhaps one of the respectfully oddest songs – Arnold Schwarzenegger. Despite the action hero’s name use, this is a candy pop lovestruck ballad. Kudos to having lyrics ‘Cause Arnold Schwarzenegger is in all your dreams each night, Where Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to kiss and hold you tight‘ – no one else has bothered to do this, not least a boyband. This is very odd, and amusingly so.
Recovering from that, is lead single Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel – opening with congas, a ton of house pianos, and pop vocals. This remains pretty loyal to the original 1976 disco hit version by The Tavares, and is pretty catchy. Worlds Apart’s vocals sit well here, again allowing for some really nice vocal harmonies.
Next up is the first of two Mike Stock and Pete Waterman tracks – this first one Same Old Promises is a nice mid-tempo bouncy little pop number, which the guys seem to take with ease. At times, I feel almost like there’s some nods back to earlier tracks by Jason Donovan or Big Fun.
This is followed by the second Stock/Waterman composition, Experienced about losing your viginity. Pop fans will soon spot that this song was later recorded by Steps (a Pete Waterman project). Sadly, Worlds Apart’s version is not that easy to listen to, with some vocal challenges clearly a bit too far to reach. Steps did a better job of it.
Opening like ITV’s This Morning breakfast TV magazine show, it’s next song Wonderful World. There’s tons of saxophone here, a thumping beat, and a ton of synths. Worlds Apart put in more great vocal harmonies though, and there’s a distinct vintage kind of feel to this – as if it’s a cover of a 60s hit. This song was the group’s second single, which stalled in 1993 at #51 in the UK chart.
Next up is another cover version – this time September gets the Worlds Apart treatment. Musically it’s fairly loyal to the original Earth, Wind and Fire disco hit from 1978. The vocals feel a bit to buried in the music here, and need lifting a little apart from in the chorus where their harmonies work well once again.
The album closes with the harder, almost rocky Like It Was, Like It Is. There’s a menacing, brooding bass synth here, joined by heavy electric guitars and drums over a fast beat. At times, I’m kind of wishing that some of the other songs had had this much energy as this really gives the group something less saccharine to deliver, and they do it pretty well.
Over all, this album, which has a certain Simon Cowell listed as Executive Producer, is a fairly good example of early mass-market commercial boy bands. There’s cover versions, dance beats, good looks, and squeaky clean images to match their vocals.
The over-use of cover versions lends itself to cheap re-makes, but were perhaps included in a bid to capture attention for this fledgling group.
Tracks like Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, Papa Wouldn’t Understand, Same Old Promises, and Come Back & Stay shine here, amongst the weaker more generic songs.
- POP RESCUE 2016 RATING: 2 / 5
- 1994 UK CHART PEAK: #89 (#46 in France!)
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.43 from an eBay seller.