Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate uncertain, is the 1982 third album Tight Fit by the British pop group Tight Fit. Will this album help you Sleep Tight, or should you just leave it Lion around on the kerbside? Read on…
This 10 track LP opens with the familiar vocal cry of the groups hit single The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a cover of the 1939 Solomon Linda song, translated from Zulu to English. This track scored the group a #1 UK hit single in 1982. It’s tom-tom-laden drums and Tarzan-like vocals give it a great sound, and at times I can imagine a set of remixes of this as it sounds pretty simple but fresh. A very distinct and catchy song.
Next up is Fantasy Island, which very much reminds me instantly of something ABBA might have loaned them – with loads of vocal harmonies from Denise Gyngell and Julie Harris, and plenty of piano. This style continues throughout and that’s to its credit. The track was the second single from the album, giving Tight Fit a #4 UK hit, and was actually a cover of Dutch group, The Millionaires song from 1982. Whilst this is very different from The Lion Sleeps Tonight, it’s nonetheless catchy too. I wonder if Steps will eventually tackle this song.
That’s followed by Hearts Of Stone Breaks Hearts Of Glass, and this is has lots of wonderful 80’s synths sat upon a wonderful bass. The synths are the highlight here, with the track somewhat more subdued and the vocals/lyrics from Steve Grant taking a back-seat.
One Two Three is next, giving Denise and Julie lead vocals and harmony duties again. This is a mid-tempo track, and it kind of plods along quite steadily, with some great rockier vocals in the mid-section alongside a guitar solo, but it soon returns to its plod again, resulting in a nice enough track.
Side One closes with Secret Heart, in which Steve, Denise and Julie take the mic. The vocals work pretty well here, and it feels like a nice little pop song, but not amongst the ranks of their hit single and Fantasy Island. The track took them to #41 when it was released as the album’s third single.
Side Two opens energetic with I’m Undecided, sounding something like early Erasure thanks to a ton of wonderful sounding synths alongside Steve’s opening vocals, before switching the almost-ABBA when the ladies take the vocals on. This is a great little song, and for a moment mid-way I swear that there’s a sound of Mario scoring a coin… but that aside, sadly it failed to chart in the UK when released as the album’s fourth single.
Next is Just A Moment Away and whilst this track bounces along quite happily thanks to guitars and bass, the vocals aren’t as strong here, with Steve singing fairly high register, and it doesn’t sit comfortably. A scattering of synths, and maybe a chorus of recorders too, flitter about, but the track doesn’t feel quite as strong as others here.
That leads on to One Thing Leads To Another, and this track seems to be a gear change with the vocals getting some great moments to shine. The vocals also feel like they’re taking centre stage in this cheerful little pop song. It’s a nice and catchy song.
That’s followed by Baby I’m Lost For Words, has some great vocals again (I’m not sure which of the ladies gets the lead vocals here) but the song bounces along well effortlessly resulting in a nice little pop song. The chorus is the catchiest part. The track would go on to be recorded by Samantha Fox for her debut album.
The album closes with Magic Eyes, which races long wonderfully, with Steve on the vocals. The guitars, handclaps and synths rush along, and this suits the lyrics about Steve being driven crazy and wild, giving him to show off some rock-pop vocals instead of the higher register ones that we heard a little awkwardly in Just A Moment Away. This is a perfect closing song, and very well executed.
Over all, this album is living in the shadow of the lead single and huge number one, The Lion Sleeps Tonight. There are few songs that sound like this track, and it is certainly a highlight. Thankfully, it’s not alone, with Fantasy Island, Magic Eyes, and I’m Undecided are great too, with the latter sadly robbed of any chart success.
There are some harder listens here though, with Just A Moment Away and One Two Three being the weakest songs here. The vocals are somewhat buried or subdued, perhaps its the mix, but it does mean we’re treated to some wonderful early 1980’s synths sounds, and those really shine in many of the tracks but particularly in I’m Undecided.
It’s mostly a good pop album, but one that sadly didn’t get the recognition it deserved.
- POP RESCUE 2021 RATING: 3 / 5
- 1982 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: #87
- POP RESCUE COST: £2.00 from a Discogs.com seller.