1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Helicopters”

Don’t Want To Live In Hollywood – The Helicopters

The Best Of The Helicopters

The Best Of The Helicopters

I’m a little confused. The song is entitled ‘I Don’t Wanna To Live In Hollywood’, but the lyrics go, ‘I don’t wanna live in hell, I wanna live in Hollywood’. Perhaps flying around in a helicopter does that to one. However, ignoring this little anomaly and just concentrating on the song itself, you end up with a catchy synthpop song that was as good as any that came out of SA in the 80’s.

Sadly, however, it did not seem to garner much commercial success. I’m not sure if that was because there wasn’t a studio version (as far as I can tell) of the song as the only version I’ve managed to find on Youtube is a live version and the version included on the ‘The Best of The Helicopters’ 2002 Retrofresh CD release is also a live version. Maybe I’m wrong and there is a studio version out there.

The song did manage to get to number 12 on the Radio 702 charts, but generally did not fare as well as their earlier offerings of ‘Mysteries & Jealousies’ and ‘Whisper Your Secret’, yet it was just as catchty as those 2, in fact it showed a maturing of the group (just before they broke up) which, in my opinion, left it as a bit of a lost classic.

Some may say that hell and Hollywood are the same thing, but listening to ‘Don’t Wanna Live In Hollywood’ by The Helicopters, made it just fine to live in South Africa at the time that came out.

Where to find it:
The Best Of The Helicopters – The Helicopters (2002), Fresh Music, FRESHCD128

Video:

Only For You – Helicopters

The Helicopters - Love Attack

The Helicopters – Love Attack

The Helicopters’ career took off with their 1984 hit ‘Mysteries And Jealousies’ which made the Capital 604 and Radio 702 charts. It was included on their debut album ‘Love Attack’. One of the other tracks on the album was a slower synth ballad called ‘Only For You’ which was released as a single and spent 3 weeks on the Capital 604 charts, peaking at number 14.

Unlike its predecessor, ‘Mysteries And Jealousies’, ‘Only For You’ is a slower affair, in a similar vein to Face To Face’s ‘Here We Are’ but this one seemed to have a little less angst in it. Where Face To Face were appealing to the desperate teenager in love, The ‘Copters were spening a quiet evening in with their loved one, sitting on the sofa having a glass of wine and enjoying each other’s company. Bernard Binns distinctive vocals caress the words as he sings while sythesizers swirl a gentle breeze and the ubiquitous electric drums of that era occasionally cascade down in a waterfall of sound. Later in the song, we have an 80’s AOR power ballad guitar make a bit of an entrance.

Yes, this song does carry all the sounds and trademarks of its time, and it wasn’t one of the biggest hits of its genre, but it was a subtle slow burner that smoulders with sensuousness and warmth that one struggled to find in the “dehumanised” age of the synth.

Where to find it:
The Best Of The Helicopters – The Helicopters (2002), Fresh Music, FRESHCD128

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