Monday, 27 November 2017

The Gone Too Soon Top Ten #2: Broken English

As has previously been documented here, I didn't start buying my own records until I was 15. That was 1987, so one of the first 7 inch singles to be added to my collection must have been the one above, a Stonesy guitar track packed with attitude, a great hook and a belting intro, made popular by a video depicting the band dressed as Ghostbusters.

Comin' On Strong by Broken English made #17 in the charts and it was one of my favourite songs of the year. I rushed out to buy their follow-up track, Love On The Side, which also benefitted from a great hook, fun lyrics and a top Magnificent 7-themed video. But I may have been the only one, because sadly, it didn't follow Comin' On Strong into the charts...

A cool third single (the poppier Do You Really Want Me Back?) followed, which I remember hearing a couple of times on the radio though I never managed to track a copy down. Still, I thought, no worries... I'll get the album.

Except no album came... and Broken English disappeared into the ether. 

The two singles I owned though have stuck with me over the past 30 years, cropping up on a variety of mixes and compilations tapes I've put together. But not until I sat down to write this feature did I discover (just as I had with Speedy) that the album Broken English's record company refused to release back in 1987 (The Rough With The Smooth) after their second two singles bombed... was finally released 20 years later in 2007.

And now I own it.

Sunday morning, while putting together a particularly vexing shelving unit from Ikea, I played the album on repeat: and it's pretty, pretttty good! The Stones comparisons are obvious (apparently lead singer Steve Elson was originally in a Stones tribute band) but this is lighter, catchier and more fun than anything Mick 'n' Keef in the late 80s, when they might as well have changed their name to The Coasters, had another band not beaten them to it years earlier. I can't believe I finally own this record. If you remember the band at all... and even if you don't... I'd recommend giving a few of these tracks a spin.


  1. I remember Comin' On Strong (fairly) fondly.

  2. As I said on Saturday Snapshots I definitely knew the name but didn't remember Comin' On Strong at all - Now had they been around in 1977, I most definitely would have.

  3. I knew the name when revealed on Saturday Snapshots but couldn't have told you what they sounded like - playing them here has triggered something though, think I must've definitely heard them at the time. Very much of their time!


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