Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jon Otis-Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You (1997)


Well this has certainly turned into an 'ultimate dance music week' of sorts for me! It's a good thing I stayed on my trek through the world the Eurodance a little longer; otherwise, I might not have discovered the versatile voice of British pop singer Jon Otis, who is not to be confused with the musician by the same name. Somewhat mysterious is the music background of the former, but online databases suggest that Jon was active as early as the late 80's with a handful of singles......and remained active even into the 90's when he released his rare 1997 album, "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You". there something that sounds familiar about this title? Yep, you got it—it's the memorable 1986 hit performed by Glenn Medeiros! So that can only mean one thing: the British pop singer performs his own remake of that classic right here on this album. It's the opening track, in fact, and Jon performs it very well in its reinvented high-energy dance format—90's Eurodisco style! And that, my friends, is the reigning theme of this entire album—thrilling Eurodisco remakes of popular 80's classics and just some fun Eurodisco jams altogether! While I can't be sure if every jam on this album is an 80's remake, I'm definitely certain about all of the ones that I myself recognized. Cliff Richard's "Just Don't Have The Heart" seems like a song that would've eventually have gotten the Euordance treatment anyways, considering that it was a PWL production and knowing hat those PWL artists cranked out a lot of made-for-the-dance-floor hits back in their heyday. Jon's remake sticks true to the original, though with a little more pizzazz on the synthesized arrangement, I'd say. One that I was particularly pleasantly surprised to see in a reinvented Eurodisco format: Peabo Bryson's "If Ever You're In My Arms Again". Nothing wrong with taking a memorable soul classic and adding some high-energy oomph to it! Then the wildest of surprises a couple of tracks after that with the remake of THE BEE GEES' disco hit, "Stayin' Alive". 90's Eurodance lovers will instantly recognize that the beat used here is a direct rip of the international dance hit and dance phenomenon, "Macarena"! Made me feel like doing the Macarena myself as I was listening to the classic 1977 lyrics! Now all somebody needs to do is create a clever mash-up between LOS DEL RIO and Jon Otis and call it something like 'La Macarena Is Staying Alive'. And the British singer's even got the vocals down pat, whose high n' lofty voice sounds remarkably similar to Robin Gibbs and company here. I was extremely delighted to hear dance covers of a trio of other familiar tunes: the romantic Sergio Mendes soft rock staple, "Never Gonna Let You Go", Sting and THE POLICE's "Every Breath You Take" (love that swirly ambiance in the beginning and just the whole mellow tonality of the song altogether) and PWL-icon Jason Donovan's "Too Many Broken Hearts" (that's one that had to be made a part of this thrilling collection!). Was rooting for Track #8's "Out Of The Blue" to be a Debbie Gibson cover but, in the lyrical words of one of Debbie's own memorable hits, I suppose it really was only in my dreams. Still, it's a good high-energy tune to jam to, as is "Bed Of Nails" (I like his metaphor of being with the one he loves is like sleeping on a bed of nails; think a lot of us knows how that feels), the instantly catchy "Used To Be", "Better Off" (the main chorus, with its uneven beat and repetition, serves as a fabulous hook!) and the sunny n' sweet "I Only Wanna Be With You". And I can't think of any better words to say how much I love the song called "Words" except that its sparkly and glitzy melody makes it sublime Eurodisco bliss! He even recorded a pair of high-energy holiday treats—"Christmas Kissing" and "Christmas Time Again"—complete with jingly sleigh bells and all the warming sights and sounds associated with the holiday cheer, but with more of a romantic theme of celebrating the season with the one he loves. While Jon proves over and over that his voice is perfect against the high-energy dance beats, he furthermore demonstrates his talents on the album's only slowed-down number, "Love Brings Me Around". This is where you really get a feel for just how soulful the British singer is if you hadn't noticed it on any of the other songs before or after. Not really a slow song, actually; more of that mid-tempo 90's Europop bounce with a bit of a funky r&b vibe. So the dance party never really stops! I think listeners would agree that this album is an 80's lover's dream, and in the spirit of the title inspired by the song that put Glenn Medeiros on the music charts, nothing's gonna change my love for it!

1. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You
2. Just Don't Have The Heart
3. Who Do You Think You Are?
4. Bed Of Nails
5. Love Brings Me Around
6. Used To Be
7. Better Off
8. Out Of The Blue
9. If Ever You're In My Arms Again (Disco Mix)
10. Words
11. Stayin' Alive
12. Never Gonna Let You Go
13. I Only Wanna Be With You
14. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You (Extended)
15. Words (Full Vocal & Links)

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

16. Every Breath You Take
17. Eye In The Sky
18. Too Many Broken Hearts
19. Christmas Kissing
20. Christmas Time Again

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