When You Come Back To Me – Jason Donovan
Those who know me well will be aware (with a due sense of resignation) of my love of extended mixes, – especially those from the PWL stable – which invariably enhance my appreciation of the original track no end.
A good mix, in my opinion, builds up the track part by part – allowing you to see how intricately it was constructed – throws the song at you, then de-constructs it again. For me the golden age for such mixes was the late 80s and early 90s, a time before mixes started having bugger all to do with the actual song (many of the Pet Shop Boys mixes of the mid-to-late 90s show off this problem in all its gory glory).
Which brings me to J. Donovan Esq’s 1990 single “When You Come Back To Me“. The extended mix of this is, I think, pretty much perfect.
Part of it is the song, which for me is pretty much one of the best Mike Stock wrote, and one that actually evokes some Christmassy feelings in jaded old me for a change. And it’s a nice lyric too. (No “I Should Be So Lucky”, I’ll grant you but I believe I’m quite rare in loving that song too.)
But the extended mix just makes me appreciate it so much more. The Thunderbirds-esque kettle drums, the dropped spanners (or chimes, probably), the soft pippy synths, the gentle stabby keyboards, the warm brass noises. But it’s the sheer amount of harmony that’s boggling. I’m no musical expert, clearly, but it’s awash with harmonics from the strings to the backing vocalists – the latter being a team of people (including Stock himself) who never got enough credit.
In many respects it’s the perfect culmination of the sound that SAW used for him. It’s not the well-formed Eurodisco of Kylie’s early stuff, nor the spiky techno of Sonia’s material, say, but a warm-sounding filled-out production with a nice walking-pace which was very typical of the sorts of tracks he was given.
Frankly I love it to bits. The fact it’s also got several key changes in it makes me almost cream.
(And it’s not just me that wanted that coat is it? It’s certainly a bit Doctory…)