The Fizz – The World We Left Behind

“In short: the odds are stacked against them.”

Tom: They don’t have the rights to the name “Bucks Fizz”!

Tim: And there’s the most incredible television documentary ever made to explain why!

Tom: The one that isn’t Cheryl Baker stood for the Brexit Party and got 384 votes! They’re still working with Mike Stock and bringing out a new album!

Tim: And their first comeback album was actually quite good!

Tom: Their Twitter mostly retweets praise! And they appear to mostly be doing the nostalgia circuit based on “still ripping off skirts”!

In short: the odds are stacked against them.

Tim: Oh, that chorus put right old smile on my face, that really did.

Tom: It’s like someone took an album track from the 80s, kept all the synth pads, but used modern production and mastering techniques. Which, given it’s Mike Stock producing, is probably about what’s happened. There are some catchy bits in here, but they’re hampered by the middle eight acoustic guitar solo, the odd transition into that middle eight, and — given how retro the track is — the distinct lack of a key change.

Tim: Yeah – can’t deny those things do hurt it, and there’s at least one chorus too many at the end there, however smiley it gets me.

Tom: It’ll do well on the nostalgia circuit.

Tim: But it’s certainly no Don’t Start Without Me.

The Fizz – Don’t Start Without Me (Extended Mix)

“According to MATHEMATICS, 48.9% better.”

Tom: Oh no.

Tim: OH YES. Tom, I know you’ll hate that we are featuring this, and part of me wants to apologise for just saying: I don’t care.

Tom: Tim, the original version was… not a great track. We talked about this. They sing “toot toot”, unironically. I cannot understand, for the life of me, why you think th–

Tim: Look, it’s one of the very best songs of the year, and although we’ve already featured the regular version, the other day I discovered this extended version (thanks, Siri), which is, according to MATHEMATICS, 48.9% better. What better a track to feature on Christmas Day, then?

Tom: I’d say “literally anything else”, but I’m sure you’d find something.

Tim: Toot toot! If you want to get revenge on me at some point, I’ll accept that. But right now, MERRY CHRISTMAS.

The Fizz – Don’t Start Without Me

“Home For My Heart was one of the highlights of last year’s Christmas, and happily I can absolutely report that they’ve done it again.”

Tim: You’ll remember The not-legally-allowed-to-call-themselves-Bucks Fizz’s Christmassed up Home For My Heart was one of the highlights of last year’s Christmas, and happily I can absolutely report that they’ve done it again. I don’t want to spoil anything, so just press play and watch this utterly wonderful video.

Tom: “Will it ever stop raining / they’re cancelling trains and” is the worst rhyming couplet this week, Tim.

Tim: True, and if we’re honest perhaps of this year as well. BUT that is one tiny, minor, niggling point in this otherwise 100% number. You see, I’ll be getting the train back to my parents’ place for Christmas this year, and I won’t lie to you, part of me hopes the train breaks down, so all of us passengers can have a party while we’re waiting, exchanging gifts, breaking out the booze, and everyone dancing around to electric guitars, lyrics that include “toot toot” and absolutely glorious key changes.

Tom: I actually muttered “oh, piss off” under my breath after that “toot toot”. It’s just a series of gripes. And “don’t start without me”, while a good turn of phrase, actually just means everyone’s sitting around waiting for the one person who couldn’t plan in time. YES I’M OVERANALYSING THIS.

Tim: BUT EVERYTHING IN IT IS GOOD. The thing I love so much about this song is that it just keeps escalating: initially, you’ve got everything that makes up a great pop song. A minute and a half in and the video throws in an impromptu party on a train. Forty seconds more, and up comes the song to say “hang on, let me give you a ludicrous electric guitar breakdown”. A bit later: “no, that wasn’t enough, here’s a bloody ridiculous key change for you”.

Tom: If only it were a good song.

Tim: Oh, mate. This is, hands down, one of my favourite songs of the year, and the fact that it’s a Christmas just makes it even better.

The Fizz feat. Rick Wakeman – Home For My Heart

“That proper Christmassy bit at the end is quite lovely”

Tim: If you weren’t aware of The Fizz (as I wasn’t until ten minutes before I started writing this), it’s a fun tale, but long story short, it’s a reunited Bucks Fizz without (a) one of the members, and (b) the rights to the name.

Tom: Fortunately, Cheryl Baker’s still there, who is — I’m fairly sure — the only member of Bucks Fizz that most people that most people could name. So, sure, okay, this is The Fizz now.

Tim: Earlier this year they released an album, The F-Z of Pop, and now they’ve sprinkled some bells on top of one of the tracks and called it festive.

Tom: And they got Rick Wakeman! How on earth did they get Rick Wakeman on this? Does he need the money? Do they have blackmail material on him? Does he owe one of them a favour?

Tom: Mind you, that’s a pretty good guitar solo. As for the rest of it…

Tim: Well first off: MASSIVE disappointment when those drums beats into the middle eight wasn’t followed by an enormous key change as would have been entirely proper. Second: that proper Christmassy bit at the end is quite lovely, and it’s nice to see that that haven’t just done a Little Mix.

Tom: Yep, full marks for that last part.

Tim: Third: man alive, that closing chorus line melody is familiar, but I can’t for the life of me place it right now.

Tom: Same – specifically, that harmony on “home”. I just can’t place it.

Tim: And all the rest: this is an entirely decent track, and I’m kind of annoyed I missed their return earlier this year. But here we are now, and it’s nicely done. Just, dammit give me a key change.