GUSWORLD
Single Of The Week 31/10/97

Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

Foolish Games
Jewel
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When Jewel released her debut single, 'Who Will Save Your Soul?', last year, it annoyed the crap out of me. I was equally unimpressed by the followup, 'You Were Meant For Me', which seemed to spend an unseemly amount of time in the upper reaches of the charts earlier this year despite having a melody worthy of a nursery rhyme. So I wasn't at all well-disposed to like 'Foolish Games', which was the follow-up single.

It probably didn't hurt, then, that the first time I heard the song, it was on the radio and I had no idea who had performed it. I just thought it was a particularly impressive piano ballad, not too schmaltzy, with some nice edgy strings and a lyric that didn't pander to the saccharine sentiment-drenched needs of the Celine Dion set. And I still think that.

It also probably didn't hurt that the single version was produced by Peter Collins, who many years beforehand was responsible for production on Nik Kershaw's first two albums. There's also a version of the track on Jewel's Pieces Of You album; it's still recognisably the same song, but there's something about this re-recording that adds the needed edge.

In the US, 'Foolish Games' was actually the B-side to the aforementioned 'You Were Meant For Me', but strong airplay for the re-recorded version former has meant that the single has re-entered the Top 10 as a double A-side. This makes it likely that the song will soon have the longest chart run ever of any song on the Billboard Hot 100, which has upset some chart fans no end. Here, the song has been released entirely independently, with two non-album B-sides. As yet, I haven't listened to them; 'Foolish Games' is great, but I don't want to risk another encounter of the unpleasant kind.


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