Listen to this track by unabashed brassy British pop song poppists Haircut 100. It’s “Fantastic Day” as taken from their first and last record to feature frontman and chief songwriter Nick Heyward, that being Pelican West from 1982.
That record would yield three big hits, with this one included, charting at #9 in the UK. Another would be “Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)” that showed off their interests in funk-flavoured pop. They’d have another hit from that record, “Love Plus One” that made waves here in Canada, as well as scoring a top 40 placement in the US.
But, this song has always been my favourite from this short-lived band that made a big splash. Of course, they were very much of their time. This song straddles lines that would be tricky today. For one thing, the band employed a full-time saxophonist – Phil Smith. This was easy as pie in the 1980s, of course. Another thing is that they were not ironic in any demonstrative way. They had a happy-go-lucky sort of image that completely sold them to audiences.
That certainly comes through here. Just listen to this song that just crackles with optimism and joie de vivre. If you’ve seen the video for “Fantastic Day”, it’s pretty easy to take it all at face value, with all of the smiles, fake car trips, preppy nautical clothes, and caps worn at jaunty angles.
So if everything was so fantastic, what the heck happened with this band? Read more