In short order, an oral history I’ve put together for Johnny Hates Jazz’s debut album, 1988’s Turn Back the Clock, will be going live on Popdose, but while it serves as a great introduction to the band and their most famous album while also serving as a link to their new album, 2013’s Magnetized, it makes no attempt to tackle the material the band produced between those two records.
It should not be forgotten, however, that after Johnny Hates Jazz’s original lead singer, Clark Datchler, made the decision to depart the ranks more or less as Turn Back the Clock was released (though there are some who say he’d considered this plan of action before they’d even finished recording it), the band opted to soldier on, bringing back the gentleman who’d co-written and sung on the demo their very first single, 1986’s “Me and My Foolish Heart” – Phil Thornalley, who, for better or worse, tends to be better known for his work as a producer and songwriter than as a musician – and emerging with a new single in 1989 called “Turn the Tide.”
Alas, the title of “Turn the Tide” did not prove prophetic for Johnny Hates Jazz’s commercial fortunes: the single only climbed to #84 on the charts. It would be another two years before the band managed to release their sophomore album, 1991’s Tall Stories, by which point the single was so far in the rear view mirror than it didn’t even manage to make it onto the record as a closing track. It has, however, turned up on the band’s various best-of collections.
Please, hold your jokes about how a band with only two albums hardly warrants a best-of collection, let alone a couple of them. Just accept that that’s the nature of the major-label beast…and, in finding that acceptance in your heart, have a listen to the song in question. It’s quite good, really.