To the Stars: Sarah Brightman – “My Boyfriend’s Back”

After knocking us around with three singles based in space, Sarah Brightman returns with “My Boyfriend’s Back.”

No, it’s not a song about her significant other’s difficulty lifting furniture. It’s a 1981 release and her take on The Angels’ hit single. The Angels were a 60’s girl group and the song was originally meant for another girl group, The Shirelles. After a brutal knife fight in the streets of New Jersey, The Angels walked away with the single.

Anyway…

Brightman’s version is her first release on her own Whisper Records. She formed the label with “Starship Trooper” writer Jeffrey Calvert, the dude from Typically Tropical.

Brightman’s take on “My Boyfriend’s Back” is slower – in fact, it almost seems like it’s rolling in slow-motion at times. There are no vocal acrobatics and nothing really stands out about the song, hence the extensive history lesson to fill space.

The B-side to “My Boyfriend’s Back” is “Sleeping Beauty,” a rather nebulous piece of work that provides a take on the classic fairy tale. It was written by Calvert and Geraint Hughes – the other guy from Typically Tropical. See? It’s all coming together now.

In Brightman’s “Sleeping Beauty,” she provides a few more vocal memories than were featured on the single but the pacing is pretty similar and the song is quite bland. Perhaps the most notable part of the proceedings comes when the prince elects to rap his way into the heroine’s dozing heart. The spoken word portion is run through a pretty good filter and sounds kind of haunting.

I will say that the chorus, starting with “Just one kiss, just one touch,” is pretty melodic and neat. It doesn’t feature much by way of striking vocals, mind you, but it’s decent enough feed for a ho-hum pop tune.

“My Boyfriend’s Back” isn’t really a remarkable single by any account. It’s slow and bland and hardly representative of Brightman’s best work – or of what surprises are to come. As with all of the moments in her early career we’ve talked about thus far, “My Boyfriend’s Back” appears to have been kicked to the dustbin of Brightman history. And for good reason.

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