Sarah Brightman’s second and last release on Whisper Records would serve as the jump-off for her entrance to musical theatre. “Not Having That!” is probably one of her catchiest tunes from the early era.
It’s available on a seven-inch with “Echo 4,” an aptly-titled version of the A-side with keywords highlighted four times. Get it?
“Not Having That!” is a fun tune that springs to life with disco awesomeness and a very cheeky set of lyrics about not putting up with poor treatment from a prospective lover.
The coolest part of the song has to do with its chorus, which is delivered in somewhat robotic fashion and lots vocal echo. The melody is deceptively simple, with “not having” repeating itself over the disco beat. Brightman slices “Where d’ya think you’re at” so well together that it deserves a contemporary redo.
As with many of her songs of this era, “Not Having That!” was written by Geraint Hughes and Jeff Calvert of…? Typically Tropical!
By May of 1981, Brightman would stick this era of her career in the rearview mirror. She would finally arrive in an Andrew Lloyd Webber production, Cats of course. It would be her dancing ability that would lead to her being cast in the role, but her vocals would come through. We’ll be looking at Cats and Brightman’s Jemima role a little more thoroughly later on.
Needless to say, her ventures through the lands of space-infused disco were interesting. Top-loaded with plenty of sexual innuendos and goofiness, Brightman’s foray into this sort of music really didn’t take off. It stands as a compelling component of what was to come, sure, but it’s hard to say that this is really indicative of the sort of Symphony and Fly stuff that would be coming along.
That’s not to say that early Sarah Brightman stuff lacks substance or goodness. This is fun disco music and it does lay at least some foundations for what happens next.
But her turn to musical theatre and to the confines of Cats didn’t arrive because she was so successful at disco; her turn as Jemima came because she quite frankly needed the money.