418. ‘Figaro’, by Brotherhood of Man

Deep breath… here we go again. For their final chart-topping trick, the Brotherhood do Boney M!

Figaro, by Brotherhood of Man (their 3rd and final #1)

1 week, from 5th – 12th February 1978

Boney M, with a dash of oompah. To tell the tale of a Spanish love-rat. Every morning when the sun is dawning, You’ll see him down on the beach… He’s a lothario, a sleazeball, maybe even a gold-digger… He’s out to make a killing… And baby if you’re willing, He’s gonna ask for more! He sounds a bit like Mozart’s philandering ‘Figaro’, which gives us perhaps the most unlikely musical comparison ever.

This, in case my little taster there didn’t spell it out clearly enough, is tremendous trash. They’ve done it again, Brotherhood of Man: taken the poppiest sounds of the day, and made them even poppier. They did it with bubblegum (‘Save Your Kisses…’), they did it with ABBA (‘Angelo’), and now they’ve done it with disco. To think this knocked off Althea & Donna’s impossibly cool ‘Uptown Top Ranking’ off top spot! Mind you, ‘Angelo’ kicked ‘I Feel Love’ out the way, so they have form in that regard…

Does this mean, though, that I dislike this record? Well, um… no. It’s catchy, dumb, and a whole lot of fun. In fact, I think this is the best of the Brotherhood’s three #1s. And it’s all down to our inveterate shagger. Uh-ho Figaro… He’s got magic-o woah… Playing guitar at the disco bar, he has his pick of the girls. What I don’t understand is why the band are making out that this is a bad thing? Why else do you have a holiday in Majorca, if not for a no-strings roll around with a Figaro?

Before doing this countdown, I of course knew Brotherhood of Man for their Eurovision-winning, million selling ‘Save Your Kisses…’, which still gets a fair bit of play today. I had no knowledge of their two follow-up number ones. I’m amazed they got two more number-ones, to be honest, and suspect that they sneaked these two one-weekers when sales were low. Still, you can only beat what’s in front of you. They remind me of Bucks Fizz, another poptastic Eurovision act who are remembered for their winning single, despite having big follow-up hits. They’ll be along soon enough…

As for Brotherhood of Man, they are still a going concern, despite a brief hiatus in the eighties. All four of the original members are there, in ‘great demand on the nostalgia and the gay circuits’… (Wikipedia’s words, not mine) Add to this the fact that there was a completely different version of the band floating around in the early ‘70s, that had scored a #10 hit in 1970, and there you go. They’re indestructible! Nothing breaks the Brotherhood…’



14 thoughts on “418. ‘Figaro’, by Brotherhood of Man

  1. very generous review there! 🙂 I disliked this record after tolerating a few weeks of non-stop radio plays and I’ll take Angelo or Oh Boy (The Mood I’m In) over any of their other records, none of which are great, though I can at least understand the universal appeal of Save Your Kisses. Bucks Fizz, though, are leagues ahead in terms of quality compared to the more cabaret circuit chicken-in-a-basket BOM. I mean I like them for lasting and staying together, and as people they are charming and down-to-earth and I’m very happy for them, but I’ve never been tempted by their Greatest Hits, not even the £5 triple CD Gold collection. I have the 2 singles I rate on vinyl, and Kisses on a Eurovision Greatest double CD, so Figaro can live on as that slightly annoying record that the fab next chart-topper knocked off the top…. 🙂

    • Haha! I actually kind of, genuinely, somehow… did enjoy this. Maybe it was the novelty factor, as I really had never heard it before. Can’t say I’m sad to see the back of BOM, though, but bring on Bucks Fizz!

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  3. Whats with all of the ABBA knockoffs? I never realized there were this many. They didn’t make much of a noise over here.

    • Yep, I wasn’t aware they had so many follow-ups. Everyone in the UK knows their Eurovision winning ‘Save Your Kisses…’, but the rest seem to have been forgotten (for good reason, probably!)

      • They must have not reached over here at all…or much…and I’m grateful lol…I’ll take the real thing instead.

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