You might remember that I like to take notes on each #1 I’m going to write about, usually after finishing the previous post. My first note on this, 1988’s big summer smoocher, reads: ‘Straight in with the sax!’
Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You, by Glenn Medeiros (his 1st and only #1)
4 weeks, from 3rd – 31st July 1988
The use of saxophones in number one singles is a contentious issue for me, and one of the big black marks on the right-hand side of my ‘1980s Pros & Cons’ sheet. Used properly and sparingly, for maximum effect, they can be glorious. But for every ‘China in Your Hand’ or ‘Baby Jane’, there’s a ‘What’s Another Year’. However, all these songs, for better or worse, kept the sax for the solo. ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You’ does a ‘Careless Whisper’, and whips its instrument out from the start. So to speak…
It instantly sets the tone, and instantly consigns this song to sub-Disney theme gloop. There’s no recovering from ploughing straight in with such a cheesy, sleazy sax. Not that Glenn Medeiros tries particularly hard to recover any credibility. He’s quite happy to wallow in his saccharine mess… Hold me now, Touch me now, I don’t want to live without you…
The verses are really lame. The key change is a proper teeth-grinder. The video is all soft-focus sunset strolls along the beach, and smouldering stares down the camera lens, as anyone over the age of fourteen swallows back their vomit. And yet… Nothing’s gonna change my love for you, You oughta know by now how much I love you…The chorus is the moment it all hangs together, for a couple of seconds. It’s pure cheese, but the drums pound and the sax soars, and it is kind of glorious. Then it collapses back in on its gloopy self. Meh. (At least the Brian May impression from whoever was on lead guitar for the solo redeems things slightly once more…)
It’s fitting that this chart topper followed directly on from Bros – two sides of the teenybopper coin. For every fun and funky dance pop hit, teenage girls were just as likely to send shit like this to number one. The fact that Glenn Medeiros was just eighteen himself, with floppy black hair and puppy dog eyes, probably helped shift a few copies too. He’s Hawaiian, and this was his first big hit. The closest he came to repeating this record’s success was a few years later, with ‘She Ain’t Worth It’ – a duet with Bobby Brown that made #12 (and hit #1 in the US). He’s since gone on to a career as a teacher and headmaster of schools in his home state.
‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You’, meanwhile, had originally been recorded by soul crooner George Benson. His version is a bit more grown up, but every bit as slick and icky. Westlife have also covered it (of course they have…) Meanwhile, I can confirm that it is a hugely well-known English song in the Far East and South-East Asia – up there with the Carpenters and Celine Dion – where tolerance for this kind of cheese is much higher. Why not enjoy it in Cantonese here, before you go?