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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Waterman, Dennis - 1980 So Good For You
Waterman, Dennis - 1980 So Good For You

ARTIST: Waterman, Dennis
ALBUM: So Good For You
LABEL: EMI, Music For Pleasure
SERIAL: EMC 3349, 41 5637 1
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Dennis Waterman - vocals * Phil Palmer - guitar * Mo Foster - bass * Graham Jarvis, Peter Van Hooke - drums * Ian Lynne - synthesizer

TRACK LISTING: 01 Jamaica Woman * 02 Wasn't Love Strong Enough * 03 Holding On To Love * 04 What You See Is What You Get * 05 Gone Wrong Song * 06 Love's Left Me Bleeding * 07 Nothing At All * 08 Love Is Like A Rainbow * 09 I Could Be So Good For You * 10 The Lady's Up To No Good

Those of a certain age growing up in the likes of the United Kingdom and down under will undoubtedly be familiar with Dennis Waterman running hot in the likes of classic shows like 'The Sweeney' and 'Minder' in the 70's and 80's. Waterman had a music career on the side though, releasing three albums from 1976 to 1980, this his last being his most noteworthy due to the number three chart hit 'I Could Be So Good For You,' the theme to 'Minder'. It wasn't until a few days ago I actually became aware of this album however, happening to chance upon 'Wasn't Love Strong Enough' which being such superior AOR piqued my interest in hunting down 'So Good For You'. Upon doing so I'd have to say it was good for me indeed, Waterman assembling a first rate set of sessions musicians to record this excellent album. Based on this Waterman could have ditched his acting and become a vocalist alone, which sadly never happened.

The Songs
The brash 'Jamaica Woman' opens the album in a quirky half reggae/west coast style which is better than it sounds. This reminds me of Rupert Holmes and some of his more offbeat material, very catchy most importantly. Dennis hits gold on 'Wasn't Love Strong Enough' which is definitive AOR for the turn of the 1980's. It has all the vestiges of U.S. AOR despite being English in composition and execution. The harmonies are on another level, assisted by AOR luminaries Dominic Bugatti and Frank Musker. This one will keep you coming back for more, I know I did. This is my kind of melodic rock. Almost as accomplished is 'Holding on to Love' where Waterman comes off as cool as a Boz Scaggs or Robbie Dupree, with that timeless west coast sound, synthesizer solo and all. The Cockney lads only strains of 'What You See Is What You Get' are far more British, the sort of knees up track you might hear in a pub, with Dennis telling the world 'no woman has changed me yet' which apparently is true after his multiple failed marriages and domestic assaults. 'Gone Wrong Song' is a serious ballad by comparison, very sedate and almost worthy enough to be on a Poco album, with slight country overtones in the guitar work. 'Love's Left Me Bleeding' is surely the archetypal AOR song title and Waterman doesn't disappoint, this being so great I can barely get my head around it. It's the type of heavy undercover lover AOR which fans of this genre thrive on, Waterman a natural at this type of material. This more than runs Airplay close for AOR supremacy in 1980. Take a listen to it, it's in a different class. 'Nothing At All' is another ballad, Waterman sounding like Neil Diamond on this one, intentionally surely, such is the similarity. The AOR isn't over though, 'Love Is A Rainbow' another great addition to the album, this one with some funkier bass work and a huge soaring chorus. There's little need to describe 'I Could Be So Good For You' which to this day remains one of the most identifiable theme songs of all time. I couldn't get sick of this if I tried, and that's after listening to it for over three decades. The country styled 'The Lady's Up To No Good' is a good romp to end the album, not taking itself too seriously, but it would have been nice to hear another AOR track given the strength of those particular songs earlier.

In Summary
I could see this being a curiosity to some, but it's certainly more than commendable, with at least three true AOR classics on board. Those make it worth hearing alone, as good as you'll hear from 1980. Discovering music like this keeps things interesting and what a shame Waterman didn't release albums after this. Surely a 1982 or 1983 album would have been even better. It just adds to the legend that is Dennis Waterman.

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#1 | gdazegod on December 20 2014 23:32:18
His song 'I Could Be So Good For You' is a bit famous in NZ! DW could be to England what Jon English was to Australia!
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