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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Dollar - 1982 The Dollar Album
Dollar - 1982 The Dollar Album

ARTIST: Dollar
ALBUM: The Dollar Album
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2010, Cherry Pop Records, CRPOP41


LINEUP: Thereza Bazar, David Van Day - lead vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mirror Mirror * 02 Give Me Back My Heart * 03 Hand Held In Black And White * 04 Pink And Blue * 05 I Got Your Wrong Number * 06 Guessing Games * 07 Give Me Some Kinda Magic * 08 Videotheque * 09 Dangerous Blonde * 10 You Made Me Love You * 11 Anyone Who's Anyone * 12 Second Time Around


Dollar were a duo that sprang from the band Guys And Dolls in the mid to late 70's. Guys And Dolls did have some short lived middling chart success here in the UK, but when Van Day and Bazar split to go it alone in Dollar, expectations for the newly formed group were not too high. But, to confound critics almost immediately the duo found chart success, and racked up some 10 top 40 singles in the UK over a period of some 9 years. Seen primarily as a singles act and also 'Pop Puppets' by large swathes of the UK music press, it was easy to dismiss them as nothing more than a manufactured band, something that in today's pop market is an all too familiar concept. With 'The Dollar Album' the duo sought to seek some credibility and chose to hire the former Buggles/Yes front man Trevor Horn to oversee some recording sessions and also provide some new, more modern sounding material, and in turn Horn enlisted former Camera Club man Bruce Woolley and composer Simon Darlow who had also worked with Horn from his time in The Buggles to help in the song writing department. With Van Day and Bazar also handling production duties and also the rest of the album's song writing, this album was seen by both band and record company as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, but like so many other bands this was to end somewhat acrimoniously with the couple splitting up and vowing never to work together again. This album was the pinnacle of their success going silver here in the UK, and producing no less than 5 top 40 singles.

The Songs
The band, in approaching Horn was looking for a more expansive almost cinematic sound and felt that his work with both Yes and The Buggles would suit their vision of that sound. The singles 'Mirror, Mirror', 'Hand Held In Black And White' and the sublime 'Give Me Back My Heart' open the album and demonstrate in some ways the sound that would dominate the British singles chart in the 80's and arguably paved the way for the likes of ABC, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The aforementioned tracks are all gorgeous slabs of early 80's pop and coupled with the state of the art production were a breath of fresh air. In particular the epic 'Give Me Back My Heart' which to this day is one of my all time favourite songs, in places it reminds me of 10cc's 'I'm Not In Love' and includes a beautiful complex coda which makes up for 5 minutes of pop perfection. The other singles pulled from the album 'Give Me Some Kinda Magic' and 'Videotheque' also echoed the electro pop sounds, that some of the New Romantic movement had started using back then. The rest of the album is no slouch though either and was produced in the main by Bazar, who spent hours studying Horn's production techniques and as such the quality does not drop one iota, and also the song writing which was then handled by both Van Day and Bazar, showed Dollar as not mere pop puppets but displaying a fine turn in coming up with a top mixture of ballads and more upbeat numbers in particular the bouncy 'I Got Your Number Wrong', 'Anyone Who's Anyone', 'Dangerous Blondes' and 'Guessing Games' the last three all predominately featuring the breathless vocals of Bazar. In truth though there is barely a misstep on this album.... sure it can be argued that is just a bit of pop fluff, but I hear an album of real quality, which to my mind gets unfairly overlooked because in the main the name Dollar is seen to carry a certain amount of naffness to it. The reissued version of the album (it's first appearance on CD) contains various alternative mixes which were in vogue in the day, but in truth offer very little in the way of any real surprises. For me at any rate 'The Dollar Album' is somewhat of a lost classic of its kind, and gets short shrift from most people... a shame really. I really like it (there, I've nailed my colours firmly to the mast!).

In Summary
The intervening years have generally not been kind to Van Day whose subsequent antics on reality TV has done little or nothing to enhance the reputation of the band's name. Bazar on the other hand went on to work with such luminaries like Mike Chapman and Arif Mardin and coming up with a pretty decent solo album 'The Big Kiss' as well as producing an album for the band Paparazzi (A David Sylvian/Japan sounding combo) which sadly remains unreleased. Bazar I believe now resides happily in Australia and did make some tentative steps to come back to the business a few years back, but other than that ... nothing. Whether or not Dollar is fit to grace the pages of Glorydaze is a moot point, and sure to generate some opinions either way. All I ask is give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised... or then again maybe not.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 16 2015 23:03:12
Dollar - 1982 Give Me Back My Heart
#2 | gdazegod on November 16 2015 23:12:23
Great track. I love how breathy it is.
#3 | swazi on November 17 2015 16:18:24
#4 | tompa on November 17 2015 17:17:49
Against all odds, I remember liking it back then. Have to revisit it to check out how I feel about the album now. Mirror Mirror is still a great song.
#5 | Carl Noonan on November 17 2015 18:18:25
I really didn't like anything about Dollar back in the day. They were so cheesy to watch and the music was just wimpy pop drivel on a par with Brotherhood of Man. I couldn't get through the track above and I tried but it was just as bad as I remember them being when they were on Top of the Pops a lot. Simply I'd rather shit on my hands and clap than listen to anymore of this. I appreciate some of you like this type of stuff but Dollar are just not for me.
#6 | Nick C on November 17 2015 20:41:10
Grin Had to chuckle at that. But I agree 'bands' like Dollar were the exact reason my tastes tended towards the heavier side of the spectrum and were everything I disliked about music back then. Having said that I was 20 when this came out so I can't blame Dollar alone for my dislike of this kind of stuff. I know I've got wimpier in my old age ... but no...if I start saying I like stuff like Dollar then ship me off to the padded cell. Not having a go if folk like it ... but certainly not for me. Malc / George hats off yer brave men Grin
#7 | Carl Noonan on November 17 2015 21:18:12
Hi Nick I'm with you mate. There was loads of stuff like this that was very successful but just didn't appeal to me, Buck Fizz, The Dooleys, Liquid Gold, Bacarra, The Nolans etc etc. I started with Slade, Bowie, The Sweet, Alice Cooper and Mott The Hoople as there was just something about them that was exciting and started my love of music. I do like some pop songs though so I am not averse to something a bit lighter than my usual tastes. Jennifer Page 'Crush', Tina Arena 'Chains', The Korgis 'Everybody's Got To Learn Sometimes' are a few great ones that spring to mind. I love Sade's stuff too.
#8 | Eric on November 17 2015 21:42:47
I think it's a fine review and this type of pop deserves a place here as much as Barry Manilow, Scott Baio and the Rex Smith debut. So many Bubblegum artists and producers went on to bigger and sometimes better things (10cc as a classic example). From a historical perspective, it all ties together.
#9 | Nick C on November 17 2015 22:54:54
Heh! That was me watching Top of the Pops, Sweet, Slade, Cooper and Mott...I used to trade posters with my cousin out of mags like Look-In I'd give her the Bay City Rollers and she'd give me the Sweet ones! Loved them because my mum and dad hated them hahaha! Funny though there's only Mott I bother with these days in fact they're the only one I have ever owned albums by from the ones I mentioned. Whereas mum had a Nolans album. I can still distinctly remember watching those bands and my mum moaning about them and me sort of hiding behind the head rest of the chair loving it!
#10 | Explorer on November 18 2015 00:35:16
Appreciate the feedback fellas, I was weaned on the Glam rock of the early 70`s and love it to this day, I just happen to have a certain penchant for the type of music that Dollar peddled back then...not a crime is it??
#11 | Carl Noonan on November 18 2015 08:17:35
Explorer of course it's not a crime, you like what you like. however, we all have our opinions and that's all they are. it's fun to share and have some banter. Even the usual genres that are featured are not liked by everyone.
#12 | Explorer on November 18 2015 09:18:52
I`ve no problem with it Carl, I was half expecting some negativity anyway, but your initial comment did make me laugh, and it conjured up some rather interesting imagery for me. Now that I`ve got Dollar out of my system (so to speak), I`ll be back on more familiar territory very soon with Queen`s ' A Night at the Opera'
#13 | Carl Noonan on November 18 2015 18:41:34
Now your talking:-)
#14 | Nick C on November 18 2015 20:25:55
Queen??? Isn't that them blokes that dressed up as women in a video....not my cup of tea I'm afraid! Grin Grin Grin Grin
#15 | Explorer on November 18 2015 20:37:08
Ha Ha,to quote what was going to be the title of Queen' s debut album...deary me. Cheers Nick.
#16 | code4 on November 19 2015 12:53:43
Much enjoyed the informative review and looking forward to check out The Dollar Album. When i was 12 and got a new, albeit second hand, 'midi system' because my elder sister's matching ones didn't work anymore (does anyone remember when all in one hi-fi's for a time were completely nonsensically called midi systems?) one of the few left over records in my house from my elder sister's past collections was a 'NOW that's what i call greatest hits'. Well, I enjoyed a scratched up 'Kate Bush- Hounds Of Love' more than this horrible two disc set which had hardly any good songs on it (or so i felt at the time) yet towards the end there was this song by a band called Dollar 'O L'Amour' which i really liked big time. The synth sound that briefly appears after the chorus is a little harsh/unpleasant in retrospect and the verses a little campy, but the chorus itself made me replay this song to death. Probably one of my first 'conscious' exposures to great melody. Later i learned that Erasure did this song too and probably to more success but i prefer the Dollar version. Anyhow since that time i've always wanted to get a Dollar cd. On many occasions in the last years i've very almost bought a cheap dollar greatest hits on ebay. So, even if there's no Oh L'Amour I will give this album a listen to start with instead, cheers
#17 | dangerzone on January 05 2017 06:51:27
Having offered up my fair share of dodgy albums to the site in the past I'm the last one to cast dispersion on another submission. However after reading the comments and downloading this out of interest, I can honestly say I won't be revisiting this again any time soon.
#18 | gdazegod on January 05 2017 09:41:16
Lol Alun, awaiting your next surprise in due course.
#19 | Explorer on January 05 2017 16:36:58
Well, at least you gave it a listen.
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