Al Crawford

One that got away. This single was released, rather bizarrely, just a few days before Christmas 1990 with the result that it only appeared on the shelves in the gap between Christmas and New Year and was gone by the time 1991 came. If ever I wanted to kill a single stone dead, this is when I'd release it.

Which is a pity, since it's a fine pop song. Respect were (and possibly still are) a 3 piece from Sheffield producing dance music of the white soul variety. For this, their first single, they enlisted the aid of another local musician, Phillip Oakey of The Human League (who wasn't doing anything at the time and, as far as I can tell, hasn't been doing anything since). The result is a quality synth duet between Oakey and Respect's female vocalist (whose name escapes me). Reminiscent of the Human League in sound, although rather lighter and poppier. Very pretty indeed.

The second track is a rather tacky Phil Harding remix, which takes the lightly danceable sound of the original 7" and mauls it thoroughly.

The third and fourth tracks don't feature Oakey on guest vocals and illustrate why nothing has been heard of Respect since (except for another single which also sank without trace and an album which was never released). Without the seasoning of Oakey's distinctive vocals their sound is palatable but not exactly tasty. Ugh, apologies for that metaphor.