Shakin’ All Over Again

It’s been 24 years since a certain Mr Stevens was at No. 1 lamenting over the condition of his Ole House and puzzling over what lay beyond the Green Door. An image of most people’s remembrance of the man, particularly those content to let memories of the 80s decompose in the fruitbowl of their mind, would probably be soundtracked by those two songs alone, and might entail a man in stonewashed denims, tearing through the 80s in a fast car, stopping only to emblazon it with the words ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’, then slowing down as a ‘90s’ sign appears before swerving into the roadside wilderness, never to be heard of again.

Stevens was the most successful artist of the 80s, selling more records and accruing more weeks in global singles charts than any other artist. He was to the 80s what The Beatles were to the 60s and Elton John to the 70s. By 1990 he’d amassed 30 Top 30 hits, a feat unsurpassed to this day. But it’s usually only three of the four No. 1s – the Christmas Green House trinity – that people remember. This frustrates Stevens.

“Just because they were number one doesn’t mean they were the best ones. I’ve done far better tunes than Green Door or This Ole House, but it’s a vicious circle because you only ever hear those two on compilation CDs and …

by Kris Griffiths
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