- JAKI GRAHAM Round And Around (EMI)
- Week Ending 20th July 1985
- 1 Week At #1
More than 18 months into the life of my personal charts, and finally at the end of July 1985 we have a first solo female chart-topping artist. Where the likes of Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Wilde failed, step right up Dame Jaki Graham.
At a time of excellent homegrown British soul/pop (Loose Ends, Cool Notes, 5 Star), Round And Around perhaps best exemplified its sure-footed, easy-going commercial style. Jaki had first appeared on the scene in 1984 with the “quiet storm” ballad Heaven Knows, but it was her duet with fading ’80s star David Grant on Could It Be I’m Falling In Love which caught the public’s attention.
The single made the top 5, and paved the way for Round And Around to capitalise on its success shortly after. Produced and written by Derek Bramble (who had also helmed Bowie’s Loving The Alien, another of my Summer 1985 #1s), the arrangement cleverly played on the giddy feeling of the song’s subject matter, creating a swirling slice of smooth pop with a memorable, cascading chorus.
Blessed with a great voice and bubbly down-to-earth personality, Jaki Graham was a perfect fit for the endless promo merry-go-round of the UK pop scene and, courtesy of a fine run of singles across two albums, became a regular presence on Saturday Morning TV and Top Of The Pops during 1985 and 1986.