Number Ones: #135


  • BROS I Owe You Nothing (CBS)
  • Week Ending 2nd July 1988
  • 1 Week At #1

The peak of BROS-mania. Their solitary UK #1 (but second on my charts) proved to be as good as it would ever get for Matt, Luke and Craig/Ken.

CBS planned the Push campaign very astutely, holding back I Owe You Nothing until after Drop The Boy. Despite flopping hard on its original release in 1987, it was the clear standout in their catalogue and thanks to a nifty remix for its reissue in June 1988, finally fulfilled its potential.

The problem thereafter, was a lack of equally excellent material rather than the Bros faithful suddenly abandoning ship. The first mis-step was choosing I Quit as the next single, a decent album cut but never, ever likely to be a proper hit single. It debuted at #4 and immediately went into decline. Some relief was achieved with the Christmas ’88 pairing of Cat Among The Pigeons with the non-album Silent Night; only the combined might of Sir Cliff, Kylie & Jason and the Neighbours mania that sent Angry Anderson’s Suddenly shooting up into the top 3 prevented another possible chart-topper.

They also waited far too long to come up anything new, post-Push. Pop is unforgiving at the best of times, so leaving your teen fanbase hovering for over 6 months was a huge risk. Too Much was, ironically, not enough. A frenetic, sub-Michael Jackson pop/rock workout lacking a strong enough melody, it shared the refrain of another song, Madly In Love, which singer Matt Goss had been teasing to the media in interviews as far back as late 1988.

Clearly intended as an ambitious centrepiece for the second album, Madly In Love was originally a concept song in excess of 10 minutes, and unlikely to be a winner with the chart pop crowd. It summed up the misguided obsessions that did for The Time, eventually released in October 1989. By then merely a duo, Bros forgot the basic rules of glorious pop music and succumbed to creative hubris by insisting on taking the reins at the expense of the people who had made Push such a success.

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