By and large, when I write entries for the "Should've Beens" section of "Disc Discussions", my choices tend to come from artists who had made no real commercial impact, often fizzling out just below the Top 30 and condemning their genius to a life only amongst the devoted anoraks and compilation makers. Thanks be to God, praise the rabbit holes of YouTube for keeping their flames alive and ensuring that in some far flung attic they remain unforgotten.
However, this week's choice comes from an artist who was once so ubiquitous and popular, adorning the cover of every teen magazine and appearing across the globe on every pop show, that he practically gave himself a breakdown and was, in effect, fired by the rest of his chart-topping band. Of course, then mental health would not be mentioned but now, everyone would freely admit that this was a call that was entirely wrong.
Presenting the over-looked genius of Nick Heyward.
Nick did go onto have a middling solo career in the aftermath of his time with Haircut 100 - readers of my old Remasters Of The Universe blog may remember my abiding love for "Pelican West" - but his cleverly written and often quite whimsical work seemed at odds with his previous teen image. The returns diminished until around 1988, and then he simply stopped making records.
Another victim of pop's greasy pole.
However, in 1993, much to, at least, my surprise and delight, out he came with an enormously accomplished album "From Monday To Sunday" through Epic which still sounded very much
like Nick Heyward but with an almost baroque sound that made it clear he had been doing not only his Beatles homework (catch the following years fantastic "A Hard Day's Nick" EP) but had been listening to R.E.M. too.
In this world of Crash Test Dummies, Gin Blossoms and R.E.M. it seemed that the UK had found a songsmith worthy of inclusion in that band and his lead single of "Kite" was absolutely nailed on to make everyone reappraise his talent. 1993 was tailor-made for his triumphant return and one of his comeback gigs - a joyous turn, I witnessed at Camden Dingwalls - seemed to indicate that it was only a matter of time.
"Kite" was lavish, clever, catchy and sharp. And it made it to the dizzying heights of #44. It was heartbreaking.
Why such disdain for such a classy record?
I can only assume that such an impression did his cheeky persona and chiselled cheekbones make in 1982 that people had pickled him and simply did not want to think of him as anything other than a pop imp. If you take the time to listen to his albums from the 90s and beyond, you will realise that he has so much more to offer, particularly as a songwriter and lyricis