Greatest Hits - One Thing Leads To Another
MCA Records, 1989
REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/08/2000
At first listen, one wonders if there's even a reason to put out a greatest hits compilation by The Fixx. At best a second-echelon '80s synthesizer pop band, The Fixx's chart impact and musical influence is at best negligible; the most notable thing about the band was the quirky vocal stylings of lead vocalist Cy Curnin. It hardly seems worth the effort to discuss or review.
However, dipping into it dispels some of these stereotypes. The Fixx is candy, but at least it's tasty candy, and if one has to listen to a musical footnote, well, one could do a lot worse. The Fixx had a decent sound, perhaps derivative but at least solid, and their songs were punctuated by a healthy dose of percussion and funky bass that was a breath of fresh air in the decade that turned "Tainted Love" (*ICK*) into a "classic".
The CD starts with "One Thing Leads To Another", and if you've heard a single song by The Fixx, you've heard this. Interesting harmonies make it at least distinctive, and it doesn't suffer from the blight of radio overplay that makes me still wince when certain songs from the Decade O' Pastel come on. (If I ever hear John Cougar Mellencamp's "Authority Song" or Human League's "Don't You Want Me" again, it'll be too damn soon).
From there, however, Greatest Hits - One Thing Leads To Another delves into some even more remote territory. "Red Skies", originally from 1987's React CD, has an almost U2 sound to it, with a call and response refrain. "Less Cities, More Moving People" from 1984's Phantoms has an interesting syncopated percussion line underlying simple vocals. My personal favorites on the CD are "Are We Ourselves?", with its driving bass, and "Sign Of Fire" from 1983's Reach The Beach, which is just…weird. But fun. A lot of fun.
For you Fixx completists out there, and I'm sure there are one or two, this CD includes two movie soundtrack songs ("Deeper And Deeper" from 1984's Streets Of Fire and "A Letter To Both Sides" from 1985's Fletch) and a 12" remix of "Built For The Future" from 1986's Walkabout CD that's one of the best things on the CD. (It's called the "Rock Version," and it does actually rock. Scary, that.)
Overall, Greatest Hits - One Thing Leads To Another is a decent overview of a band whose sound fully reflects a single decade. For fans of '80s music, it's a good thing to have around, and for The Fixx fans it's a well-laid out and well-done greatest hits album. What more can you ask for, really?