Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hazell Dean Sings ABBA

Rug munching dance diva Hazell Dean has been a favourite of mine since her glory days as the pre-Kylie queen of Stock Aitken Waterman. Songs like "Searchin'", "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" and "Who's Leaving Who" are pop classics and rank as some of the finest material to ever be churned out by the hit factory. Unfortunately, the hits began to run dry in the late 80s and like any sensible down on her luck diva, Hazell turned her focus to the club scene and frequently collaborated with Hi-NRG guru Ian Levine (with varying degrees of success). At her lowest point in the mid-90s, the leading lesbian of dance recorded an album of Hi-NRG ABBA covers.

Words can not adequately describe the agony and the ecstasy that is "Hazell Dean Sings ABBA". The musical equivalent of a car crash, reason dictates that the album should be set on fire or thrown in the nearest garbage bin but I can't get enough of Hazell's Hi-NRG ABBA covers. Apart from its obvious camp appeal, the joy of Hazell's ABBA tribute album lies in the unusual song selection. Hazell gives a batch of lesser known ABBA gems a makeover. "If It Wasn't For The Nights" and "Andante, Andante" are two obvious standouts. Several ABBA classics are still represented. You haven't lived until you hear the tacky keyboards on "S.O.S." or Hazell's hilariously upbeat interpretation of "The Winner Takes It All" (a lofty #89 "hit"). Not surprisingly the album flopped to an extent that would shame La Toya Jackson but Hazell's misunderstood masterpiece has found a loyal cult following and has been re-issued at least 5 times. Fuck "ABBA Gold"! Who needs the real thing when you could be listening to Hazell's trashtastic covers? "Hazell Dean Sings ABBA" is a pop trash classic.

12 comments:

Miss Halliwell said...

I was first given this album as a present 10 years ago when it was on offer in Gay Times. You received a signed Hazell pic and gave her at least one pound towards her retirement fund!

Her version of The Winner Takes It All is a fantastic piece of high camp, only to be appreciated in the full length 12 inch version found on the CD single!

If It Wasn't For The Nights is magical and her version of The King Has Lost It's Crown is so gay that i burst a blood vessel trying to control my excitement!

Like An Angel Passing Through My Room is a fantastic example of Hazell's stunning vocals, which i have witnessed in person at least 20 times. Sad, i know!

Unlike other diva's, namely Kelly Marie, Hazell still sings in the same glorious key as she always has and she is a joy to see live.

I wish she would release some new material as i am in Dyke Withdrawl and rejoicing in the joys of the title track from her Always album. (Not to be confused with Always Ultra feminine products!)

Mike, you are a treasure introducing all the young gays to Big Hazell!

Big Kiss
XX
Miss H
x

Mike said...

Deirdre, I'm so jealous! I'd go down on Beth Ditto for the pleasure of seeing Hazell strut her stuff live. As trashy as "Hazell Dean Sings ABBA" is, I totally agree about her voice. Hazell still sounds lovely - unlike Kelly Marie who sounds like she's a 40 fag a day smoker. "If It Wasn't For The Nights" is high camp heaven. In fact, I love the whole album. You really need to send me the 12" of "The Winner Takes It All"! Surely your next album should include a handful of Hazell covers?!

Jamie said...

Bless her, well it beats cleaning toilets or signing on I suppose.

J'ason D'luv said...

First of all, Haley Joel Osmet looks great in that top pic... he's really grown up to be a hansome fucker, no?

Second, Hazell... nothing beats her 1987 smash flop "Always Doesn't Mean Forever"! Jam of that decade, it was...

Mike said...

I totally agree - that song is bliss. Pete Waterman should forget about that pack of useless cunts (The Sheilas) and devote his time to rejuvenating Hazell's career!

Adem With An E said...

One of the most stunning pieces of wax in my house houses the words "HAZEL DEAN - SEARCHIN (12" MIX)" on its label.

What an absolute legend.

Mike said...

Searchin' = bliss! Even the Loose Beavers couldn't improve on Hazell's stunning original!

Jamie_movietrip said...

I sent you some Hazell goodies, Mike! I would kill to see Hazell live. This post has totally put me in the mood for re-visiting some of her classics especially Always Doesn't Mean Forever and her take on Bon Jovi's 'Living On A Prayer'! Fanulous post as 'Always'....

Mike said...

Jamie, thanks a million! I can't wait to check out some of Hazell's finest pop moments. We have to bite the bullet and update the site. I think Hazell is screaming out to be added to our diva gallery!

Anonymous said...

She is the best female singer ever imo. xxx

SILJA said...

I have a South-African tape of this cd, but I will pay the full prize for a cd to anyone who can make a copy of the cd who includes a good copy of the sleeve (black and white) and the booklet inside the cd. I will pay. I only find the single of "Winner Takes It All", burned cd`s without any sleeve is the same as no cd at all...

Erik said...

It's all erroneous the thing you are saying.
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