Song / Contract Of The Heart

Spelt Like This / Contract Of The Heart

AMBO Count

4

"Contract Of The Heart" is a song written by Russell McKenzie and Alan Richards and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman.

Recorded in December 1984, it was selected as the debut single from Spelt Like This. It’s a very strong track, with a beguiling melody, plus heartfelt if slightly elliptical lyrics and the whole thing wrapped up in a lovely arrangement and production courtesy of SAW.

At this time, it is understood that SAW often created a 12 inch as the master and would then edit the track down into a 7” version. Listening to both versions of Contract of the Heart, it certainly sounds like that was the case, and whilst the 7” version is perfectly fine, the track definitely works better in its extended form.

The B-side carried the SAW-produced instrumental St Valentine’s Day Mascara (Say It With Cadavers) and its extended variant 12 inch Extensive Massacre. Credited to all three band members for composition, the track was based on an instrumental backing created by Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, with the additional elements and samples contributed by the band and the producers. Whilst this track is not a typical pop track and does not have vocals, it’s a great experimental track that one feels would have made an impact on the charts had it been an A-side.

With the release date set for February 1985, EMI set about a huge promotional campaign for both band and single, in which no expense was spared.

A wealth of SLT-branded promotional items was issued to TV, radio and press outlets to generate coverage for the band and their much-anticipated debut single; these apparently included badges, T-shirts and even a dictionary.

The 7” and 12” singles came in double covers, as one would get with a vinyl album. The outer cover was die-cut, with square holes displaying the letters printed on the inner cover to reveal the title of the single. The inner sleeve of the 12" single included photographs of a naked male lower torso on one side, and a naked female lower torso on the other.

Interestingly, the record carries the credit “Produced by WASP”, which is an acronym for Waterman Aitken Stock Productions. Certainly, there were a number of variations of the SAW credits at this time before they settled on Stock Aitken Waterman, but this is an especially interesting one.

Sadly the single peaked at #91 in the chart.

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Single cover