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Cutting Crew: Add To Favourites

New album almost 30 years after their biggest hit.

They’ve had a funny old career, have Cutting Crew. Like Hendrix, they were first taken under the wing of Chas Chandler, but in East Grinstead rather than the East Village.

For every one punter disappointed to discover they weren’t a pioneering hip-hop collective, there were hundreds who dug their radio-friendly soft rock. They had their biggest hit with (I Just) Died In Your Arms in 1987, a transatlantic smash, but by 1992 had petered out – whereupon frontman Nick Van Eede forged a career writing songs for other artists, including Believe for Cher.

He’s decided to re-enter the fray in 2015 to prove his chops but while worthy in its musical nods to vintage brass soul, funky boogie and grand pianistic balladry, it’s ultimately a zestless gumbo of ‘authentic’ styles. Surprisingly for someone with a knack for hit singles, it lacks twists and melodic punch.

The nadir is the fate-tempting Biggest Mistake Of My Life and the groan-worthy line, ‘I was fifty shades of grey before I met you.’

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.