The Land of Make Believe Bucks Fizz



” The Land of Make Believe ” is by Bucks Fizz, the British pop group. Made up of Bobby G, Mike Nolan, Jay Aston and Cheryl Baker, the four-piece is most famous for winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981 with ” Making Your Mind Up “.
The song was written by Andy Hill ( who also produced the song ) and Pete Sinfield. Andy is an English record producer and songwriter, he wrote or co-wrote many hits during the 80s and 90s. Along with writing for Bucks Fizz, he has written for artists including Celine Dion, Cliff Richard, Ronan Keating, Diana Ross and Cher. Andy co-wrote Celine Dion’s ” Think Twice ” which became one of the biggest-selling records of all time in the United Kingdom.
Pete is an English poet and songwriter. He is best known for being co-founder and lyricist for the early days of King Crimson. Their debut Album In the Court of the Crimson King is widely regarded by critics as being one of the most influential progressive rock Albums of all time.
” The Land of Make Believe ” was released on the 13th of November 1981 by record label RCA ( Sony Music Entertainment ) and taken as the first single from the group’s second Album, Are You Ready. The Album was released in the latter part of April 1982 and entered the UK Album Chart early May of that year. After a week it climbed to reach number ten, making it the first and only Album by the group to reach the Top Ten.
” The Land of Make Believe ” is about a child’s dream where voices try to lure the child outside where everything is happy and bright. However, the child keeps resisting the invitation. Mentioned in the lyrics are the characters Superman and Captain Kidd.
When recording the single, singer, Mike Nolan had reservations and expressed his concerns to producer and co-writer Andy Hill. Mike was concerned the song would end their chart run success and would’ve finished the group.
Mike was informed by Andy that Bobby G and Cheryl Baker had already laid down their parts of the song and had said they liked it. Later Mike Nolan admitted that he’d been wrong with his reservations.
Mike Nolan’s reservations may have been dismissed, but later Pete Sinfield admitted the lyrics had a hidden meaning. The song was not a sugar-coated pop song but written with political undertones.
He said in an interview ” Beneath its tra-la-la’s is a virulent anti-Thatcher song “. He later went on to comment on about writing the lyrics ” it is ten times more difficult to write a three-minute hit song, with a veneer of integrity, than it is to write anything for King Crimson or ELP “.
Towards the end of the song, there features a voice of a child reading aloud a nursery rhyme saying ” I’ve got a friend who came to tea, And no-one else can see but me, He came today, but had to go, To visit you? You never know “.
The child’s voice is that of RCA executive Bill Kimber’s 11-year-old daughter, Abby Kimber. The few lines of the nursery rhyme were original, written by Pete Sinfield for ” The Land of Make Believe “. At the time radio stations were told to fade out the song before reaching the rhyme at the end.
The accompanying music video was filmed on location at White City, London swimming baths. White City is a district in London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Today it’s home to the BBC Television Centre and Loftus Road stadium, used by football club Queens Park Rangers FC.
The video makes references to different films. Cheryl Baker wakes up with the video picture changing colour, which references The Wizard of Oz. Her clothes are transformed by a Fairy Godmother as happens in Cinderella. Cheryl then walks from ordinary life through a gap which revealed a wonderland and pushes her way through fir trees, which referred the film, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
The song was a commercial success for Bucks Fizz. In the United Kingdom, it entered the UK Singles Chart on the 28th of November 1981 and reached Number One the following January, staying at the top for two weeks. The song spent nine weeks in the Top Ten and a total of sixteen weeks on the UK chart.
Bucks Fizz also enjoyed chart success with the song in the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.

BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: N/A

UK Highest Chart Position: 1

Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Netherlands 1, Belgium 1, Ireland 1, France 3, Germany 3, Austria 7, Australia 15, New Zealand 44

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