CD Review: Hollywood Beyond – If (Cherry Red)

Birmingham’s Mark Rogers aka Hollywood Beyond made a big impression with the single Whats The Colour of Money? when it reached No.7 in the UK singles chart in 1986. The single brilliantly fused cajun and funk influences, a rhythmic beat and a  Stevie Wonder stylised vocal.

Whats The Colour of Money? became one of the most memorable hits of the year and was followed up with a follow-up single which reached no.47. No More Tears

Both tracks turn up on  If, Hollywood Beyond’s only album which has now received an expanded reissue on Cherry Red.  The  2 disc reissue collects together the original album  along with a second disc of 7 inch and 12 inch remixes.

Although Hollywood Beyond achieved considerable chart success in a number of European territories as well as the UK, the album, which enlisted a variety of producers including Bernard Edwards (Chic), Marcus Miller (Luther Vandross) and Stephen Hague (The Pet Shop Boys), met with little success.

With hindsight, the funky echoes of  No More Tears and  Shadows I Remember appear to be forerunners of the sounds Jamoraquai was charting with the following decade and more recently Portugal The Man’s  Feel It Still.

Perhaps Mark Rogers was ahead of his time, Hollywood Beyond’s If  is likely to find a greater appreciation now amongst funk fans than ever before.

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