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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Jul-18 > YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY!

YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY!

SHE WAS THE FIRST BLACK BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST TO BAG SIX CONSECUTIVE TOP 20 HITS AND CONQUERED CHARTS AROUND THE WORLD. NOW THE BIRMINGHAM-BORN SOUL QUEEN JAKI GRAHAM IS BACK WITH A BRAND NEW ALBUM. BUT AS CLASSIC POP DISCOVERS, SHE NEVER REALLY WENT AWAY…

JAKI GRAHAM

Jaki Graham’s new studio album, When A Woman Loves, is a versatile mix of retro, soul and funk

I’M TRYING TO GIVE BACK ALL THE LOVE THAT YOU’VE GIVEN ME THROUGHOUT THE YEARS

Keeping up with Jaki Graham is something of an undertaking… a conversation with her, by her own admission, just doesn’t stop. She leaps from subject to subject, back and forth – round and around, even – forgetting to finish sentences, while grabbing your hand, shouting “oh my god!” and calling you “baby boy” (even when said boy might have to admit to being in his early 40s). And that’s all before we even get talking about rubber outfits. But, since we last saw her in the UK charts, where has she been?

“I’ve been travelling the world darlin’. After the 80s, when I suppose everybody sort of got to know me, I ended up going to Japan with the label AVEX in the 90s.”

Record scratch. Freeze frame. Before we get on to anything else, how did her post-EMI signing to AVEX come about?

“I was working with these people and they were a Hi-NRG pop kind of thing. When they got talking to the Japanese label they mentioned my name and their response was: ‘what, the Jaki Graham?’ It turned out I was like an icon to them. Breaking Away had been mega over there… absolutely mega… I didn’t have a clue. I knew it went international – Europe, Scandinavia, those sort of territories, and had also touched base in the States. I didn’t know that they had heard of me in those parts of the world. Well, let me tell you, they were absolutely fabulous and really looked after me. Fans galore! And when a tour was arranged it sold out within 20 minutes. I went to the other side of the world and couldn’t believe it. I just embraced it all.”

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About Classic Pop

In the new issue of Classic Pop magazine we catch up with Johnny Marr to hear about the former Smiths and Electronic star’s superb new solo album Call The Comet. Tom Bailey tells us why he's returning to pop with a new album after years exploring dub and world music – remarkably it’s the former Thompson Twin frontman’s first solo LP. Also making a much-anticipated comeback is Swing Out Sister – Classic Pop talks to 80s icon Corinne Drewery and other half Andy Connell as they break what is effectively a decade of studio silence with Almost Persuaded. Elsewhere, we tell the story of the legendary Factory Records label and serve up a buyer’s guide to the work of Blondie and Debbie Harry. The ever-industrious Neil Arthur tells us about his new project Near Future and gives us details of a new Blancmange album plus we also catch up with Jaki Graham for the inside story on her diverse new album When A Woman Loves. New albums from Tom Bailey, Erasure, Years & Years and Let’s Eat Grandma get the once-over alongside reissues by David Bowie, The Cure, Public Image Limited and George Michael. We also jostle our way to the front to review live shows including Beck, Echo & The Bunnymen and Blossoms. Enjoy the issue!

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