F. R. DAVID "WORDS"

Review by Mark Nobes - May 2 2018.
This melodic, mid-tempo europop tune by the French singer F. R. David was originally released in France during the latter half of 1981, but wasn't released in the UK and U.S. until the spring of 1983. The single entered the UK singles chart at No.77 on 20th March, while Duran Duran were at No.1 with "Is There Something I Should Know?".
As a fan of less mainstream pop, rock and electronica, this is an easy listening pop song that I really want to hate, but find myself singing for the rest of the day every time I hear it. It's annoyingly infectious, and thanks largely to a Top Of The Pops performance and plenty of airplay on the radio, the song climbed the UK charts relatively quickly to reach a peak position of No.2 on 24th April, where it remained for two weeks. During this time, the single was held off the top spot by Spandau Ballet with their classic 80s ballad "True".
Elli Robert Fitoussi David was born in Tunisia on 1st January 1947, and he was once a vocalist on the early solo albums by Vangelis, long before Jon & Vangelis hit the charts. He played bass guitar and provided lead vocals on four tracks on the 1973 album "Earth". 
"Words" was the singer's debut solo single and lead single from the album of the same name. It was inspired by Roy Orbison and you can actually imagine him singing the song. The single reached No.1 in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Spain Sweden and Switzerland, selling around 8 million records in total. The B-side featured the track "When The Sun Goes Down". A remix released in 1997 reached #19 in Finland.
The singer's follow-up single "Pick Up The Phone" was not a hit in the UK, but was more successful across Europe.

UK vinyl sleeve front

F. R. David Words LP sleeve front

Spot the difference! This is the LP front sleeve, and the only difference are the fonts used for the title.

 

F R David singing

 

Interestingly, The Tremeloes also released their own version of "Words" in 1983, although it only reached No.91 in the UK. I actually prefer this version as the vocals sound less high pitched.