Mike + The Mechanics: “Nobody’s Perfect” (1988)

Both songs on the new single from the second album become hits? I’d say somebody’s perfect.

Kronomyth 2.01: A couple of nobodies.

The advance single from Mike + The Mechanics’ second album, Living Years, turned out to be a double single when Nobody Knows became a minor hit of its own. Atlantic even issued the original single and picture sleeve with a sticker that said “Contains the hit Nobody Knows” over the words “Nobody’s Perfect.” An enviable problem to have, I suppose.

Nobody’s Perfect feels like two songs fused together: half “Mama” from Genesis and a catchy pop song in the chorus. The two halves don’t really work well together, but if you were looking for a sunnier version of Genesis, this was it. Interestingly, the band did a radical remix of the song for the 12-inch and CD singles that is much funkier than the original. The 7-inch single actually features a three-minute edit of the elpee version, although I haven’t heard it so I can’t speak to what was edited out.

The (temporary) B side was the album version of “Nobody Knows.” When the song was re-released as a single, it appeared in an edited version too. Sung by Paul Carrack, “Nobody Knows” sounds like a soulful version of “Throwing It All Away” to me. Again, the idea of Mike + The Mechanics wasn’t to break from the Genesis formula so much as fine-tune it.

Original 7-inch & cassette single

A1. Nobody’s Perfect (edit) (Mike Rutherford/B.A. Robertson) (3:01)
B1. Nobody Knows (Mike Rutherford/Chris Neil) (4:22)

Original 12-inch single
A1. Nobody’s Perfect (remix) (Mike Rutherford/B.A. Robertson) (6:20)
B1. Nobody Knows (Mike Rutherford/Chris Neil) (4:22)
B2. All I Need Is a Miracle (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil) (4:16)

Original CD single
A1. Nobody’s Perfect
A2. Nobody’s Perfect (extended)
A3. Nobody Knows

The Players

Produced by Christopher Neil & Mike Rutherford; engineered by Nick Davis; A1 remixed by Greg Walsh.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch, 12-inch, cassette and CD single in October 1988 in the US (Atlantic, 7-88990/-4/0-86482), the UK (WEA, U-7789/T), Australia (WEA, 7-257789) and Germany (WEA, U-7789CD) with picture sleeve. Reached #63 on the US charts (charted on November 5, 1988 for 11 weeks) and #80 on the UK charts. Also released as promotional CD single in 1988 in the US (Atlantic, PR-2521-2) with A edit and LP versions.

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