1987 was a landmark year for the hottest Scottish pop group of the day. Wet Wet Wet had formed in Glasgow five years earlier and paid plenty of dues before landing a record deal with Phonogram in 1985. But on 5 December 1987, the quartet were on their way to their third UK top ten hit in just eight months, when ‘Angel Eyes (Home and Away)’ hit the bestsellers.
The “Wets” had made their chart debut in the spring with ‘Wishing I Was Lucky,’ reaching No. 6, then going one place better with the summer follow-up ‘Sweet Little Mystery.’ The new single was the group’s first ballad, written by all four members and produced by Michael Baker and Axel Kroll. As they racked up hit after hit, their debut album Popped In Souled Out became more and more of an attraction because all three singles and the next one, ‘Temptation,’ were contained on it. After charting in October, the album climbed to No. 1 in the new year.
‘Angel Eyes’ was a song that had been around for a while, first surfacing as ‘Home and Away’ on a cassette compilation of up-and-coming Scottish bands in 1986, Honey At The Core. The first of these two compilations featured several other bands who went on to great recognition, including Hue & Cry, Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, the Bluebells, the Big Dish and Deacon Blue.
The single helped Wet Wet Wet spread their name around the world, becoming a top three hit in Holland, No. 4 in New Zealand and a top 20 success in Sweden, France and as far afield as South Africa. Frontman Marti Pellow would later revisit ‘Angel Eyes’ when he recorded his own version for the 2002 album Marti Pellow Sings The Hits Of Wet Wet Wet And Smile.
The 4CD+DVD super deluxe box set of Wet Wet Wet’s Popped In Souled Out can be bought here.
Follow the Wet Wet Wet Complete playlist.