The Hunt for Chris Rea’s Fool (If You Think It’s Over)

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When people say that the digital age has given us everything we want at our fingertips, I laugh and shake my head. The digital age has given us everything that they offer, but there’s still so much missing. Case in point – Chris Rea’s Fool (If You Think It’s Over)

Fool was a #12 hit on the Pop charts in the Fall of 1978. It also hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and helped push his debut album, the Gus Dudgeon-produced Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? to Gold status, also earning himself a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Although Chris went on to have a long successful career in the UK, he was a one hit wonder here in the States. This was the only song that most Americans recognized of his. So why did it become so hard to find?

Well for some reason, Chris did not like the final mix on his debut, but rather than go back and remix it, he decided to re-record it for his New Light Through Old Windows. The song gets moved up a key and to my ears, it sounds cheesier and does not retain the warmth and charm of the original. But this was the version that Chris would put on all his Greatest Hits collections. He recorded another version 20 years that still didn’t sound any better than the original and it was only when Warner Bros reissued some of his CDs a few years ago in 2014 that the public could buy a digital copy of the original, almost 40 years after the public made it a hit.

My issue is not with Chris re-recording it. It’s the fact that the re-recording was a replacement for the superior original, which was also kept off of radio for decades and denied those who loved it another listen. So if you dig that song like I do, go buy the CD before some fool decides it’s over.

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