Just what has happened to the biggest selling British female artist of the 1990’s?
by Christopher Smith
With the enormous success of the previous 18 months, Dina wisely spent much of 1994 relaxing and taking time out. It was intended her follow up album would come in 1995 but A&M’s artist manager Howard Berman, who had signed Dina to the label, moved to Mercury Records. A&M were initially reluctant to release Dina from her contract, but eventually, a year later, Dina moved to Mercury. By then production on her second album was at an advanced stage, and that summer came the announcement everyone was waiting for!
Her ‘comeback’ single was “Escaping”, a song written by Barry Blue in 1989 for New Zealand singer Margaret Urlich which had been a minor hit for British girl group Asia Blue in 1992. Dina and Nigel Lowis rewrote almost all of the lyrical content of the song, which was release in September 1996, nearly three years on from last release for A&M. It entered the UK charts at No.3 and reaffirmed Dina’s place in the music world. The B side “Mind, Body And Soul” topped the club chart, continuing her unparalleled success in that market.
Her long-overdue second album “Only Human” came that Autumn and was instantly received with overwhelming commendation. It matched the success of “So Close” by reaching No.2 in the UK, and was platinum certified there.
She released the title track as the second single that December which became her tenth consecutive top 40 hit in the UK. It was during the recording sessions for “Only Human” that Dina developed otosclerosis, a hereditary bone disease of the ear. She underwent treatment but ongoing problems continued to arise and no further singles were released, with the exception of the dance and club chart smash “Living For The Weekend”.
Dina spent the rest of 1997/98 concentrating on new material and released a new single “One, Two, Three” in late 1998, the lead track from her third studio album to be called “Dina Carroll”. The song reached No.16 in the UK. It was planned that her powerful version of “Son Of A Preacher Man” would be the next release, but this was shelved when Dusty Springfield died in early 1999.
Unhappy with much of the production, the album was postponed and underwent massive reproduction. Dina returned in the Summer of 1999 with a new look and sound, with the dance/club floorfiller “Without Love”, which reached No.13 in the UK.
The next release was “Say You Love Me” in November, but just a few days prior to this, it too was scrapped. Her third album was eventually cancelled completely, and sadly, remains unreleased to this day.
Dina re-emerged in 2001 with her “Very Best Of” that brought together all of her hits since “It’s Too Late” as well as some of the unreleased tracks from her third studio album, including the much anticipated “Son Of A Preacher Man”. The album reached No.15 in the UK and sold over 80,000 copies.
She also recorded Van Morrison’s classic “Someone Like You” which was released as a single and reached No.39 in the UK. It was also featured in the hit film ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ and on the smash hit soundtrack album.
And that was that. She has spent subsequent years raising a family, but in 2016 she made a triumphant return to the stage in a series of live shows labelled the “David Guest is alive not dead tour’. She also provided vocals on The Dig Band’s club tune “We Bring The Party”.
It is rumoured that Dina has reunited with Nigel Lowis and the pair are writing and recording for a new album. That is something none of us can wait for with more enthusiasm!