Twenty five years ago: Some songs are just too good to be Christmas number one…
…and Dina Carroll’s Christmas 1993 release “The Perfect Year” is one of them!
What a perfect song to end THE perfect year for British soul diva and songwriter Dina Carroll. She had been crowned the most successful female artist of the year with four chart hit singles and her multi Platinum debut album that was also the years biggest selling album by a female singer. And Christmas 1993 saw the release of “The Perfect Year”, a song from the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical Sunset Boulevard, that Dina recorded and took into the chart.
When you’re up against the likes of Take That with “Babe” and Noel Edmonds mate Mr Blobby with his self titled eulogy, how could Dina compete? Nevertheless, she climbed into the top five that year and was for her fans at any rate, their Christmas number one, with a saxophone middle-eight and a genuine feel of Christmas at the end to an incredible year for everyone.
1993 began with the release of “So Close“, Dina’s debut album that had already seen three UK top twenty singles precede it in 1992, “Ain’t No Man”, “Special Kind Of Love” and the gorgeous title track which was released in December 1992. “So Close” debuted at No.6 on the UK album chart and would spend the rest of the year flying up and down, quietly selling many hundreds of thousands of copies. Another outstanding soul ballad “This Time” was released just in time for Valentines day that year and that was followed by the dance floor filler “Express” in the Spring of 1993 that went to No.12 in the UK, her highest charted solo single yet.
The Autumn saw the sixth and final track from the album “Don’t Be A Stranger” released. The song had already gained a following as one of the best loved tracks on the album and now, re-recorded with a full orchestra and a new vocal soundtrack, became the biggest single release of all, spending two weeks at No.3 in October/November and becoming the 23rd biggest seller of the year. “So Close” finished the year as the third biggest selling album in the UK and would go on to dominate the chart into 1994 when it finally peaked (for four weeks) at No.2, selling over a million and a half copies in the UK alone.
“The Perfect Year” came as a surprise to many, but hardly unexpected as Dina had just completed the most extraordinary twelve months in her career yet. Having been a recording artist since the mid-1980’s, Dina had finally hit the big time. Recognition and commercial success for her outstanding voice and talent as a songwriter and performer. “So Close” would be a hard act to follow and fans would have to wait until the Autumn of 1996 for its follow up, but in that moment at Christmas 1993, Queen Dina was at the very top of her profession and celebrating with us all HER perfect year.
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