Margaret Ulrich

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Escaping’

The song, “Escaping”, was originally recorded by New Zealander Margaret Ulrich in 1989

“Escaping” is a gorgeous mid-tempo ballad with Far Eastern rhythms written by Barry Blue (b.1950) and Robyn Smith and recorded by New Zealand singer Margaret Ulrich (b.1965) for her debut album “Safety In Numbers”, in 1989. The song was released as the first single and topped the New Zealand singles chart. It also peaked at No.17 in Australia and Margaret went on have numerous chart hits and certified albums ‘down under’ into the mid-1990’s.

Keen for the song to reach a wider audience, Barry Blue scouted about to find a voice or voices, and by 1992, found himself in the UK, where A&M Records were seeking to launch a new trio of female singers with the collective name of Asia Blue. Both Blue and A&M agreed “Escaping” would make a great debut single and embarked on a rigorous promotional tour that June. BBC Radio 1 picked up the song and gave it a more than generous airing and the stage was set for another chart topper. Sadly, for whatever reason, “Escaping” failed to find the audience it deserved and entered the UK singles chart at No.50, before disappearing out of sight. After releasing two further singles, Asia Blue were dropped by A&M and that was that.

It would be another four years before the song surfaced again, this time in the hands of British soul singer Dina Carroll, who already had a million-selling album and seven top 40 singles to her name. Dina, along with her producer Nigel Lowis, set about rewriting much of the song and eventually recorded it for her second studio album “Only Human”. It was released at the first single in September 1996 and entered the UK chart at No.3, equalling her previous chart high set in 1993 with “Don’t Be A Stranger”. The ‘new’ “Escaping” was also a big hit in Iceland and in Europe and helped to re-establish Dina after a three-year hiatus, becoming one of her biggest and most recognisable songs.

But which version is the best? MARGARET ULRICH’s original, ASIA BLUE’s cover or DINA CARROLL’s revamp?

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So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!