Love did change everything for Simon Climie and Rob Fisher. So, let’s rise to the occasion and remember their short-lived partnership
Singer and songwriter Simon Climie (b.1957) and musician Rob Fisher (b.1956) formed a new partnership in 1986 that combined their two surnames and would go on to have success at the end of the decade before they parted and went their own ways. Rob Fisher had previously been a member of the group, Naked Eyes, who had a US top ten hit in 1983 with a cover of “Always Something There To Remind Me”, although the song was not as successful on home turf. Following a further US chart hit with “Promises, Promises” (No.11) and two studio albums, Rob left the band and met Simon while performing as a session musician at the fabled Abbey Road Studios.
They quickly began working together and in late 1986, released their debut single, “This Is Me”. The song was not a success anywhere and neither was its follow up, “Love Changes (Everything)”, which limped to No.67 in the UK, but was a top five hit in Portugal! The fact that “Love Changes (Everything)” was not a hit first time round seems implausible as Simon had co-written George Michael and Aretha Franklin’s chart topping hit, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” at the beginning of 1987. Their debut long player, “Everything”, was also met with a cold shoulder and it took four singles before they finally got somewhere. “Rise To The Occasion” came out in December 1987 and went on to top the chart in South Africa and The Netherlands in early 1988. At the same time, the song climbed to No.10 in the UK and interest in the duo and the album began.
1988 would prove to be their most successful year as a re-produced version of “Love Changes (Everything)” followed in March, this time becoming a much bigger hit, peaking at No.2 in the UK and No.23 in America, where it also made the top twenty on the Dance chart and the Adult Contemporary chart. “Everything” made a small dent in the US album chart and would reach No.14 in the UK. Simon and Rob re-issued “This Is Me” that Summer, netting them a second Portuguese top ten hit and a No.22 placed peak in the UK. A fifth single, “I Won’t Bleed For You”, would score a fourth UK top 40 single for the duo.
With “Everything” now approaching two years old, Simon and Rob spent the second half of 1988 in the studio writing and recording their second album, which would see the lead single, “Love Like A River”, released in January 1989. The song put them back at No.22 in the UK and would ultimately be their last UK chart hit. The album, “Coming In For The Kill” and subsequent singles all flopped and the pair decided to go their separate ways.
Rob Fisher continued to work as a producer and songwriter and was influential with Rick Astley‘s first project away from Stock Aitken Waterman, co-writing the first big hit for Rick on new soil, “Cry For Help”, in 1990, which would chart at No.7 in both the UK and the US. Rob worked with Rick on his 1993 album, “Body & Soul” as well as American singer Jules Shear, but sadly died of cancer in August 1999, aged just 42 years old.
Simon continued for a short while as a solo artist but found more lucrative success as a songwriter, penning tunes for the likes of Eric Clapton, UK boy band MN8 and many of the songs on former Eternal singer Louise (Nurding’s) debut album, “Naked“, which included her debut solo single, “Light Of My Life”, in 1995 (UK No.8). He also produced the Eternal version of “Someday” from ‘The Hunchback Of Notre Dame’ film 1996, which peaked at No.4 in the UK, and “Oh How The Years Go By”, which he had written with future “My Heart Will Go On” songwriter, Will Jennings, and originally recorded himself. The song would find wider spread success when recorded and performed by Amy Grant in 1994 and then Vanessa Williams in 1997.