on 11 November 2001
'Are You Ready' was originally released on vinyl and cassette back in 1982 at the height of the band's success and includes two of their number one singles, 'Land of Make Believe' and 'My Camera Never Lies'. It was released on CD for the first time in 2000 following a long campaign by the fans. This CD version includes two previously un-released tracks: their version of Tina Turner's 'What's Love Got To Do With It' and the excellent 12" version of the Christmas 1983 single 'Rules of the Game'. The 12" version of 'When We Were Young' is also included, the first time this version has been available on CD. 'Are You Ready' also includes what I think is probably the best track Bucks Fizz ever recorded, 'Easy Love', which was never released as a single in the UK (why not?!), although it was in Europe. This really is Bucks Fizz at their very best and I would highly recommend this CD to anyone who has enjoyed the band's 'Greatest Hits' albums.
on 9 July 2004
The curse of the 'difficult second album' didn't actually materialise for Bucks Fizz. Rather than simply take up where their debut left off, they took several steps up the evolutionary ladder and produced some of the finest work of their career. The no.1 singles, "The Land Of Make-Believe" and its superior follow-up, "My Camera Never Lies," emphatically identified the group as a pop force to be reckoned with. And, crucially, the rest of the album met equally high standards. This was a stylistic giant step forward and the set was rich in potential hits. "Now Those Days Are Gone," with its intricate harmonies and graceful arrangement showed that there was a more adult edge to their sound and it became one of the group's best loved singles. The shimmering disco track, "Easy Love," the excellent ballad "Love Dies Hard" and the smart bounce of "20th Century Hero" could easily have made waves in the singles chart too. Only the title-track and "Another Night" harked back to the fluffiness of their first album. Bucks Fizz had moved on in a very determined fashion. None of the eight bonus tracks lovingly tagged on to this release really challenge the quality of the original album - although "Taking Me Higher," a B-side written by the band, could well have justified its place as an 11th track on the original release.
on 1 February 2001
Following my campaign on the Official Bucks Fizz Web Site, I managed to get BMG to agree to this release. Having been involved in this project from the offset, I for one am proud of the final result.
This truly is the Cream of Bucks Fizz. Recorded at the height of their career, it features two number one singles together with the top ten ballad, 'Now Those Days Are Gone'. Also featured are two previously unreleased tracks including the 12" version of the single, 'Rules Of The Game' which has been sought by Fizz Fans for years.
For continuity, two B-Sides from the number one singles are also featured here however it's a shame that the B-Side 'Takin Me Higher' has not been kept on Master Tape, otherwise it would have also been included. The classic song, 'When We Were Young' in it's extended form is also here, being one of the fans most popular choices. Although this should have appeared on perhaps a later release, these are not guaranteed and it would have been a shame to miss this perhaps 'one off' opportunity.
All in all, this album is full of wonderful memories for anyone who bought it back in 1982. Even if you didn't buy it back then, this is still a good choice when purchasing a Bucks Fizz CD. There are too many 'Greatest Hits' CD's on the market which although are good buys, they still don't give you a taste of the groups versatility and professionalism on their album tracks.
It used to be 'NOT COOL' to like Bucks Fizz, but those days have gone now and I suggest you swallow you're pride and purchase this legendary album.
on 3 November 2000
Face it, it was never cool to like Bucks Fizz. But cool be damned - all it ever does is hamper enjoyment. "Are You Ready" really is, as the sleeve notes suggest, Bucks Fizz at their best. Following the so-so début album, this collection pushed all the right buttons, including as it does, three gems of singles in "My Camera Never Lies", "Now Those Days Are Gone" and "The Land Of Make Believe". From Andy Hill's zingy production, to the band's great harmonies, to - admit it - darn good songs, this album works very well. True, the title track is not their finest moment but what about gems like the shimmering disco of "Easy Love"? Or the ballad Ronan Keating would give a testicle for, "Love Dies Hard"? Or the bouncy "20th Century Hero"... And none of these were even singles! ! If you like Steps or, say, 5ive (anyone notice the similarity between the guitars on "My Camera..." and "Keep On Movin'"?) you'll probably enjoy this.
The bonus tracks are nice to have and will satisfy the überfans (although,admittedly, the B-sides included actually sound like mere B-sides, unlike, say, "Taking Me Higher" - which should be here - or "When The Love Has Gone"). Even if Tina Turner hadn't gazumped their take on "What's Love Got To Do With It", I doubt this stodgy recording would have made it to the final cut of the excellent "I Hear Talk" album for which it was recorded. I'm pleased to finally have the 12" of "When We Were Young" on CD but it makes me worry that BMG will not re-issue the rest of the back catcalogue (because this track should really appear on "Hand Cut"). As for the cover... It's an approximation of the original but done so badly as to resemble a cheap bootleg. Even I could have done better. Any explanations from BMG??
It's daft that snobbery caused a great pop band to be so cruelly overlooked. Hopefully this tentative first release will be the first of a series which covers the rest of the back catalogue. In the meantime, treat yourself to this guilty little mid-price pleasure!
on 1 May 2001
The excellence of this album leaves you to wondering why it took so long for the powers that be to release it on CD. Three great singles appear alongside a marvellous array of classic pop standards that could have served the band equally as well, Easy Love, 20th Century Hero and Love Dies Hard all could have merited single release(6 singles taken from one album is a trend very familiar these days). The welcome addition of bonus tracks is a treatfor all fans and only time will tell whether this is the start of re-issuing the other albums in the series,all of which deserve the same treatment, along with the numereous B - sides and un-issued tracks that are gathering dust, that should be heard and made avaliable to a wider audience. It was never "Hip" to like the Fizz but what the **** They deserve recognition for what they acheived and for the legacy of good pop music they left behind. To anyone who is looking for classic 80's pop don't go looking for it on any of these 'Street Cred' type 80's compilations which seem to have a musical by-pass when it comes to the Fizz, save yourself time ,effort and money and buy this, you'll be glad you did! Vintage Stuff!
on 29 March 2004
I can't believe it took so long for this LP to be released on CD! CD's are so cheap to manufacture nowadays, why isn't the rest of the back-catalogue being released??
'Are You Ready' was Bucks Fizz' second LP, released in 1982, and one of their best! Apart from the singles, it features the brilliant tracks, "Easy Love", "Love Dies Hard" and "Another Night", which were big production numbers, especially during the 1982 tour (which I saw).
The additional tracks make it even more special, particularly with the previously unreleased "What's Love Got To Do With It" (recorded BEFORE it was given to Tina Turner!)
If you haven't bought it....buy it NOW!!!!
This was the second album from Bucks Fizz - their follow-up to the fabulous debut a year earlier, that would turn out to be their biggest seller, and the only one that would make the top 10 Albums Chart. It contains two number one singles and another Top Ten hit. This was clearly a more 'adventurous' album than their first, with 'elaborate' tracks such as: 'Easy Love' and 'Twentieth Century Hero'. However, my personal favourite was the masterpiece 'Breaking And Entering' which opened the second side of the original album. This had an outstanding intro. and a fabulous arrangement! Some other catchy numbers on this too, with: 'Another Night' and 'One Way Love' - to highlight but two.
This was definitely the peak of Bucks Fizz's career - being the second of a hat-trick of great selling studio albums.
on 26 January 2015
A slice of chunky pop with My Camera Never Lies, with a drumtastic outro dovetailing nicely into Jay's solo dance number Easy Love (check out her performance of this great track from the group's Blazers tv special on YouTube, phew!). A complete change of mood with Bobby's Big Ballad Love Dies Hard demonstrating their intricate harmonies and some lush string arrangements. Excellent guitar work on One Way Love, and more powerful synths and Graham Broad's fab drumming on the title track Are You Ready, with the smashing accapella middle bit building back up again.
Breaking and Entering with its ace sound fx intro and riffs, the gorgeous ballad Now Those Days Are Gone trilled tenderly by Mike (should have been their fourth number one), and another change of pace with the funktastic 20th Century Hero - some of the lyrics may have gone over their young fanbase's heads with this one though, thanks to co-writer Pete Sinfield of King Crimson fame. Errol Flynn gets a namecheck! Another Night, the song that won them the Yamaha Song Contest, kind of the oriental Eurovision, topped off with the classic Land of Make Believe.
The bonus tracks are a welcome addition - first the b sides to Land and Camera. Now You're Gone is a very sad but very beautiful Christmas ballad poignantly performed by Cheryl - I love how she sings "it doesn't feel like Christmas now you're gone" all choked at the end, gets me every time. What Am I Gonna Do, a Bobby/Jay uptempo duet with an awesome guitar solo has the brilliantly bizarre concept of being sung over the phone!
Their version of What's Love Got To Do With It is a little bland, but it was never one of my favourite tunes anyway. To round off the album, the extended versions of their two Warren Bacall penned synthtastic singles When We Were Young and Rules of the Game are included.
The cover is a little dark and out of focus, with a different logo in place of the pink and blue one used on the original cover. There are extensive sleeve notes and some nice pics from the era in the booklet. The sound quality is ok, everything's perfectly audible, but all the tracks have been remastered and feature on the follow up Platinum Collection, which is becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of.
Bucks Fizz were often given a hard time for being a manufactured band, the inevitable Abba comparison, and the success of Making Your Mind Up meant much of their more substantial output wasn't taken seriously, the whole 'cheesy' tag. However, if you like catchy pop tunes, nice ballads, superb harmonies, inventive arrangements and fab songwriting (Andy Hill is a genius!) then I guarantee this will be a worthy addition to your collection. Timeless pop, even 33 years on. Enjoy.
on 20 October 2000
Released for the first time on CD after 18 years!!! This album is classic 80s pop at it's best. Released when Bucks Fizz reached their peak, it contains 2 no.1s - "The Land of Make Believe" & "My Camera Never Lies" - and a top ten hit ("Now Those Days Are Gone"). Also included was the 1981 Yamaha Song Contest winner "Another Night". The rest of the original album is present and sounding better than ever thanks to the new CD quality. There are also 5 bonus tracks, none of which have ever appeared on CD before. There are two B-sides ("What Am I Gonna Do?" & "Now Your Gone"), an extended version of "When We Were Young" (Top 10 in 1983), the never before released 12" mix of "Rules of the Game" (another 1983 single), and the never before released "What's Love Got To Do With It", which was supposed to be a 1984 single but Tina Turner beat them to it later the same year. What else do you need to know? This is a very talented, professional and underated band at their best. If you like the Fizz, you'll love this, and any Steps fans out there will like it too! Buy it now!
on 22 July 2009
This is Bucks Fizz's second and most commercially successful album and it really is a treassure trove of songs. Not only do you get three brilliant singles with "The Land Of Make Belive","My Camera Never Lies" and "Now Those Days Are Gone" but the equally fantastic "One Way Love","Another Night","Love Dies Hard",20th Century Hero","Easy Love","Are You Ready" and "Breaking And Entering"(a taste of the way things were going) could all have been successful singles.The fact that "What Am I gonna Do" is here as a bonus track sold this instantly to me as it's always been a favourite and was only ever released as a b-side. There are a couple of live tracks and rareties included for the hardcore "Fizzers" as well as the fantastic 12" version of "My Camera Never Lies" so, if you only buy this Bucks Fizz CD you won't be disapointed.