Every 1's a Winner

by: Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate enjoyed an enthusiastic following in England, but in the U.S., the British band didn't receive nearly as much exposure as it should have. Regrettably, Hot Chocolate only had two major hits in the U.S.: "You Sexy Thing" in 1975 and "Every 1's a Winner" in 1978. That rock-influenced soul gem is the opener on the group's fourth album, which is also titled Every 1's a Winner. Although none of the other songs on this LP were big hits in the U.S., most of them are quite solid -- and that includes the moving ballad "Sometimes It Hurts to Be a Friend" as well as the message song "Love Is the Answer One More Time" and the moody Euro-disco number "Put Your Love in Me." This is a soul-funk album first and foremost, but it's a soul-funk album that isn't afraid to draw on British pop/rock influences like David Bowie and Elton John. Nor were Hot Chocolate afraid to incorporate Afro-Caribbean influences -- "Confetti Day," for example, could be described as an interesting marriage of reggae, Bowie, and Stax/Volt. While Every 1's a Winner falls short of perfect, it hits its mark more often than not and makes one wish that Hot Chocolate had acquired a larger following on the American side of the Atlantic Ocean. ~ Alex Henderson

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