Single Stories: Fine Young Cannibals, “Don’t Look Back”
28 years ago today, Fine Young Cannibals released the third single from their second album, a song drawing from a decidedly different sonic template than the tracks that had preceded it on the charts.
Written by Roland Gift and David Steele, “Don’t Look Back” stands apart from “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing” immediately, thanks to its jangly guitar riffs, which – to use a point of reference from the era in which it was originally released – sound straight out of the Mighty Lemon Drops’ playbook. The lyrics of the song aren’t nearly as upbeat as the music, however, with Gift singing about trying to leave the past behind without a second glance.
Although “Don’t Look Back” was an unqualified hit, providing Fine Young Cannibals with a third top-40 hit from their 1989 album THE RAW & THE COOKED, many viewed its showing as mildly disappointing, owing to the fact that it topped out at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 when the two singles that preceded it both topped the chart. Seriously, though, if you’re complaining about the fact that a single only made it to #11, then it’s time to get your perspective checked, because that’s a fine young chart placement