A Bit of a Classic: Robin Beck – First Time (1988)

robin beck first time

In A Bit of a Classic, A Bit of Pop Music takes you back in time to relive a pop release we definitely should not forget about. On the 14th of October it is exactly 30 years ago that Robin Beck internationally released her single ‘First Time’. It became the biggest hit of her career! Let’s go back to 1988.

‘First Time’ was one of those songs that took its sweet time to reach its peak in the charts. The track was first recorded for a Coca Cola commercial in 1987 and then released as a single in the US the next year. In October 1988, the song was pushed in Europe, starting with the United Kingdom, where it spent three weeks on top of the charts. Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Norway followed early 1989, having ‘First Time’ as number 1 in their national charts too.

‘First Time’ at the time meant a resurrection of Robin Beck’s career, at the age of 33. She debuted in 1979 with the single and album ‘Sweet Talk’, but after that things got quiet until 1988. Although ‘First Time’ remains her biggest hit and most people might remember her as a one hit wonder, it did give her the opportunity to record nine more studio albums (of which the most recent one was released in 2017). Right after ‘First Time’, follow up singles ‘Save Up All Your Tears’ and ‘Tears In The Rain’ became moderate hits in Europe too.

‘First Time’ was written by Gavin Spencer, Terry Boyle and Tom Anthony. It could best be described as a typical late 80s pop-rock song with some seriously powerful vocals. It has quite the bombastic production and vocally it reaches climax after climax. Lyrically it is a straightforward love song, border on cheesy maybe, but it is just so uplifting you can’t help but to sing along at the top of your lungs. The impeccable melody of ‘First Time’ proved itself to be timeless, with different cover versions in multiple languages over the years, as well as remixes that met success.

As recent as 2006 (well, actually that is 12(!) years ago already too), Swedish electronic producers group Sunblock made a brand new version of the song, keeping the original vocals, crediting Robin Beck as a feature. This dance version had some chart success around Europe. I am positive that another new version of the song would become a hit today, because ‘First Time’ is a classic!

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