For anyone that has seen Oliver ( though I’ve not seen it enough to remember this song), you will probably recognise Reviewing The Situation as one of the many classic Lionel Bart compositions that were threaded throughout the 1968 film? Fagin, played by Ron Moody, performed a darkly comic interpretation, but little do most realise that this was actually recorded a year earlier by an artist called Jacki Bond!
Shortly before Oliver! was released Sandie Shaw also recorded an up-tempo version of the song – which was also to be the title track for her album! Though great things were expected, the scheduled tie-in single was cancelled, leaving a handful of picture-sleeved demos in circulation. These 45s are highly sought after today. It’s not a bad rendition, but Sandie Shaw’s recording owes everything to Jacki Bond – whose version soars high above any other!
Jacki was a secretary working for Miki Dallon at Strike Records, but her true yearning was to be a recording artist. She did, indeed, have a single out via the Columbia label in late 1965 and a brace on Strike in 1966, but despite these being decent girl-pop offerings, all failed to make the charts. Early in 1967 saw Jacki returned to the studio and recorded the genre-defying version of Reviewing The Situation. Her powerful mod/jazz/beat/soul offering has a contagious deep groove and plenty of attitude. It is easy to see why Sandie Shaw’s management felt this adaption would suit their client!
Alas, Jacki’s recording was shelved due to the financial collapse of Strike Records and shortly after Jacki jumped ship to Larry Page’s Page One Records – and then changed her name to Judi Scott! This version was never ever released until nearly 50 years later when Spoke Records issued it for the first time ever in 2017. Backed with Gene Pitney’s Let The Music Play, both sides were previously unreleased! Check it out above!