"Figaro" was written by band members Lee Sheriden and Martin Lee along with their manager Tony Hiller, who also produced the track. The lead vocals are sung jointly by members Sandra Stevens and Nicky Stevens. The distinctive opening drum roll on the song was performed by Clem Cattini of the 1960s band The Tornados.
The song tells of a (presumably) Spanish cabaret singer who is intent on gaining the interest of young ladies. As co-writer Hiller stated; "That came about because my daughter went on holiday and came back talking about all the dishy Spanish waiters trying to pick up the girls." Musically, the song has been reported on many occasions of its similarity to ABBAs "Fernando", and while this may be partly true of their previous No.1 ("Angelo"), stylistically, these particular songs are very different apart from similar titles. Member Sheriden denies these allegations. Ironically however, it was ABBA themselves who knocked Brotherhood Of Man off the top of the charts in the UK, with their single "Take A Chance on Me".
Figaro" became a hit in many European countries, including Ireland, where it was also a No.1 hit. The song featured on the group's album B for Brotherhood and was followed up by top 20 hit "Beautiful Lover". "Figaro" went on to be voted best song of the first half of 1978 by readers of Look-in magazine and best song of the year by viewers of TV's Magpie. A cover version was recorded for the Top of the Pops album series, appearing on Volume 63 and The Best of 1978.
"Uptown Top Ranking" by Althea & Donna
|UK No 1 Single|
11 February 1978
"Take A Chance on Me" by Abba