Healed and Restored: Cutting Crew reimagines songs with an orchestra

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

When Cutting Crew’s Nick Van Eede released the song “(I Just) Died in Your Arms,” he was frequently told he should perform it with an orchestra.

Thirty-five years later, the singer did just that.

With a sound that helped define the 1980s’ music scene, Cutting Crew returned with “Ransomed Healed Restored Forgiven, featuring the band’s songs recreated with a full philharmonic orchestra and longtime guitarist Gareth Moulton.

“Whenever we met any kind of producer or family member or anybody, they would say, ‘One day, your songs would work well with an orchestra,’” Van Eede says.

“You dream of those kinds of things happening, but I thought we would leave well enough alone. That’s been drummed into me by my long-departed father. To tackle something as big as ‘(I Just) Died in Your Arms,’ I enjoyed every minute of it.”

The Grammy-nominated rock band was formed in England in 1985 by Van Eede with original guitarist, writer and fellow-conspirator from Canada, Kevin MacMichael. Within months, the band signed with Siren Records/Virgin on the strength of its demos.

Cutting Crew, becoming a foursome in 1986, entered the studio the same year to record the multimillion-selling debut album, “Broadcast,” one year before “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” exploded and made them stars at home and in the USA where it hit No. 1.

The song has found its way into films like “Hot Tub Time Machine,” “Stranger Things” and “Ash Vs. Evil Dead.” “I’ve Been in Love Before” and “One for the Mockingbird” also enjoyed massive worldwide radio play, reaching the Top 10 and Top 20 Billboard singles charts respectively.

Throughout the years, Van Eede says his lyrics have changed meaning over time.

“Obviously, the lyrics can mean something at the time when you write them,” he says. “I’ve always been amazed by people who get in touch over the years.

“For me, to sign them again, that was amazing. There was a lot of tissue on the floor. I’ve lost my dad, my brother, Kevin (MacMichael). Those lyrics they take on a whole different tact. It was a privilege. I was scared at first and nervous at first.

“My lyrics—love them or hate them—you can read into them what you will. That’s great. We get a million versions of them.”

Van Eede, who’s planning to write a book, is pleased that Cutting Crew is getting a “lovely” reaction to his new music.

“Kevin wrote absolutely beautiful songs,” he says. “He would be proud of this album because it’s all his music.”