Producer Mike Chapman, who had recently worked with Pat Benatar and Blondie, came on board for Bow Wow Wow's When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going set. Perhaps it's Chapman's involvement that finds lead singer Annabella Lwin sounding a bit like Debbie Harry at times. This 1983 album was also the first that had no writers from outside the band contributing. When the Going Gets Tough is a well-polished, well-executed effort that holds some surprises mainly in the fact that there is more diversity than on prior Bow Wow Wow records. Chapman adds a gloss to the ballads "Lonesome Tonight" and the dreamy "Love Me," with Lwin toning down her usual frantic delivery. "The Man Mountain" sounds like an old folk song. And, there's also the straight-ahead, playful pop that you'd expect from the band on the ultra-hooky single "Do You Wanna Hold Me" and "Tommy Tucker," which begins as a nursery rhyme and concludes with a quasi-football chant.
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon