Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Case of You" by Frank Stallone

Song#:  0345
Date:  09/27/1980
Debut:  90
Peak:  67
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Admit it, when you saw the artist name you immediately thought this was his song from the film "Staying Alive," right? Well, years before that tune, Sly Stallone's little brother was a struggling musician and even did bit parts in films like "Rocky." He eventually moved to California and found himself living next door to his musical idol, Harry Nilsson. The two became friends and Nilsson ended up producing some songs for Stallone. One of the recordings, this cover version of the Joni Mitchell song, was issued as a single and it spent a little time on the chart. However, not much came from it and there was no album released at the time with this song or the others from the Nilsson sessions.

ReduxReview:  Okay, this was a real WTF moment for me. When I looked at the chart entry and saw Frank Stallone, that was one thing - as I didn't know he had an earlier chart song. But then I looked closer and saw this was the Joni Mitchell song AND that it was produced by Nilsson AND that is was arranged by Van Dyke Parks! WTF! I've recently gone through a major Nilsson phase and I had no idea that he worked with Stallone. It is just bizarre. And hear the song. Mind you, I'm a big Joni fan and this is probably in my top three of favorite Joni songs, so if you are doing this song, it had better be damn good. I want you to think of a ballad that is truly meaningful to you. Then put it to an island/calypso arrangement. Does it work for you? NO! This is just a tragedy. The killing of this Joni classic is pretty much unforgivable. It even drops half the first verse! However, since Nilsson had stopped recording solo albums by this time, I don't hold it against him - still love him. Frank...not so much. Overall, this song may not be as bad as I make it out to be, but I consider the desecration of a Joni song most foul.

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  Nilsson was very good friends with John Lennon. Nilsson has said in a radio interview that it was during a recording session with Stallone that the news came into the studio about Lennon's murder.



  1. This is pretty awful. I don't know if it goes into the "ugh" category for me, but it is definitely not good. Weird that it stayed on the charts for six weeks.

  2. Totally disagree with the comments here.

    I first heard this record in the early 2000s and loved it. Had no idea that he was related to Sylvester. Also didn't remember this was a Joni Mitchell song, though I did hear her album Blue in the mid 90s.

    Joni Mitchell's version is obviously more stipped back and folky. Frank Stallone turns it into a great pop song in my opinion. I like his vocal and the arrangement. It offers a valid different take on it. I like some Joni Mitchell songs a lot, but some stand out to me more than others. And I feel he made this one stand out more.

    1. It's always interesting to hear someone else's perspective. What works for one person may not work for another. I had to take another listen to the song and I have to say it still doesn't work for me. But it is nice to know that there are fans of the record out there.