Monday, July 1, 2013

"Ah! Leah!" by Donnie Iris

Song#:  0435
Date:  12/13/1980
Debut:  90
Peak:  29
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Already hugely popular in his native Pennsylvania, Iris formed his backing group The Cruisers and issued this first solo album. Initially released on the small Midwest Records label, the album and this track became popular in midwest markets and got the attention of MCA Records. They signed Iris and reissued the album and single nationally. The song proved popular on rock radio and crossed over to the pop chart where it peaked just inside the Top 30. Although it wouldn't be his highest peaking chart entry, it proved to be his most popular song and remains a rock radio favorite.

ReduxReview:  The song was really good at the time, but I think this is one that has grown better with age. The sound is terrific and is punctuated by crunchy guitars and cool vocals in the chorus and the bridge. Iris and his group didn't get the full national recognition they deserved, but at least this song continues to live on.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In the mid-60's, Iris helped form a group that became locally popular by covering R&B tunes. The group began writing their own songs and released a locally successful album in 1969. But their second album in 1970 put the group on the map. The Jaggerz issued the album "We Went to Different Schools Together" which featured the #2 pop chart hit "The Rapper," written by Iris. Despite the title, the song does not have any actual rap in it (this predates rap by quite a long time). Rapping was the term for having a conversation and in this case it referred to how a guy talks to and seduces women. The hit became the only Top 10 for the group and follow-ups failed to replicate the success. The group disbanded in 1977.


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