Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Crying" by Don McLean

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  0472
Date:  01/24/1981
Debut:  37
Peak:  5
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  McLean's chart career started of with the #1 "American Pie" in 1971. And although he also placed the popular tune "Vincent" at #12 the next year, following up that #1 classic was proving difficult. He released three more albums for United Artists that failed to generate major interest or any significant hits. Artista took a chance and picked him up and issued the LP "Prime Time" in 1977, but it sunk without a trace. McLean's next disc, "Chain Lightning," was set to go but clashes with Arista head Clive Davis got McLean dumped from the label. However, with a European distribution deal already in place for the LP, it was released overseas in 1978. Two years later, "Crying" started to get airplay in Holland and the song eventually hit #1 there and in other European countries. Millennium Records picked up the ball in the US from Arista and issued the single and album - over 2 years after its initial recording. The delayed release ended up getting McLean this Top 10 hit, his second and last, and a mini-revival of his career.

ReduxReview:  This song is such a rock classic (see below) that remaking it is just asking for trouble. But a minor few have succeeded and I'd have to put McLean's version on the list. He takes his time with the tune and doesn't blow a gasket on it at the end like a lot of singers. It's nicely updated and almost 20 years after the original was a hit, the song still has impact and sounds fresh.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  I'm hoping this is obvious to folks, but this is a remake of a #2 hit by Roy Orbison in 1961. Orbison revisited the song, which he co-wrote, as a duet with k.d. lang in 1987 that netted a Grammy, and although it did not hit the pop chart, it did reach #28 AC and #42 country.


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