Friday, August 23, 2013

"Angel of the Morning" by Juice Newton

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  0508
Date:  02/21/1981
Debut:  70
Peak:  4
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Pop, Country Crossover, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Newton began her recording career with her band Silver Spur. The group released three albums beginning in 1975, which only produced one minor country chart song. By 1977, the group called it quits and Newton went solo. Her first solo song was the single-only remake of "It's a Heartache" and it peaked at #86 on the pop chart. Her debut solo album was next and even though it got zero attention, Capital Records believed in her and called for a second album. "Take Heart" didn't really sell, but somehow she managed to get five singles from the album on the country chart (however, none reached beyond #35). Again, Capital invested in her and it finally paid off with her third album, "Juice." This first single went Top 10, #22 country, and #1 AC. It was the beginning of a string of hits for her. The song also earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocalist.

ReduxReview:  I remember liking the original as a kid and it is a well-done recording. However, I think this is one of the rare instances where the remake outshines the original. I think the arrangement is bigger and better and Newton really soars on it. I didn't buy the single back then, but I jumped on board the Juice train with her next chart hit.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song is a remake of the 1968 #7 hit by Merrilee Rush. It was Rush's only Top 40 hit. Written by Chip Taylor, it was originally offered to Connie Francis but she rejected it thinking it was a bit too risque for her fan base. A couple of other artists recorded the song, but it went nowhere until Rush's version finally broke the song.


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