Friday, October 25, 2013

"Theme from 'Greatest American Hero' (Believe It or Not)" by Joey Scarbury

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  0593
Date:  05/09/1981
Debut:  85
Peak:  2
Weeks:  26
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Scarbury seemed to have a tough time getting a career launched. He began recording in 1969 and from then through the 70s he jumped label-to-label releasing singles that went nowhere. His only slight break came in 1971 when "Mixed Up Guy" reached #73 on the chart. Later in the 70s, he was mainly doing background vocals and was working as a session singer for producer/songwriter Mike Post. In 1980, Post was enlisted to write a theme song to a new TV show called "The Greatest American Hero." He did so with co-writer Stephen Geyer and then got Scarbury to sing a full-length version that would later be edited for the show's opening. The series was an unexpected hit and its theme proved to be quite popular, enough so that this single was issued. With the song a hit, the label wanted an album and one was rushed together for release. It would be Scarbury's only full-length album. Although he had his 1971 chart entry and a Top 50 follow-up to this song, Scarbury is considered a one-hit wonder thanks to this theme.

ReduxReview:  I loved this song back then and still do. It's just a terrific pop song. I would venture a guess that even if this wasn't a TV theme song, it would still have been a hit. The 70s and 80s had some really good TV theme songs, but just looking at them as pop compositions, I'd have to say this one was tops.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Scarbury continued on in music and in addition to being a successful session vocalist, he also wrote songs for other artists. His best effort was co-writing the #1 country hit "No Matter How High" (1989) by the Oak Ridge Boys. The song was actually the Boys' seventeenth and final #1 country hit.


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