Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Endless Love" by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  0670
Date:  07/11/1981
Debut:  54
Peak:  1 (9 weeks)
Weeks:  27
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  This is most likely the point that Lionel Richie really became a star. He was still hitting with the Commodores and also successfully writing/producing for Kenny Rogers, but his name wasn't necessarily well-known. This mega-hit changed that and he quickly became a household name. It launched his rise to solo super-stardom and oddly, it marked the end of Ross' Motown career and started her descent. Richie wrote the song and it ended up becoming the theme to the film of the same name starring Brooke Sheilds. The movie was panned, but this single took off quickly and was the second single of 1981 to spend nine weeks at #1; the other being "Bette Davis Eyes."

ReduxReview:  I loved this song when it came out. I just thought it was so beautiful and they sounded so great together. These days I still like it, but I never have the urge to hear the tune. For a sentimental, sappy love ballad, it's well-done and it really conjures up a place and time. I guess for me and this song it really wasn't endless love - more like consistent toleration. Regardless, it is a classic 80s single. I remember being at the dentist one time and this was playing in the background. I was on the laughing gas and this song just seemed to go on forever and skip and repeat all over - in other words, it was practically endless. Now when I hear this song it takes me back to that dentist chair and me all hopped up on gas trying not to laugh.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  There was definite competition for what would be the top song of the year between "Endless Love" and "Bette Davis Eyes." The last time a song spent this long at #1 was when Debby Boone stayed there for 10 weeks with "You Light Up My Life" in 1977. So to have two mega-hits in the same year was quite something. But after the dust settled, "Bette" was the top chart song of the year and won Grammys for Record and Song of the Year. "Endless" seemed to be the runner up each time and although the song seemed a shoe-in to win the Oscar for Best Song, it lost that race as well to "Arthur's Theme," which had the advantage of a big hit movie attached to it. However, in 2011, Billboard magazine named it the best duet of all-time.


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