Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Castles in the Air" by Don McLean

Song#:  0801
Date:  10/31/1981
Debut:  88
Peak:  36
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  McLean had a mini-revival of his career thanks to the late blossoming single "Crying," which reached #5 earlier in 1981 (though initially recorded in 1978). A follow-up album assembled and McLean released "Believers" later in the year. This first single from the album climbed into the Top 40, but it couldn't match the Top 10 performance of his previous hit. As a result, it marked the end of McLean's revival period and the song became his last to reach the pop chart, as did the album.

ReduxReview:  Most times, the original version of a song remains the best. But this one (see below) for me is better than the original. McLean takes his time with the tune and the updated arrangement is better than the original folk version. The song itself is good and the new version better, but it's still nothing that I'd revisit again.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was originally recorded and included on McLean's debut album "Tapestry" in 1971. It was released as a single, but could only manage a #40 peak on the AC chart. Later the following year, this song was released again as the b-side to his #12 hit "Vincent." Radio began playing both songs and it was listed as a double-sided hit a month after "Vincent" first appeared on the chart. McLean re-recorded the song and the new version was included on "Believers" and cracked the Top 40, marking it's second appearance on the pop chart.


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