Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"It's My Party" by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin

Song#:  0854
Date:  12/19/1981
Debut:  96
Peak:  72
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Keyboardist Dave Stewart (not to be confused with David A. Stewart from Eurythmics) spent a good part of the 60s and 70s with various British prog-rock bands such as Egg and Bruford. By 1981 he decided to work on his own and began to move towards standard pop music. His first effort was a remake of Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" (#7, 1966) which featured vocals by Colin Blunstone of The Zombies. The song did well in the UK peaking at #13. For his follow-up, he reworked "It's My Party" and got Barbara Gaskin, whom he worked with in some of his previous groups, to do the vocals. It was a big success reaching #1 in the UK. The duo formed a partnership and they would go on to record five albums. While they had some further success in the UK, this would be their only single to reach the US chart.

ReduxReview:  You want 80s? Here it is! Wow - I had not heard this before. This type of synthpop was really coming along in the UK while the US lagged a bit. I'm not sure if the folks in the US really "got" this type of music/production. I think it was just a little too oddball to accept yet. But the UK and Europe were eating this stuff up. So while this rode #1 for four weeks there, in the US it petered out quickly. I can't say that this one is a favorite, but it is kitschy fun.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of the 1963 hit by Leslie Gore. The song, which hit #1, was produced by Quincy Jones. Jones rush released the single because Phil Spector mentioned to him at an event that he was planning to record the song with The Crystals. Jones didn't mention he just recorded it with Gore and he quickly got the song printed up for radio stations. The song quickly went to #1. After getting scooped by Jones, Spector nixed recording the song.  2) In the song's video, there is a cameo by a guy with round glasses who would soon have his own hit - Thomas Dolby. He plays the "Johnny" part from the song. Two years later, Stewart and Gaskin would cover one of Dolby's songs issuing "Leipzig" as a single.


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