Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club

Song#:  0883
Date:  01/23/1982
Debut:  87
Peak:  31
Weeks:  17
Genre:  New Wave, Dance, Synthpop

Pop Bits:   Husband and wife Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth started this side group when on hiatus from their regular gig as members of Talking Heads. Using various other musicians, they came up with tunes that incorporated African rhythms, island music, hip-hop, dance, and other styles. Their self-titled debut LP was first issued in the UK the previous summer and its success their prompted a US release. This first single became a #1 dance hit while almost getting into the pop Top 30. Even though it was not a big pop hit then, it has become far more popular over time and is one of the most samples songs from the 80s, used in many recordings including Mariah Carey's 1995 #1 "Fantasy." Unfortunately, it would be the group's only chart song. They would continue to record albums over the years, but nothing would top their debut LP.

ReduxReview:  I admit that when this came out, I didn't really get the tune. It was a quirky, squeeky, lazy groove that just did not appeal to me. But something about it caught my attention many years later and I was slowly won over. Now it's a must-have on my gym mix and other playlists. I still find it strange and wonderful when songs that didn't click the first time around become favorites much later.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The first single released in the UK was "Wordy Rappinghood." It reached #7 on the chart. Combined with "Genius of Love," the song was #1 on the US dance chart. "Wordy" was issued as a follow-up to "Genius" in the US, but it failed to chart. In the UK, "Genius" didn't fare as well and petered out at #65.  2) Frantz and Weymouth pay tribute to artist that influenced them by calling them out in the lyrics of "Genius." James Brown's name is featured in a memorable part while others artist like Kurtis Blow, Bob Marley, and Smokey Robinson are also mentioned.


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