Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Friends in Love" by Dionne Warwick and Johnny Mathis

Song#:  0995
Date:  04/17/1982
Debut:  86
Peak:  38
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  After issuing a live album the previous year, Warwick began work on her third studio album for Arista. The resulting album, "Friends in Love," was a bit of a disappointment (peaking at #83) after two successful LPs for Clive Davis & Co. This lead single seemed like a no-brainer with two legendary singers performing a bit AC duet, but the song didn't catch fire and fizzled just inside the Top 40 (#22 R&B). It did well at AC reaching #5, but it wasn't enough to get album sales going. A second single, "For You," would catch some airplay at AC and hit #14, but it didn't chart at pop or R&B. As for Mathis, he didn't fare much better. His LP which included this single tanked at #147. This single would also be his last Top 40 pop entry.

ReduxReview:  The pairing of these two vocalists was a great idea and certainly when they belt the chorus together, it works. But overall, the song is just not strong enough to really showcase either vocalist. The verses and bridge are drab and unmemorable making it difficult for either of them to do anything interesting. It was a good idea that wasn't well executed.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Warwick's "Friends in Love" album included the song "Never Gonna Let You Go." Looking back, she probably wishes this had been released as a single as it later became a #4 hit in 1983 for Sergio Mendes. Originally pitched to Earth, Wind & Fire, they turned it down. The song found its way to Warwick's LP as well as one by R&B artist Stevie Woods.


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