Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Happy Hour" by Deodato

Song#:  1075
Date:  06/19/1982
Debut:  83
Peak:  70
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Dance, Pop

Pop Bits:  Brazilian musician/arranger Eumir Deodato spent the 60s honing his arranging skills in Rio's bossa nova scene before making a move to New York in 1968. While in NYC, he continued to work with Brazilian artists, but soon his work got noticed by stars like Frank Sinatra and he became an A-list arranger. Although he had released several solo albums in Brazil, he issued his first US album in 1973 with "Prelude." The LP contained a jazz/funk version of the classical piece by Richard Strauss, "Also Sprach Zarathustra," which had recently been made famous from its use in the 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey." The oddball single found its way to #2 on the pop chart and made Deodato an unlikely star. Although he would never get a hit like that again, he continued recording albums through the years and in 1982 found himself on the pop chart again with this tune from his album of the same name. Although it would be his final pop chart entry, his arranging/producing career would continue on for decades and include hits like Kool & the Gang's #1 "Celebration."

ReduxReview:  After hearing this, I can understand how he had a hand in the hits of Kool & the Gang. The sound is quite similar. I don't know if I'd call this disco, but it may have been close enough to the genre to get ignored during this time. It's too bad as this is a fun single. If this had been released a few years earlier, I think it could have been a solid hit. Heck, it may be my new theme for happy hour!

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Deodato mostly recorded instrumentals for his solo albums, but "Happy Hour" had tracks that featured vocalist Kelly Barretto. Daughter of famous Latin percussionist Ray Barretto, she had been a successful background vocalist working on her father's albums along with ones by Kool & the Gang, Gloria Gaynor, and Vanessa Williams.


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