Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Another Sleepless Night" by Anne Murray

Song#:  0893
Date:  01/30/1982
Debut:  88
Peak:  44
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  Murray's fourth single from her "Where Do You Go When You Dream" album was another hit at country, reaching #4, and a solid entry at AC going to #11. The song almost got her back into the pop Top 40, but fell just shy. She would have a couple more singles reach the pop chart, but this one would be her last to get near to the Top 40.

ReduxReview:  After a slew of mid-tempo ballads, Murray amps it up a bit (well, "amps" may be a little strong in Murray's case) with this jovial tune. This type of pop/country is not something I typically like, but there is something about a bouncy song like this that just creates a happy feeling. I don't think it is a great song in anyway, but I ain't mad at it.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The Juno award is the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy award. Murray still holds the record for the most Juno awards ever won. Out of her 52 nominations over the years, she has picked up 24 awards. Celine Dion follows her with 20 wins.


Friday, June 20, 2014

"Cool (Part I)" by The Time

Song#:  0892
Date:  01/30/1982
Debut:  94
Peak:  90
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B, Funk

Pop Bits:  As Prince became more successful, his label allowed him to develop and produce new acts. He took advantage of this and decided to create a funk band that would perform his songs. Gathering musicians from various Minneapolis band and putting his childhood friend Morris Day on vocals, Prince introduced The Time with "Get It Up," the first single from their debut album. It got to #6 on the R&B chart, but failed at pop. This second single was another R&B Top 10 (#7) and this time it was able to get on the pop chart, albeit briefly near the bottom.

ReduxReview:  I think I may have seen a video for this when it came out. I remember during the song that the folks in the video would spell out "cool" with their hands. I really liked the song and got the single. With Prince on the project, I'm surprised this didn't get more attention and do better on the pop chart. I still think it's a great jam and I'll reference it on occasion. Not many people get it though, which is too bad. (The above is the full album track, which goes on way too long for me, but I couldn't find the single edit.)

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Their debut album cover shows the full group and their credits are listed in the liner notes. However, this was basically a full-on Prince affair. He wrote or co-wrote most all the songs, played them, and did the production. The only real person from The Time who performed on the album was Morris Day. Using guide vocals already done by Prince, Day sang the songs as laid out by Prince. This would continue through their next albums as well. However, the band did perform live (mainly opening for Prince) and they had a reputation of being terrific in concert.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

"Only One You" by T.G. Sheppard

Song#:  0891
Date:  01/30/1982
Debut: 96
Peak:  68
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Country

Pop Bits:  Sheppard's previous chart entry, "I Loved 'Em Every One," was his best effort at pop reaching #37. His next album, "Finally!" featured this first single that went on to become his ninth #1 country hit. It couldn't make much progress at pop staying in the bottom third of the chart for a couple months.

ReduxReview:  While not as interesting as "I Loved 'Em Every One," this is a good country song with some rock-leanings. This style of country was never a favorite, but I can appreciate a well-done tune and I think this is one.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Early on while trying to get his music career going, Sheppard also was a successful artist promoter at RCA Records. He developed a relationship with Elvis Presley who encouraged Sheppard to drop promotions and go out on the road. To help things along, Presley gave Sheppard a tour bus. It wasn't long before Sheppard's music career kicked in and he was able to ditch promotions for good.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Tonight I'm Yours (Don't Hurt Me)" by Rod Stewart

Song#:  0890
Date:  01/23/1982
Debut:  74
Peak:  20
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Once again changing up his sound, Stewart scored a hit with the new wave-oriented "Young Turks" (#5). His follow-up, the title track to the album "Tonight I'm Yours," continued in the same vein of his previous hit and it got him another Top 20 entry - just barely.

ReduxReview:  Back then, I liked this song better than "Young Turks." These days they rank about the same for me. They are slight songs done with an early 80s flare. Both are good listens but are not really among Stewart's best. I always thought the tubular bell part on this tune was pretty cool.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Stewart's "Tonight I'm Yours" album contains the song "Never Give Up on a Dream." It was inspired by the story of Canadian athlete Terry Fox who, with a prosthetic leg and recovering from cancer, set out on a cross-Canada run for cancer awareness. Although he was unable to finish his journey (he ran 3,339 miles before having to stop when his cancer returned), he raised millions of dollars, inspired many people, and became an icon in Canada. Stewart had seen a documentary on Fox and with co-writers Bernie Taupin and Jim Creagan wrote the song and dedicated it to Fox.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Wanna Be with You" by Earth, Wind & Fire

Grammy Alert!
Song#:  0889
Date:  01/23/1982
Debut:  78
Peak:  51
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  After their successful (and final) return to the pop Top 10 with "Let's Groove" (#3), the group released this second single from their "Raise!" album. It didn't do that well missing out on the pop Top 40 and only getting to #15 at R&B. However, it was strong enough to get them a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.

ReduxReview:  It's nice they nabbed a Grammy for this and the performance is very good. But I just don't care for the song. I find it very bland and wouldn't even consider this single-worthy. It seems listeners/buyers agreed as it did not do well, especially coming on the heels of one of their biggest hits. It's expertly done, but just not that great of a song. I think the charging "Lady Sun" from the album could have extended their hit streak.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  The group was not the sole winner of the Best R&B Performance Grammy. In a rare tie, The Dazz Band also won for their hit "Let It Whip."


Monday, June 16, 2014

"If Looks Could Kill" by Player

Song#:  0888
Date:  01/23/1982
Debut:  81
Peak:  48
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Player's fortunes quickly dwindled after their 1977 #1 debut single "Baby Come Back." They followed up with one more Top 10 single and then it all kind of fell apart. By 1981 they were left with only two original members in the group. They would struggle on to record their fourth and final album of the 80s, "Spies of Life." This first single didn't do much to revive the group, but it did get close to the Top 40. It would be their last single to reach the chart.

ReduxReview:  Okay, so think about that title - "If Looks Could Kill." It sounds pretty intense. Obviously someone is really pissed and is projecting something dangerous. Therefore, I'm expecting something a bit rockin', or dark and mysterious, to convey this feeling. But what I got was this mid-tempo MOR tune that kept up Player's soft rock ways. I was expecting a more adventurous direction and that certainly didn't happen. It's not a bad tune. I just think it is may be a matter of  not meeting expectations, which always ends up being disappointing.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  When the band originally signed to RSO Records, they did not have a name. Apparently, members were watching a movie on TV and when the credits began to roll it listed the actors as "Players." They dropped the "s" and the band name was born.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

"Should I Do It" by The Pointer Sisters

Song#:  0887
Date:  01/23/1982
Debut:  82
Peak:  13
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  The Sisters' "Slow Hand" became their biggest hit when it reached #2 and stayed there for three weeks. This follow-up single couldn't quite reach the Top 10, but its #13 showing made it the first time the trio got a pair of Top 20 hits from the same album. In this case the LP "Black & White."

ReduxReview:   Although not one of their most famous hits, this girl-group tune is hard to resist. I have to admit than I don't purposely seek this one and I often think - eh, it's not great. But then it starts playing and I can't help bouncing along. It doesn't rank among their best, but it's always a fun listen.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The success of "Slow Hand" and the LP helped to secure the Sisters a couple of Grammy nominations. They got a nod for Best Pop Vocal for "Slow Hand" and then one for Best R&B Performance Duo or Group for the "Black & White" album.