Saturday, September 13, 2014

"When It's Over" by Loverboy

Song#:  0989
Date:  04/10/1982
Debut:  79
Peak:  26
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This second single from Loverboy's LP "Get Lucky" was their fourth chart single and their highest peaking to-date. It beat their previous single, "Working for the Weekend," by three spots, even though that song would end up being a classic from the decade. The album was a significant hit reaching #7 and eventually going 5x platinum. It was helped along by two other songs that reached the rock radio chart. "Take Me to the Top" (#23) and "Lucky Ones" (#36).

ReduxReview:  I'm not sure why this one did better than "Working." I'm thinking that it has kind of a Foreigner sound that was less arena rock-oriented making more palatable for pop radio. While not nearly as good as "Weekend," it's still a quality single from the group.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song features background vocals by Nancy Nash. The Canadian recorded as a solo artist and as part of a group (Touché), but she couldn't really break through on the charts. However, she had a successful career in the background supporting acts like Loverboy, Bryan Adams, and Cher. She also provided background vocals for Bon Jovi's hit "Living on a Prayer." Having a deep Canadian Aboriginal ancestry line, Nash was adopted by several First Nations (indigenous) groups and took the name Sazacha Red Sky. She began recording Aboriginal songs and got nominated for a Juno award in 1994 for "The Prayer Song." However, the nomination was controversial when it was discovered that the tune was not of Canadian origin, a requirement of the category.


Friday, September 12, 2014

"A Night to Remember" by Shalamar

Song#:  0988
Date:  04/10/1982
Debut:  82
Peak:  44
Weeks:  10
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  Shalamar had a bit of a bump in the road after their 1980 gold album "Three for Love." Their label was switching distributors and contracts required Shalamar to deliver an LP for the old distributor. The trio ended up recording two albums with the first of them, "Go for It," released to satisfy their obligation. It was under-promoted with only one single reaching the R&B Top 20. Now set up with a new deal, they released the other LP, "Friends." Thanks mainly to this single that hit #8 at R&B, the album returned them to gold status while became their one and only #1 R&B album. At pop, the single just missed out on a Top 40 appearance.

ReduxReview:  I'm not sure what really prevented this song from heading up the chart further. It was certainly worthy. I have a feeling that it was just too dance-oriented. Post-disco dance songs were not really finding a home on the pop chart at the time, so there could have still been some resistance to the genre following the death of disco. It's a shame as this is a quality entry from the trio.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Although they had some prior minor success in the UK, the group scored a major breakthrough hit with this song. It reached #5 while the album hit #6. Two other Top 10 singles from the album followed. The success was partially attributed to trio member Jeffery Daniel's body-popping moves and moonwalk (pre-Michael Jackson) during the group's performance of this song on BBC's "Top of the Pops" TV show. He caused a sensation and as a result the group received a lot of attention.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Secret Journey" by The Police

Song#:  0987
Date:  04/10/1982
Debut:  87
Peak:  46
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  In the UK, the first single from The Police's album "Ghost in the Machine" was "Invisible Sun," followed by "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" and "Spirits in the Material World." In the US, the album was kicked off with "Every Little" (#3) and then "Spirits" (#11). For the LP's third US single, instead of going with "Invisible Sun" to catch up with the UK, this song was chosen instead and was released in the US only. It couldn't match the success of the previous two singles and missed out on the Top 40.

ReduxReview:  The song's intro is a little too atmospheric and long at the beginning for a pop radio single and when compared to their Top 10 hits, this one pales in comparison. It's forgettable. It makes a solid album track, but kind of a dud as a single.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The cover of the "Ghosts in the Machine" album features an image that looks similar to a seven-segment display (like an alarm clock's numbers). Obviously make up of more than seven segments, the "digits" were made to represent the heads of the band members. Most recognizable would be the center one that depicts Sting's spiky hair.


"Loving You" by Chris Rea

Song#:  0986
Date:  04/10/1982
Debut:  88
Peak:  88
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  English musician Rea performed in a couple of bands before heading out on a solo career in 1978. His debut album contained the #12 (#1 AC) hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," which got Rea nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy. His follow-up albums failed to produce any significant hits and his popularity in the US quickly declined. This single from his self-titled fourth album dropped off the chart after a few weeks. In the UK, his initial singles (including "Fool") were not popular. But he broke through there in the late 80s with a pair of #1 albums and several other Top 10 LPs.

ReduxReview:  Rea's background is more in the blues-rock vein as this single reflects. It has a Clapton vibe and it is enhanced by Rea's guitar work and gravely voice. Although a nice listen, the song is not really powerful enough to make a real impression on radio. It's a nice album track, but as a single - eh.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Rea's solo debut album was title Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? The name referred to in the title was the name his record company wanted him to adopt. They wanted his stage name to be Benjamin Santini. It was eventually rejected and Rea ended up using his real name.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"I Don't Know Where to Start" by Eddie Rabbitt

Song#:  0985
Date:  04/10/1982
Debut:  89
Peak:  35
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  Rabbitt's LP "Step By Step" had already yielded two #1 country hits (with the title track hitting #5 at pop) when this third single was launched. He had to settle for the #2 position on the country chart this time around which broke his streak of five consecutive #1's. At pop, the song managed a Top 40 showing while reaching #9 at AC.

ReduxReview:  I had always thought this was a pretty song with a lovely set of lyrics. It's kind of hidden gem in his catalog. It may have been a bit too subtle to make waves at pop radio, but it's a quality tune that should have done better.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Thom Schuyler. It is one of several hit songs he has written for country artists. Like a lot of successful songwriters, Schuyler tried for his own solo career, but he could only manage a couple of Top 50 country singles. However, he joined up with Fred Knobloch and Paul Overstreet for the trio S-K-O. Their lone album yielded two Top 10 country hits including the #1 "Baby's Got a New Baby" in 1986.


"Murphy's Law" by Cheri

Song#:  0984
Date:  04/10/1982
Debut:  90
Peak:  39
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Dance, R&B

Pop Bits:  Cheri was a dance duo that consisted of Rosalind Hunt and Lyn Cullerier. Formed in Montreal, Canada, they issued this single which quickly gained in popularity. In Canada, they issued a self-titled debut LP while in the US, a modified "concept" version of their Canadian debut was released as "Murphy's Law." This single would became a hit on the dance chart reaching #1 while going to #5 at R&B. It crossed over to pop where it just got into the Top 40. It would be Cheri's only chart entry. After the success of this single, Cullerier left the duo and was replaced by Amy Roslyn. Cheri released a second LP called "Love Stew," but it failed to capitalize on any momentum gained by this hit. It appears the duo called it a day soon after.

ReduxReview:  I guess this was famous for the duck-ish voice part. I remembered this song was on the chart but had no recollection of what it sounded like. It offers a good groove and the sped-up vocals give it a little boost, but overall it kind of drags along and gets a little repetitive. The single version cuts it down by a couple minutes, but even then it seemed too long.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This duo basically came about via Hunt's mother, Geradine Hunt. Geraldine was herself an R&B singer who got a couple minor songs on the chart before trying out the disco scene and hitting with the #1 dance track "Can't Fake the Feeling" in 1980. Legal issues kept Geraldine from recording for any label, so she and her son Freddie James (who had is own #5 dance hit in 1979 with "Get Up and Boogie") decided to try an experiment with her daughter Rosalind and Lyn Cullerier. The result was "Murphy's Law" and for all of them, it became their biggest hit. Geraldine and Freddie would produce Cheri's two albums with Geraldine co-writing most of the tracks.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Run For the Roses" by Dan Fogelberg

Song#:  0983
Date:  04/03/1982
Debut:  65
Peak:  18
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Pop

Pop Bits:  Fogelberg's double-LP "The Innocent Age" had already spawned three Top 10 singles including his tribute song to his father, "Leader of the Band" (#9). This fourth single was issued just in time to receive extra promotion for that May's Kentucky Derby. It helped the song reach the Top 20 at pop and #3 at AC.

ReduxReview:  I don't think Fogelberg could have written a more appropriate song for the Derby (see below). It's a beautiful folk-country tune with spot-on lyrics that fit the event perfectly. This could have easily been churned out into something sickly saccharine, but Fogelberg nailed it and for me it easily ranks among his best song.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  "Run For the Roses" is not only a song, but a term used to describe the Kentucky Derby. Held the first Saturday in May, it serves as the first race in the Triple Crown. ABC television commissioned Fogelberg to write a song for the 1980 Derby. It was used in a TV special the night before the race. Fogelberg included it on his "Innocent Age" album and when it came time to release another single from that album, the timing was perfect to release this song as the Derby was just a month away. The tune has kind of been the unofficial anthem of the Derby since then.


"It's Gonna Take a Miracle" by Deniece Williams

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  0982
Date:  04/03/1982
Debut:  66
Peak:  10
Weeks:  17
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Williams scored a gold record with her 1981 album "My Melody." Her follow-up, "Niecy," couldn't sell as much, but did well on the pop chart (#20) thanks to this single that became her first solo pop Top 10. It would be her first solo R&B #1 as well. (Williams had previously scored a #1 on both charts but in duo form - "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" with Johnny Mathis hit #1 in 1978.) Williams would receive a Grammy nod for Best Female R&B Performance for this song.

ReduxReview:  This is a terrific revival of a song that didn't really make it the first time around. Sometimes that is the best way to do a cover - do a song that wasn't originally a hit and make it one. Williams sounds so great on this song and her little boo-ap-ap-bop's at the end are so awesome. I'm not sure why the original (see below) didn't make it. That version is really good as well.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song is a remake of the 1965 single put out by the girl group The Royalettes. Their original reached #41 on the pop chart and #28 at R&B. It would be their biggest hit. Singer/songwriter Laura Nyro covered the tune for her 1971 album of the same name. On that album, Nyro would be backed by LaBelle, three years before that trio hit #1 with "Lady Marmalade."


Monday, September 8, 2014

"Wake Up Little Suzie" by Simon & Garfunkel

Song#:  0981
Date:  04/03/1982
Debut:  67
Peak:  27
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Childhood friends Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel began their music career as the folk duo Tom & Jerry in the late 50s. Signed to Big Records, they had a minor hit in 1957 with "Hey, Schoolgirl" (#49). Without a substantial follow-up, the duo headed to separate colleges but reformed later and issued a debut album for Columbia Records called "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M." The LP flopped and the duo decided to split. That may have been the end of the line for both, but luckily a track from the album started to get requests. "The Sound of Silence" was gaining in popularity and so the album's producer, Tom Wilson, added a new Byrds-esque arrangement and in 1965 the song hit #1. Simon & Garfunkel reunited and over the next five years released a string of hit albums and singles that culminated in their 1970 Grammy-winning masterwork, "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Their strained relationship caused them to split up after that album, but they would reunited on occasion for special appearances and tours. Their most famous post-breakup appearance came in 1981 when they did a free concert in New York's Central Park. Over 500,000 people showed up and the event was turned into a TV special and a double live LP. This single from the concert album was issued and it became the duo's final pop chart entry.

ReduxReview:  As a tribute to their heroes (see below), I guess this is perfectly fine. There is not much here though that makes it interesting. It's just a cover tune. Since it was the only "new" song done in the concert, I'm guessing that is why it was chosen over a live version of one of their famous songs. The duo really did amazing work but if you just judged them by this single, the reaction might

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Simon & Garfunkel have stated that the Everly Brothers influenced their music greatly. They paid tribute to the Everly's in their Central Park concert by performing this classic that was a #1 for the Brothers in 1957.


"Man on Your Mind" by Little River Band

Song#:  0980
Date:  04/03/1982
Debut:  69
Peak:  14
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  After a pair of Top 10's from their "Time Exposure" LP, the band goes for a third hit with this single. It came close to duplicating the previous successes, but ended up petering out just shy. The song was co-written and sung by one of the group's founders, Glenn Shorrock. He would leave the band after this album but end up rejoining in 1987.

ReduxReview:  After two great singles, "The Night Owls" and "Take It Easy on Me," the band comes out with another solid track. I don't like it as much as the other two songs, but it's still a quality tune that stands right alongside their other hits.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Some members of the band were previously in a group called Mississippi. They released a self-titled album in Australia that featured a #7 hit called "Kings of the World." They broke up in 1974 after a tour of the UK, but upon their return to Australia they reformed with a new lineup and eventually changed their name to Little River Band.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

"When He Shines" by Sheena Easton

Song#:  0979
Date:  04/03/1982
Debut:  75
Peak:  30
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Easton's second LP, "You Could Have Been with Me," started off with the #15 title track. This second single could only manage a Top 30 showing while reaching #13 at AC. It was the start of a decline in popularity that she would rally back from the following year.

ReduxReview:  I totally fell for this very quiet ballad when it first came out. The key for me was the big final chorus. When that kicked in, I was all about this song. I was always disappointed that it only got to #30 as I thought it deserved better. I think it gets lost in her catalog, which is too bad because it's a terrific ballad and one of her best vocals.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  It seemed to be more common back in the vinyl days where the contents of an album from the UK (or another country) would be different from the US release. This would be the case with Easton's first three albums. In the UK, this song appeared on her debut album and it was released as a single reaching #12. The US version of the album did not contain this song, however it made it on her second US LP (which had a different track listing than the UK version).