Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" by Michael McDonald

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1136
Date:  08/07/1982
Debut:  69
Peak:  4
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  With McDonald officially separated from The Doobie Brothers, it was time for him to record his debut solo album. "If That's What It Takes" reached #6 on the pop album chart and would be a gold seller thanks in part to McDonald's popularity via the Doobies and this first single that reached the Top 10. It was a solid start that would garner him a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. McDonald's sister Maureen provided background vocals on the tune.

ReduxReview:  For his first solo single, McDonald doesn't stray too far from the sound he brought to The Doobie Brothers. That was probably a good choice as the familiar sound seemed to please listeners. Plus, this tune was far better than anything McDonald contributed to the last Doobies album. It's a terrific single that still holds up. McDonald had some further good singles, but this was really his peak moment.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The songwriting credits for this tune originally listed Michael McDonald and Ed Sanford (of The Sanford-Townsend Band, "Smoke from a Distant Fire," #9, 1977). However, soon after the song was released it was noticed that there was a distinct similarity to another song by the same name. The famous songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote "I Keep Forgettin'" in 1962. It was originally recorded by R&B singer Chuck Jackson. The song and arrangement were considered a little ahead of its time (and a bit Bacharach/David-ish too) and the song fizzled reaching #55 at pop. However, it is considered one of Jackson's best recordings and it has been updated by several artists including David Bowie (on his 1984 "Tonight" album). The beginning of each song is nearly identical in melody and before a lawsuit could ensue, Leiber and Stoller were given songwriting credits on McDonald's hit.


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