Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Got to Be There" by Chaka Khan

Song#:  1301
Date:  01/08/1983
Debut:  82
Peak:  67
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Khan's self-titled fourth solo album wasn't a major hit, but it got lots of praise from critics and it won two Grammy awards including one for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. It was helped along by this first single that reached #5 at R&B. Pop radio wasn't as interested and that lead to the song only spending a few weeks in the bottom third of the chart.

ReduxReview:  For about half of this song, Khan gives a lovely, understated performance that is beautiful. The arrangement is nice and I was really enjoying the song until about halfway through when Ms. Screech showed up. As I've mentioned before, Khan is an excellent vocalist but when she revs up into her upper register, her tone just becomes piercing. It just hits my ears wrong. Especially on a ballad like this that didn't need to be zoomed into high gear. Her final big note about split my head apart. Totally unnecessary and a bad choice in my opinion. It's a disappointment. Half of this song is lush and gorgeous, but sadly the second half turns around and stomps the shit out of it.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of Michael Jackson's first solo single. His original version peaked at #4 on both the pop and R&B charts in 1971.  2) In 1982, Khan took a break from solo work to record a jazz project. The resulting album called "Echos of an Era" featured Khan and five prominent jazz musicians: Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Freddie Hubbard, and Lenny White. With Khan singing standards, the project was well-received and would reach #11 on the jazz chart (#105 pop, #38 R&B). Khan would receive a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female.


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