Monday, June 15, 2015

"What If (I Said I Love You)" by Unipop

Song#:  1290
Date:  12/25/1982
Debut:  90
Peak:  71
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  In the late 60s/early 70s, Manny Loiacano headlined shows in New York clubs under the name Rick Daniels. He had steady gigs at the Copacabana and even made appearances on the "Tonight Show." After he married his wife, Phyllis, the pair moved to Atlanta and began writing their own music. It was there that they ended up singing background on Bertie Higgins' 1981 debut album that featured the #8 hit "Key Largo." The duo attracted the attention of Higgins' label, Kat Family, who signed the husband and wife team. With the help of Higgins' producer Sonny Limbo, Manny and Phyllis became Unipop and recorded their one and only LP "Unilove." This first single made a slight dent in the chart, but it wasn't enough to sustain their career. Manny and Phyllis ended their Unipop days and resumed life in Atlanta.

ReduxReview:  This was the first and only song on the charts in '82 that was not available either on Spotify or YouTube. So I bought the album and got the song posted. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. It's quite strange. It sounds like modern take on a song from the 50s. However, the odd thing about it are the voices. I just can tell what is going on there. They sound manipulated almost in chipmunk-style but not quite so fast. Maybe the multi-tracking of the vocals caused the odd effect. Other songs on the album are voiced the same so I'm not sure if it was intentional schtick or if it really was their own voices. Whatever the case may be, it sounds strange and almost otherworldly. The song itself is kinda catchy. I didn't much care for it at first, but the more I heard it the better I appreciated it. I'm just not sure what genre to put this in. Maybe Alien Retro? Regardless, it certainly is an interesting chart entry.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Manny's main profession is that of an aural piano tuner. He has perfect pitch and is able to tune pianos by ear only. He learned this trade in the 60s working for Steinway in New York. After he moved to Atlanta, he worked for Baldwin Pianos and opened up his own tuning business. He still owns and operates Roswell Piano Tuning by Ear, which services the Atlanta metro area.


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