Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Nice Girls" by Melissa Manchester

Song#:  1339
Date:  02/05/1983
Debut:  69
Peak:  42
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Manchester scored her biggest pop hit with the Grammy-winning "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" (#5). It pushed her album "Hey Ricky" to #19, which was her second most successful chart LP. Unfortunately, Manchester couldn't score a second chart single from the album. So in order to strike while the iron was hot, Arista went ahead and issued Manchester's first "Greatest Hits" collection. In addition to her chart hits, the album included this new song that got issued as a single. It peaked just shy of the Top 40. It would be Manchester's last single to get near the Top 40.

ReduxReview:  This song kept up Manchester's new contemporary pop sound, but it just wasn't as good or catchy as "You Should Hear." To me, it sounds like a lost track from Kim Carnes' 1983 album "Cafe Racers." I like the song and its dark tone, but it's not strong enough to cut its way through to the upper reaches of the chart. I have to say that I've always felt bad for Manchester around this time. Clive Davis and her next label, MCA, tried to make her into some pop/dance diva and besides "You Should Here," it really did not work. And her songwriting credits began to disappear. She wrote/co-wrote most of the songs on her early albums, but by the time she recorded 1985's "Mathematics," she didn't have a single writing credit. She didn't find her voice again until she wrote her 2004 album "When I Look Down That Road" (which I highly recommend). Chances are had Manchester kept her AC ways after "You Should Hear," her career probably would have dropped off anyway. But at least it would have been a more comfortable and graceful path to follow than the corporate pop rabbit hole to nowhere that she got shoved down.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Manchester began to dip her toe in the acting pool around this time. She appeared in a 1984 episode of the TV show "Fame" and later found herself once again supporting Bette Midler in the 1991 film "For the Boys." Fans of the TV show "Blossom" may remember that Manchester appeared as Blossom's mom for a couple of seasons.


1 comment:

  1. Of course it wasn't as good or as catchy as "You Should Hear...." a song like that comes along once in a career... if at all. Manchester hadn't had a big hit since early '79, so when "You Should..." hit, and won her a Grammy, of course they were going to go back to the well one more time. I loved "Nice Girls," and was very surprised/disappointed that it didn't do better.