Thursday, August 6, 2015

"Please Mr. Postman" by Gentle Persuasion

Song#:  1353
Date:  02/26/1983
Debut:  89
Peak:  82
Weeks:  4
Genre:  R&B, Pop

Pop Bits:  Leza Holms, Sharon Williams, and Renee Johnson made up this Philly-based female R&B vocal trio. They initially had a single on Soul Dimension in 1973 called "Dynamite Explodes," but it didn't break nationally. They then got signed to Capitol Records and recorded a couple of singles, but nothing panned out. Next stop was Warner Bros. and the trio's first full album. Their disco-based, self-titled LP was released in 1978 and once again, it got ignored. In the new decade, Capitol Records gave the ladies another shot and this one-off single was recorded. The song failed at R&B, but did spend a month floating around the bottom of the pop chart. It wasn't enough for Capitol to further invest and the trio faded away.

ReduxReview:  These ladies certainly gave it a shot. Three chances at two major labels and this ended up being their only chart entry. They had the vocal chops, but it just seemed that they couldn't get the right material. This one didn't really help. The retro sound was not very hip at the time and the slight arrangement (almost mimicking The Pointer Sisters' "Should I Do It") didn't do anything to boost the song. It's perfectly fine to hear, but it is just bland and faceless. The trio doesn't stand out. The ladies deserved better.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Although the ladies couldn't get Gentle Persuasion off the ground, they did hit #1 on the dance chart under another name. An early pioneer of the Eurodisco sound, Boris Midney created a "group" (really, a studio project) called USA-European Connection. The vocals for the recordings were all done by the Gentle Persuasion trio. A four song disco LP called "Come Into My Heart" was issued in 1978 and it went on to top the US dance chart that year. Midney would record a self-titled follow-up LP under the USA-European Connection moniker, but he ended up using different vocalists for that outing.  2) This is a remake of the 1961 original by The Marvelettes. Their version would be a #1 hit at both pop and R&B. The Beatles would famously cover the tune, but it was not issued as a single. In 1974, the song would be revived and reach #1 again, this time by The Carpenters. That success made the song one of only nine in the rock era to have hit #1 by two different artists.


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