Saturday, November 7, 2015

"How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" by James Ingram with Patti Austin

Song#:  1455
Date:  05/14/1983
Debut:  80
Peak:  45
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  This duo had an unexpected #1 hit late in '82 when "Baby Come to Me," from Austin's album "Every Home Should Have One," got tons of attention via the TV soap "General Hospital." The singers were paired up again for this song that was featured in the 1982 rom-com "Best Friends," starring Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn. Although there would not be an official soundtrack to the film, this song was popular enough to spark a single release. It ended up peaking just outside of the Pop Top 40, but it was a hit at AC and R&B where it reached #5 and #6, respectively. The song would eventually find its way to Ingram's debut album the following year. The pair also recorded the song "Think About Love," which was heard in the film but never released.

ReduxReview:  I've always thought this was a pretty ballad. It's perfect for AC, but runs a bit on the mature side for 80s pop radio. I'm even a little surprised it did so well at R&B. The song has gone on to be a bit of a pop standard with artists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand recording the tune. It's not a classic in any way, but it's a very good song that is once again made better by Ingram's vocals (don't get me wrong, Austin is no slouch, but Ingram just nails it).

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song would go on to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. Composed by Michel Legrand (music) with Alan and Marilyn Bergman (lyrics), it was one of three songs that were nominated that year to be co-written by the Bergmans. Despite the multiple nominations, they still lost out on the award which went to the #1 hit "Up Where We Belong."


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