Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Keep It Confidential" by Nona Hendryx

Song#:  1475
Date:  06/04/1983
Debut:  95
Peak:  91
Weeks:  3
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Hendryx began her career in the early 60s as a member of The Blue Bells with Patti Labelle and Sarah Dash (and for a short time Cindy Birdsong). The trio hit it big as Labelle in 1974 with their #1 hit "Lady Marmalade," but tensions in the group led to their breakup in 1976. Each member set out on a solo career with Labelle having the most success. Hendryx, known for her wild style and music experimentation released her first solo album in 1977. Although it got good notices thanks to her mix of soul and hard rock, the album tanked and she was let go from her label. After that, she started doing a lot of session work for major artists and toured with bands like Talking Heads. She wouldn't record another solo album until 1982's "Nona." Cutting back on the rock and taking a more traditional dance/R&B approach proved to be a better commercial fit for her as this single demonstrated by its #22 R&B/#25 Dance results showed. Pop wasn't all that interested and the song floundered at the bottom of the chart for a few weeks.

ReduxReview:  Hendryx certainly changed up her sound since her debut five years earlier. (That self-titled LP is a pretty great rock album, so check it out.)  This song certainly ditches the rock in favor of mainstream pop/R&B and it works well for her. She is a solid writer and a vocal powerhouse. I don't think I'd call this one a chart topper, but it certainly should have done better than scraping the bottom few notches. I prefer her more rock-oriented tunes, but this is a nice departure.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Although her next two albums wouldn't generate any hits, her 1985 album "The Heat" contained the song "Rock This House," which featured Keith Richards. The recording got her a Grammy nod for Best Rock Female Vocal.


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