Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Save the Overtime (For Me)" by Gladys Knight & the Pips

Song#:  1459
Date:  05/21/1983
Debut:  90
Peak:  66
Weeks:  10
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  After a string of hits in the early and mid 70s, things cooled off for this group. They rallied in 1980 with the #3 R&B hit "Landlord" (#46 Pop), but then it got downright chilly for them. Their follow-up singles stiffed at R&B while they were totally frozen out of the Pop chart. Three years after their last major hit, Knight and the Pips were able to capture some magic with this first single from their album "Visions." It was a smash at R&B where it became their first #1 hit since 1974's "I Feel a Song (In My Heart)." Although it didn't do that well at Pop, it did get them back on the chart for the first time since "Landlord." Their follow-up single "You're Number One (In My Book)" would again do well at R&B hitting #5, but it missed the Pop chart completely. However, the dual R&B hits got the album to #3 R&B/#34 Pop and that was enough to get it certified gold.

ReduxReview:  Alright. What weird universe were we living in that this was not a Pop hit? I mean, c'mon. I know pop radio was going through growing pains and still reluctant to a lot of R&B jams, but this song had "hit" written all over it. At minimum it should have reached the Top 20. It's got a great groove, a solid hook, and the vocals from Knight and the Pips are top-notch. It is easily their best latter-day hit. I was mentioning in an earlier post how a lot of songs with a static groove can just be boring but that there are exceptions. Here is one where the majority of the song is the same groove, yet it totally works. The hook and the vocals enhance the groove and keep it interesting and moving forward. Oh - and the "5-4-3-2-1" - freakin' awesome. If you're not dancing, you're not living.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  In March of '83, Lou Rawls became the first to hit the Pop chart with the song "Wind Beneath My Wings" (#60 R&B). Knight and the Pips also recorded a version of the song under a different title. "Hero" was issued as the third single from their "Visions" album and it would reach #64 at R&B. It did a bit better at AC hitting #23. Unfortunately, it would not make it to the Pop chart.


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