Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"The Border" by America

Song#:  1499
Date:  06/18/1983
Debut: 82
Peak:  33
Weeks: 12
Genre:  Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  It seemed America's hit days ended in the mid-70's, but the now-duo of Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell rallied for an unexpected hit with 1982's "You Can Do Magic" (#6 Pop/#5 AC). Written and produced by Russ Ballard, the duo decided to retain his services for their next LP Your Move. Ballard took on the project, but to an extent that didn't really please the duo. By the time Beckley and Bunnell got involved in the recording sessions, Ballard and already written and recorded most all of the songs playing the instruments himself. Basically all the guys had to do was add their vocals. The duo did get some of their co-writes included, but Ballard's song would take up seven of the eleven tracks. With Ballard in charge, the duo had little input and they struggled through the sessions. The one bright spot for them was this tune. Originally written only by Ballard, Bunnell was dissatisfied with the lyrics. He asked to take a crack at them and Ballard obliged. The new lyrics worked well and the song became the first single from the album. It was able to crack the Pop Top 40 while hitting #4 at AC. It would end up being the duo's final Pop chart entry. They would record one more album in 1984 before focusing on their live shows. It would be a decade before they would return to the studio.

ReduxReview:  This has a certain "Ride Like the Wind" feel to it. I like the arrangement and it's a good song, but it doesn't quite reach the pop heights of "You Can Do Magic." Still, it probably could have done a little better on the chart. Maybe Top 20 at most. AC loved the song and I think it lives on in that format, but this has sort of become a lost track over the years.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song features strings by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The sax solo was performed by Raphael Ravenscroft. You may not know his name, but most everyone knows his most famous solo. Ravenscroft did the unforgettable sax line from the 1978 hit by Gerry Rafferty, "Baker Street" (#2). It is arguably one of the most recognizable sax melodies in rock music.


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