Monday, January 11, 2016

"Blame It on Love" by Smokey Robinson and Barbara Mitchell

Song#:  1517
Date:  07/02/1983
Debut:  79
Peak:  48
Weeks:  12
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The R&B vocal trio High Inergy grabbed a minor chart entry in 1983 with "He's a Pretender," from their album Groove Patrol. Among the tracks on the album, two featured vocals by their Motown labelmate Smokey Robinson. The songs were listed on their album as "featuring Smokey Robinson." However, it seems Robinson and/or his label decided to usurp one of the songs to help promote a new hits LP. Titled Blame It on Love & All the Great Hits, this single was issued on the Tamla imprint under Robinson's name. Early copies of the single had it by Smokey Robinson with High Inergy, but it was decided to just claim it as a duet with front woman Barbara Mitchell. This left the High Inergy album in the dust in favor of the Motown legend's compilation. The ploy worked well at AC where the song reached #5, but Pop and R&B (#35) were not that interested. However, it gave a boost to Mitchell's name/career who left High Inergy soon after.

ReduxReview:  This sounds like it was fashioned after James Ingram's "Just Once." Unfortunately, it's not nearly as good as that AC classic. It's actually not a bad tune and is better than some of the material Robinson was releasing around this time. I can see the AC appeal of the song and it works well for that format. For R&B and Pop? Eh.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Later in the year, Robinson released his next solo album Touch the Sky. Although it featured the #8 R&B hit "I've Made Love to You a Thousand Times," it failed to score any Pop/AC entries and faded quickly, as did his next two albums. It would be the lowest point in his solo career to-date. However, he would have a solid comeback in 1987.


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