Friday, January 29, 2016

"Words" by F.R. David

Song#:  1535
Date:  07/23/1983
Debut:  94
Peak:  62
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Synthpop, Europop

Pop Bits:  Born in Tunisia and raised in France, Elli Robert Fitoussi David tried to get a career started in bands and on his own, but not much panned out. Along the way, he became a successful studio musician working with artists like Vangelis, The Doobie Brothers, and Toto. His closest brush with fame came when he joined the English-language French rock outfit Les Variations in 1974. They scored a hit in France, but crossing over to the US proved difficult and David left the band for a solo career. With the moniker of F.R. David, he co-wrote and recorded this song, which was issued in France late in 1981. It was a hit and it spread across Europe going Top 10 in several countries. The song finally reached the UK in 1983 where it peaked at #2. The US was next, but the Europop song wasn't clicking with Americans and the song fizzled at #62. Follow-ups failed to get attention anywhere and in most European countries (especially the UK) he got labeled a one-hit wonder.

ReduxReview:  This kind of sounds like an Eric Carmen knock-off from the 70s. It's pretty cheezy. Europeans can shower a lot of love to schlock like this, but the US tends to ignore much of it. Sometimes that is not justified and we miss out on some primo crazy Europop, but in this case I'd say it was the correct call. The style of the song was really out-of-step with US pop radio at the time and the saccharine lyrics didn't help matters. I don't have much else to add, so I guess you could say that "Words" fails me...

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  In 1983, the English band The Tremoloes recorded this song. When they recorded the tune, it was already popular around Europe, but had not hit the UK chart yet. The band experienced their heyday in the late 60s and saw the single as a potential comeback opportunity. Unfortunately, by they time the single was released, David's original recording took hold and started climbing the chart. It pretty much killed The Tremoloes single, which ended up peaking at #91 on the UK chart. The Tremoloes scored eleven UK Top 10 singles (including two #1's) between 1963 and 1970. They were not as fortunate in the US where they could only muster five charting singles. The best of those was the #11 "Silence Is Golden" in 1967.


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