Thursday, February 25, 2016

"Rainbow's End" by Sergio Mendes

Song#:  1562
Date:  08/13/1983
Debut:  87
Peak:  52
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Sergio Mendes found himself with a surprise Pop Top 10 fourteen years after his last Pop chart appearance. "Never Gonna Let You Go" sung by Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller, was a big hit that reached #1 at AC, #4 Pop, and #28 R&B. It was from Mendes' self-titled LP, as was this second single. While the song got some airplay at AC (#6), Pop was less enthusiastic and the single peaked just outside the Top 50.

ReduxReview:  This pop-jazzy outing wouldn't be out of place for a Michael McDonald album. McDonald may have given it a boost with a bit of blue-eyed soul tossed in. If he did, it might have been better. Al Jarreau might have done well with this tune too. Whoever would/could/did do the song, I can't say it would be a favorite. It's a good tune with solid pedigree, but it plays more like an album track than a single. I have to say that no matter what tracks I liked or disliked on the album, the fact is that it sounds nothing like a Sergio Mendes recording. Any reputable musician could have put there name on this and it would have sounded the same. Back in the day, Mendes created a great sound for his Brazil outfits, but that is completely lost here. This was just an attempt to Herb Alpert-ize Mendes and get some more miles out of an old model (as Alpert did with "Rise" and later with "Diamonds"). It's also no surprise that Mendes was on A&M - Alpert's label. The ploy worked, but at the cost of losing Mendes' real musical persona. Hopefully, new listeners went to Mendes' back catalog and discovered his great LPs from the 60s and early 70s (I have them all...).

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Mendes is not a vocalist, so for tracks requiring vocals, he hires out, as was the case for "Never Gonna Let You Go" and other songs on the album. This particular song features lead vocals by Danny Sembello. If that name sounds familiar, it is because he is the brother of Michael "Maniac" Sembello. Although Danny did not release any recordings on his own, he did write (and co-write with his brother) and produce songs for other artists. His most well-known songs come from the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop. Danny co-wrote "Neutron Dance" (#6) for the Pointer Sisters and "Stir It Up" (#41) for Patti LaBelle. The efforts got him a Grammy when the soundtrack won for Best Score Soundtrack.


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