Sunday, March 13, 2016

"Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)" by Sheena Easton

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1579
Date:  08/20/1983
Debut:  67
Peak:  9
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  After a series of lackluster performing singles (mostly ballads), Easton found herself in the Top 10 again with "We've Got Tonight," a duet with Kenny Rogers (#6 Pop, #1 Country, #2 AC). It was her first recording to be done in the US and its success spurred her to record her next LP in the States. With new producers, she developed the album Best Kept Secret. Although her signature ballads were present, the LP featured more upbeat pop tunes that were in step with the day's music. It proved to be a wise choice when this first single became her fourth Top 10 hit (#9 Dance, #15 AC). The song's success was a much needed boost to her career. The Grammys also took notice and gave Easton a nod for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

ReduxReview:  Easton definitely needed this hit. She was stuck in an AC ballad rut and the younger pop audience was quickly leaving her behind. Going all Europop-ish was a smart move and it dug her out of the hole. Even though it's a very slight tune, the hip (at the time) production and Easton's delivery made this ideal for pop radio.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  For some inexplicable reason, after the success of Best Kept Secret, Easton went to work on a Spanish language album designed for the Latin market, despite the fact she didn't speak or understand Spanish. The project, titled Todo Me Recuerda a Ti, featured Spanish language versions of her hit songs. Among the selections were "Telefone" ("Teléfono") and "We've Got Tonight" ("La Noche Y Tú"), done in a duet with Spanish musician Dyango. A few original tunes were also tossed in the mix including a duet with Luis Miguel called "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres." Issued as the album's first single, it would go on to win a Grammy award for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Performance. That win didn't sit well with some Mexican-American musicians who balked at Scottish Easton getting the award. There was a bit of a protest, but in the end, Easton still walked away with the award.


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