Friday, April 22, 2016

"Canvas of Life" by Minor Detail

Spotlight Alert!
Song#:  1619
Date:  09/24/1983
Debut:  95
Peak:  92
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  This Irish duo consisted of brothers John and Willie Hughes. In the 60s and 70s, they honed their skills with two other bands. First was a pop/rock covers band called Ned Spoone. They then moved on to a folk-hippie style acoustic outfit called Highway. Neither would bring the brothers much success and by the 80s they decided to concentrate on pop song writing and soon Minor Detail was born. They signed with Polydor Records and recorded their self-titled debut album. This first single was issued and became just a blip on the Pop chart for a couple of weeks. It did a little better in their Ireland home where it reached #25. The lack of a success took its toll and they split in 1984. A couple of years later, they tried to mount a comeback and issued a new single, but it failed to get any attention and Minor Detail broke up for the final time.

ReduxReview:  Where did this 80s synthpop gem come from? Never heard of the duo or this song. That's too bad because I would have jumped on this song back in the day. Very cool, melodic synthpop with a little Neil Young Trans vocodor tossed in. Nice arrangement too. Dang! This should have been a Top 40 contender. I was kind of surprised the album was on Spotify since a CD version is not available. I found it on Amazon as an MP3 download, so I bought that puppy as I thought the whole disc was really interesting. This, of course, is the stand-out track and definitely worthy of a Redux Spotlight, which I haven't done in a long while. This one definitely caught me by surprise and discovering little treasures like this is what I love about doing this blog project.


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Minor Detail's debut album was produced by Bill Whelen. If that name seems familiar, it's most likely because he composed the score for the mid-90s theatrical sensation Riverdance. That show has been seen by millions worldwide and the soundtrack was a big hit getting platinum certification in the US.  2) John Hughes later went on to serve as the music coordinator for the 1991 film The Commitments. At the auditions, a quartet of siblings caught his attention. The four did get minor parts in the film, but Hughes saw more potential and became their manager. By 1995, the four Corr siblings released their debut album. As The Corrs, they landed on the US chart at #68 with their first single, "Runaway." A reissue of that song would come out in 1999 and hit #2 in the UK and #20 on the US AC chart. The following year they reached #1 in the UK, #14 US AC, and #34 US Pop with "Breathless." That single allowed their album In Blue to reach platinum status in the US. Hughes still manages the successful quartet.


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