Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Masquerade" by Berlin

Song#:  1624
Date:  09/24/1983
Debut:  88
Peak:  82
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Synthpop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Berlin's Pleasure Victim album, initially released in 1982, finally picked up momentum after the controversial single "Sex (I'm A...)" caused a fuss and reached #62 on the Pop chart. Reaction to the single, both good and bad, put a spotlight on the album and with the help of their new label, Geffen, the album was reissued and it reached #30. A reissued second single, "The Metro," grabbed some attention as well hitting #58 (#10 Rock/#8 Dance). The songs and controversy made the album sell and it eventually went platinum. Before the group reconvened to record their next album, this third single was issued. Results were less favorable and it disappeared after a few short weeks on the chart.

ReduxReview:  I distinctly remember hearing this song for the first time. I knew about Berlin before this, but didn't pay much attention to them. Then, one night I was watching TV in my dorm room at college. There was this new show on (I can't remember the name of it and I think it was only on a couple times) that showcased new, upcoming hot acts. Berlin came on and did this song. Watching Terri Nunn and hearing this song bowled me over. I can still see her in my mind doing this song. I absolutely loved it. I think the next day I went out and bought Pleasure Victim. They won me over and I became a big fan. I thought for sure this song would be a sizable hit for them, but it got ignored. It is easily one of my favorite Berlin tracks.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Despite being considered a founding member of Berlin, Terri Nunn was not the band's original lead singer. A young artist named Toni Childs held that position first. Childs was with the band long enough to co-write songs that would end up being on their 1980 debut album. However, she longed for a solo career and informed the band she was leaving. That's when the remaining members found Terri Nunn. But not long after Nunn joined, she changed her mind and dropped out of the band in favor of an acting career. In her place, Virginia Macolino took over on vocals. Macolino and the band recorded the album Information, which featured five songs co-written by Childs. The indie album didn't get much attention and soon Macolino was out and Nunn rejoined. Their next album, Pleasure Victim, became their breakthrough. Childs did go on to have a successful solo career, but it didn't take off until her 1988 debut album Union was issued. It would end up being a gold seller bolstered by the #17 Modern Rock hit "Don't Walk Away" and a Grammy nod for Best New Artist.


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