Sunday, May 15, 2016

"Baby I Lied" by Deborah Allen

Song#:  1650
Date:  10/15/1983
Debut:  81
Peak:  26
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  Singer/songwriter Allen spent many years taking advantage of good opportunities with top people, but nothing she did truly led to a breakthrough moment. Even a debut album on Capitol in 1980 barely made waves with one single, "Nobody's Fool," getting to #24 on the Country chart. Amidst the disappointment of her solo effort, her songwriting career got a major boost. Allen desperately wanted to record and release a song she co-wrote called "Don't Worry 'bout Me Baby," but Capital said no. It was a real bummer, but then the song got picked up by country star Janie Fricke who recorded it and took the song to #1 on the Country chart. The hit gave Allen a boost and she left Capitol for RCA where she recorded an EP titled Cheat the Night. It would prove to be her breakthrough when this first single hit #4 at Country. It also caught on at AC (#10) and even got into the Pop Top 30. The EP would spawn two more Country Top 10's, but that burst of popularity quickly waned and Allen would only manage a few mid-level charters over the next few years. Meanwhile, her hit streak as a songwriter continued with a second #1 for Fricke and one for John Conlee. Allen also helped supply songs for two hit albums by Leenn Rimes, her debut Blue and Sittin' on Top of the World.

ReduxReview:  Every now and then there would be a song rising on the chart that for some reason I wasn't getting to hear. So when I had a couple extra bucks in my pocket, I'd head to the record store and buy the single. The blind buying sometimes paid off, sometimes not. This song was one that I bought just to hear it. At the time, I thought it was just okay and kind of set it aside. It wasn't until I heard a version by Tracey Ullman that the song clicked for me. Since then, I've enjoyed both Allen's and Ullman's versions, but I do have to say that Allen kind of kicks some ass with her vocals. It was her peak moment for good reason.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) In the mid-70s, Allen got work with entertainer Jim Stafford on his TV show and tours which led to her recording a single in 1976 called "Do You Copy." Co-produced by Stafford, it was a novelty track based around the CB radio craze of the day. It failed to chart and Allen shuffled back to Nashville in search of something better.  2) Before her solo album, Allen actually appeared on three Top 10 Country hits in 1979 and 1980 as a duet partner with country legend Jim Reeves. Reeves passed away in 1964, but five tracks meant to be duets were dug up and producer Bud Logan got Allen to provide the second vocal on them. Three were released as singles and hit the Top 10.  3) In 1987, Allen took a chance and moved into the pop arena with the album Telepathy. The title track served as the lead single. What is odd about this song is that it was written by Prince, under the pseudonym of Joey CoCo. Allen had met Prince when they happened to be recording in the same LA studio. After Allen recorded her album, her label wanted a couple of more songs to amp it up. Allen then thought of Prince and sent him her latest tracks and a letter asking if he might work with her on a song. A couple of days later, she got a package with a song written specifically for her by Prince. Allen recorded it and named her album after the song. Unfortunately, neither the single nor the album were able to chart. Allen wasn't the only country/pop artist to record a Joey CoCo song. Kenny Rogers did "You're My Love" for his 1986 album They Don't Make Them Like They Used To.


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