Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"I Won't Stand in Your Way" by The Stray Cats

Song#:  1674
Date:  10/29/1983
Debut:  72
Peak:  35
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rockabilly, Doo Wop

Pop Bits:  The Cats got their third Top 10 hit in a row with "(She's) Sexy + 17" (#5), the first single from their album Rant N' Rave with the Stray Cats. Despite the hit, there were signs that pop audiences were tiring of the rockabilly revival. This next single just barely made a Top 40 showing while the album peaked at a lower than expected #14. It would reach gold status, but that was a drop from their platinum #2 album Build for Speed.

ReduxReview:  I wasn't a fan of the Cats back then and so I avoided their songs as much as I could, including this one. Now with a better understanding of what they were doing, I can revisit their tunes with a different ear. A few of their songs I'm still kind of "meh" about, but they did issue a few gems along the way like this one. The backing vocals (see below) are terrific and I like the big reverb filled production. It's definitely one of their better tunes and it should have gone up the chart a bit more.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song and others on the Rant N' Rave album featured backing vocals by the soul a cappella group 14 Karat Soul. Formed in East Orange, New Jersey, the teenage vocalists initially focused on doo-wop and their skills ended up getting them gigs backing other artists, performing on TV shows (like Sesame Street), and singing for commercials. After a string of successful ads in Japan that featured the group, they became very popular there and would go on to release several albums for the Japanese market. In addition to doing the backing vocals for the Stray Cats' album, they also went out on tour with the band. Later on, they would also support Whitney Houston on one of her European tours.


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