Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Lady, Lady, Lady" by Joe "Bean" Esposito

Song#:  1660
Date:  10/22/1983
Debut:  91
Peak:  86
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Singer/songwriter Esposito got his first real break in music with the band Brooklyn Dreams. A trio made up of Esposito, Bruce Sudano, and Eddie Hokenson, they hit it big when a collaboration with Donna Summer, "Heaven Knows", hit #4 in 1978. For the single, which appeared on Summer's Live and More LP, Summer had the lead vocal duties while Esposito did the supporting vocal. The song also appeared on Brooklyn Dreams' second album, Sleepless Nights, but with Esposito on lead and Summer supporting. The hit helped sell a few of the band's albums, but it did not translate into a successful recording career. However, the band did co-write Summer's 1979 #1 hit "Bad Girls," which put a few royalties in their pockets. With disco dying and interest in the band fading, they separated into their own careers. Esposito began working with producer Giorgio Moroder and this song wound up on the Moroder's soundtrack to the movie Flashdance. It would serve as the third single from the album. The ballad only managed a couple of weeks on the Pop chart while going to #36 at AC. The collaboration with Moroder continued and the pair issued an album titled Solitary Men, which also included this song. Unfortunately, it couldn't capitalize on the success of Flashdance and disappeared quickly. Esposito and Bruce Sudano would then form the band Joe-Bruce & 2nd Avenue. They issued a self-titled disc in 1987 that also failed to get attention. Despite not breaking big, Esposito kept busy in the decade supplying songs and vocals for several soundtracks as well as backing vocals for other artists.

ReduxReview:  Something has always bugged me about the Flashdance soundtrack. In addition to the back-to-back #1's of the title-track and "Maniac," the album contained some primo tracks from Laura Branigan, Donna Summer, Kim Carnes, and two virtual unknowns Shandi and Karen Kamon. Any of these tracks would have done far better than this weak ballad. It is actually my least favorite song on the album (and that's even taking into consideration the dreary instrumental "Love Theme from Flashdance"). Perhaps there were agreements in place that blocked the other songs from single release. Or perhaps the label was just dumb. Whatever the case, we were left to slog through this song as a single and it bombed. When I don't particularly like a song, I usually try to say something semi-positive about it like "it's not really bad, it is just not a good single." I this case I just can't. It's just boring filler that interrupts the flow of an album loaded with some hot 80s tracks. Well, not interrupts. More like brings it to a screeching halt.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Esposito would grab a couple of Grammy nods for his work on the Flashdance and Staying Alive soundtracks, but he would get a nomination in a performance category for his appearance on Brenda Russell's 1988 hit "Piano in the Dark" (#3 AC/#6 Pop/#8 R&B). They would be nominated in the Best Pop Vocal Group category for the song. Russell's song would also be nominated for Song of the Year.  2) Esposito's son is former Major League baseball player Mike Esposito. The starting pitcher played one season with Colorado Rockies in 2005.  3) Brooklyn Dream' Bruce Sudano would marry Donna Summer in 1980. They remained married until her death in 2012.


1 comment:

  1. Plop! This song is a total turd. I'm guessing someone will rate it a 10.