Monday, August 8, 2016

"Action" by Evelyn King

Song#:  1742
Date:  01/07/1984
Debut:  93
Peak:  75
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Welcome to 1984! Let's get started!

Pop Bits:  King's 1982 album Get Loose became her biggest and best-selling hitting #1 at R&B and going double platinum. She then had the difficult task of following up such a career-defining recording. Instead of sticking with producer Kashif, who oversaw King's previous two albums, King went for a more Prince-like sound that was headed up by Leon Sylvers III. It seemed like a good idea, but the results were not even close to those of Get Loose. This first single couldn't get into the R&B Top 10, stopping at #16, while struggling in the bottom quarter of the Pop chart (#13 Dance). A second single, "Shake Down," would do slightly better at R&B reaching #12, but it missed the Pop chart. The lack of a major hit kept the album to #24 at R&B and in the end it failed to even reach gold level sales. It was a disappointing result following a career high.

ReduxReview:  This song is not too bad, but its Prince-ish riffs can't hold a candle to the slick, sophisticated dance of "Love Come Down." It's like listening to two different artists and I'm not really in love with the newer one. I can understand wanting to break out of the post-disco dance sound of her previous album, but I just don't think this was the way to go. It didn't really suit her. Others must have felt the same way at the time because the results were not very good. Although this track kind of has a Prince vibe, several others on the album almost sound like they were produced by Prince. It's really weird. Besides a couple of R&B Top 10's later in the decade, she was never really able to recover from this misstep.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  To help give King a bit of that Princely Minneapolis funk, AndrĂ© Cymone was brought on board to write songs and co-produce the album. Cymone began working with Prince around 1978 and stayed in his band until 1981 when tensions between the two arose. Cymone would head out on a solo career and along the way write/produce for other artists. His solo career never fully took off, but he did grab one R&B hit in 1985 with "The Dance Electric." That song reached #10 on the R&B chart while getting to #8 at Dance. Interestingly enough, Cymone wrote a song for King's album titled "Let's Get Crazy." By summer of '84, his former boss would be at the top of the charts with the similarly titled "Let's Go Crazy."


1 comment:

  1. It's a great groove, and I thought early on "why did Aaron rate this so low?" -- then it just ground on and on and on. For a song called Action, it certainly is repetitive.