Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"It's Gonna Be Special" by Patti Austin

Song#:  1788
Date:  02/11/1984
Debut:  89
Peak:  82
Weeks:  4
Genre:  R&B, Dance, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Austin's previous chart single, a duet with James Ingram titled "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (#45 Pop, #5 AC, #6 R&B) was featured in the film Best Friends. This next solo effort was also from a film, the Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta vehicle Two of a Kind. Although the movie was a box office dud, the soundtrack was a platinum seller thanks to two hits by Newton-John and this third single by Austin. Although this song got stuck in the basement of the Pop chart, it was a #5 Dance hit and would get to #15 at R&B. It would also serve as the first single from Austin's upcoming self-titled LP, her first after striking it big with Every Home Should Have One and it's #1 song "Baby, Come to Me." Despite an all-star team (including Quincy Jones, Narada Michael Walden, David Pack, Glen Ballard, Diane Warren and Michael McDonald) that contributed songs and production work, the album failed to generate a significant hit and it quietly disappeared.

ReduxReview:  Written by Glen Ballard and Clif Magness with production by Quincy Jones, I thought for sure this was gonna be a hit. It was an exciting song with a solid vocal turn from Austin. At the time it sounded great steeped in 80s synths and effects. So what happened? It did fine at R&B and Dance, but pooped out at Pop. It really deserved to do better. It sounds quite dated now, but I love it when it gets called up in my workout playlist. I bet this would make a killer track if all the synth sounds were taken out and a full, live horn-driven band took over. Although it could use a makeover, I'm still a fan of the song.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Despite being more of a soul artist, Austin began her music career with the jazz label CTI. For her first two albums, 1976's End of a Rainbow and 1977's Havana Candy, Austin wrote all the songs except for two. Each album managed to get a low-level single on the R&B chart. However, things changed with her third studio album for the label, 1980's Body Language. It was filled with new tunes and covers, none of which were written by Austin. Soon, she was on board the Quincy Jones commercial train and with the exception of a co-write here and there, Austin's voice was the focus, not her original material. After Austin got her big #1 hit, CTI smelled the money and in 1983 they issued a compilation of Austin's early material titled In My Life. The title track was issued as a single and it scraped the bottom of the R&B chart at #92.

No comments:

Post a Comment