Thursday, September 22, 2016

"The Kid's American" by Matthew Wilder

Song#:  1796
Date:  02/18/1984
Debut:  79
Peak:  33
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Wilder's career got off to a great start when his single "Break My Stride" hit #5. It was from his debut solo album I Don't Speak the Language, as was this second single. The song was able to make it into the Top 40, but that's as far as it would go. The results were a bit disappointing after having a breakout smash, but it was enough for his label to flip the bill for a second LP.

ReduxReview:  "Break My Stride" was a pretty distinctive song, so Wilder needed something just as strong (if not stronger) to truly make his mark on the chart. Unfortunately, this song wasn't it. The tune isn't bad at all. It bounces around nicely (kind of like a Pointer Sisters jam) and the handclappy chorus is fun. However, it's just not as interesting or memorable as his breakthrough hit. It also didn't help that it failed to make any other chart whereas "Break" found its way onto the AC, Dance, and R&B charts.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Back in the mid-90s, Disney was prepping their next animated feature, Mulan. Composer Stephen Schwartz, who wrote songs for Disney's Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (and Broadway's Wicked), was tapped to do songs for Mulan. However, after writing a few song, Schwartz got an offer to work on DreamWorks' The Prince of Egypt and moved over to that project. Left without a songwriter, a Disney executive happened upon a demo tape of a project that Wilder had been working on. It left an impression and soon Wilder had an offer to work on Mulan. Working with David Zippel, Wilder co-wrote five songs for the film. The work earned him, Zippel, and score composer Jerry Goldsmith an Oscar nomination for Best Musical or Comedy Score. Unfortunately, none of the songs were nominated for Best Original Song. In an odd twist, the winner for Best Original Song that same year was "When You Believe" from The Prince of Egypt written by...Stephen Schwartz.


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