Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"Do You Love Me" by Andy Fraser

Song#:  1815
Date:  03/03/1984
Debut:  89
Peak:  82
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock, Pop

Pop Bits:  Fraser was only 15 when he became the bass player for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. He left after a short year and with three other teenagers formed the band Free. Their first two albums were virtually ignored, but their third, 1970's Fire and Water, would be a significant hit thanks to the #4 single "All Right Now," which was co-written by Fraser. It would be their only hit in the US, but they would continue to place songs on the UK chart up until their disbandment in 1973. Fraser went on to form the band Sharks and recorded one album with them. After a couple more failed LPs under the Andy Fraser Band moniker, Fraser sat back and concentrated on songwriting. By 1983 he decided to get back into the spotlight and signed with Island Records for a solo album. Titled Fine Fine Line, the LP featured nine songs written or co-written by Fraser and one lone cover - this first single. Stepping into the MTV generation, Fraser filmed his first video, but it didn't seem to help as the single barely made a dent in the Pop chart. The LP's second single was the title track, which got to #43 on the Rock chart, but failed to reach the Pop chart. The album would be Fraser's last major label effort. He would pass away in 2015 after long battles with cancer and AIDS.

ReduxReview:  I wish I knew what possessed Fraser to cover this song. I've listened to the LP and this song is nothing like the others Fraser wrote for the album. My guess is the usual - some record exec didn't hear a hit and "suggested" doing a rock cover of an old hit so they can promote the album. It just smells of label intervention to me. Fraser is a solid musician and a good songwriter, so there was no real reason to do a cover tune. The balance of the album is pretty good. It is true that there isn't a surefire hit among the other tracks, but even the title track was far better than this forced cover. It's pretty bad. The song is nearly unrecognizable. Trying to turn an old R&B hit (see below) into a near-hard rock arena anthem was just a bad idea. All the soul got sucked out of the classic and the video was equally horrible. What a shame.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a 1962 hit done by The Contours. Their original recording hit #3 Pop/#1 R&B. Thanks to its use in the 1988 film Dirty Dancing, the song became popular again and got reissued. In it's second chart appearance, the single made it to #11 Pop. The Dave Clark Five reached that same #11 position in 1964 with their version.


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