Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Give" by Missing Persons

Song#:  1833
Date:  03/17/1984
Debut:  87
Peak:  67
Weeks:  6
Genre:  New Wave, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  This band had great success with their debut album Spring Session M. It would be a gold-seller despite not having a single Pop Top 40 hit. What it did have was four charting songs with two of them, "Words" and "Destination Unknown," both getting to #42. It helped the band build a sizable following and expectations were high for their next effort. It should have been their mainstream breakthrough, but instead it fell far short of expectations. Their second LP, Rhyme & Reason, would be a slick, yet experimental effort that hit a bump in the road immediately when this first single stalled far short of the Pop Top 40. Rock wasn't all that interested either and it stopped at #29. Subsequent singles failed to chart and the album quietly disappeared. Their label was less than happy with the results, but decided to give them another shot. Unfortunately, by the time Color in Your Life came out in 1986, the band was already forgotten. The tour for that album presented its own problems within the band and when it was over, the husband and wife team of Dale and Terry Bozzio divorced. Missing Persons finally closed up shop by the end of '86.

ReduxReview:  Their first album was full of sturdy, synthy new wave tunes that had a commercial edge and a sound that grabbed your attention (specifically with Dale Bozzio's squeaky voice). Really, it should have been a much bigger hit. Regardless, they set themselves up for bigger success and all they had to do was deliver something that the masses could eat up. With this song, they totally failed. It really had zero business being a single. There was nothing remotely catchy or radio friendly with this tune. I'm not sure what they were thinking with this album. Weirdly, it almost sounds like European new wave, guitar-driven synthpop. It was just the wrong direction - like what ABC did when they changed their sound for their failed second LP Beauty Stab. Maybe they just didn't really have the material or writing chops it took to go mainstream. Or maybe they didn't want to. Whatever it was, they squandered a great opportunity. However, Spring Session M lives on and it is still a classic 80s synthpop album.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  After the band broke up, Dale Bozzio tried for a solo career. She signed on with Prince's Paisley Park label and issued the 1988 album Riot in English. Prince even wrote a song for the album titled "So Strong." But even with the backing of the Purple One, the album failed with only one single, "Simon Simon," doing anything ( #33 Dance). Band member Warren Cuccurullo went on to become Duran Duran's guitarist in 1986 and became an official member in 1989. Patrick O'Hearn began a successful career in new age music releasing several albums over the years. He has also written scores for films.


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