Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deniece Williams

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  1860
Date:  04/07/1984
Debut:  56
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Pop, Dance, R&B, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  During the filming of the movie Footloose, a song that was selected for a specific scene Just wasn't working for director Herbert Ross. So screenwriter/songwriter Dean Pitchford set out to write a new tune for the scene and called on a previous collaborator Tom Snow to help. They came up with "Let's Hear It for the Boy" and then asked R&B star Deniece Williams to record the tune with her producer George Duke. They agreed and the song ended up being a perfect fit for the scene. As the film was starting to become a box office hit, its title-track theme song, done by Kenny Loggins, shot up to #1. While occupying that position for a second week, this single debuted on the Pop chart. It would be a major hit getting to #1 at Pop, R&B, and Dance. The song's crossover appeal allowed it to hit platinum status. Williams would receive Grammy nod for the tune in both the Pop and R&B vocal categories and the song would get an Oscar nod as well. It would be Williams' second Pop #1 following her 1978 duet with Johnny Mathis, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late." Unfortunately, it would be the last time Williams would score a major hit on the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  Okay, how can you not be happy listening to this? This song is filled with pure, upbeat joy. Everything about it was near-perfection from Duke's production to Williams' wonderful vocal take. Just one listen to this song and you knew it was going to be a hit. My favorite part? During the outro where Williams does this high-pitched "doo-op-op-op" lick. I can't help but do that part whenever I hear the song. It's hilarious and fills me with glee.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The background vocals on this song were provided by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam. The pair were mainly known for their songwriting skills and two of their songs were used for Williams' Let's Hear It for the Boy LP. In a few years, the soon-to-be husband and wife team would write two smash hits for Whitney Houston - "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)." They would have their own success as artists under the moniker of Boy Meets Girl. The duo would score the #5 1988 hit "Waiting for a Star to Fall."


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