Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Terms of Endearment" by Michael Gore

Song#:  1863
Date:  04/14/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  84
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack, Instrumental

Pop Bits:  Composer Gore got a major break when he was asked to provide music for the 1980 film Fame. In addition to working on the score, Gore also teamed up with songwriter Dean Pitchford to come up with tunes for the movie's musical numbers. The movie was a hit as was its title track song sung by Irene Cara. Gore would end up winning two Oscars for his work - one for Best Original Song for "Fame" (with Pitchford) and one for Best Original Score. Next came a job to write the score for an upcoming film titled Terms of Endearment that was to star Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, and Jack Nicholson. Released late in '83, the movie would be a big hit and would go on to win five Oscars including Best Picture. Gore's score was nominated, but he lost out to Bill Conti's music to The Right Stuff. With Terms being a major hit, there was focus placed on Gore's score and it was decided that a single of the movie's main theme would be released. It ended up being a surprise hit at AC reaching #5 on that chart. It did well enough there that it leaked over to Pop for a few weeks. It would be Gore's only single to reach any chart.

ReduxReview:  Here is an obscure single that I actually own. I absolutely loved the film and I think I just happened to see this single at the record store and bought it as I remember the music in the film being good. It's a bit of an oddity in that it's not from a music-oriented film and it's not one of those gratuitous pop songs that plays over the end credits that's looking to be a hit or grab an Oscar nod. It's just a lovely instrumental theme that worked well as a stand-alone single. I remember I used this song in a college music class called Ear Training. Everyone had to bring in a song that had a non-vocal melody somewhere in it. We were given the first note of the specific passage and then we had to notate the rest of the passage just by listening to the melody. It was a fun challenge. I used the main melody of this song for the class. It has been mega years since I heard this song and I forgot how nice it is.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Gore is the younger brother of pop star Lesley Gore. She had two big hits at the beginning of her singing career - 1963's #1 "It's My Party" and 1964's #4 "You Don't Own Me." The siblings would often write together and several of their songs ended up on Lesley's albums. The pair also wrote one for Fame, the #19 Oscar-nominated song "Out Here on My Own," which was sung by Irene Cara.  2) Gore would go on to do music for the TV show Fame along with other scores, but his venture into the Broadway arena ended up being an infamous one. Gore, along with Dean Pitchford, wrote the music and lyrics to the notorious 1988 Broadway flop Carrie: The Musical. The show closed after five performances and was one of the most expensive failures in Broadway history. The show would later see a few non-Broadway revivals that were received quite well.  3) Gore's biggest hit as a songwriter came in 1990 when Whitney Houston took "All the Man That I Need" to #1 at Pop, AC, and R&B. She would later receive a Grammy nod for her performance. The song was originally written for singer Linda Clifford (who sang a song on the Fame soundtrack) who recorded it in 1981. It was issued as a single but did not chart. In 1982, Sister Sledge covered the tune and released it as a single. It could only reach #45 at R&B. The song got to Houston and it finally became a hit.


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